Opt out of cursor broadcast

There have been other somewhat related threads opened already, so to explain why I’m not just +1’ing those, let me first give a quick explanation of a use case you might not be considering:

We like to use a collaborative visual tool for some types of meetings, such as sprint retrospectives, so that everyone can contribute to the discussion (and its visual record) by adding sticky notes or stamps or whatnot.
Like a What Went Well format, or a Sailboat format, that kind of thing. (I had image examples for those who aren’t familiar or can’t picture how you’d do this using a tool like FigJam, but when I tried to submit this post, was told “Sorry, new users can only put one embedded media item in a post.”, so I’m afraid you’ve handicapped the quality of the post and will have to use your imagination.)
In these types of meetings, you’ll have:

  • a period where everyone is brainstorming and adding sticky notes,
  • and a period where everyone voting on ideas,
  • maybe a period where things are being grouped into common themes,

lots of chunked collaboration time like that.

We used to use MURAL for this, but recently switched to FigJam.

And it’s making me anxious, because MURAL has a very important feature that Figma lacks:

A separate toggle for whether people can see your cursor.

All we have here is the “Multiplayer cursors” toggle:
(Had to remove the screenshot, but I’m sure you’re familiar)
Which is only equivalent to the “Show cursors” toggle on MURAL, and that’s not the same thing. (Clearly, since they’re two separate toggles over there.)

And importantly, toggling “Multiplayer cursors” only hides other users’ cursors from your view, it has no effect on other people seeing yours.
(I would call that a little slimy deceptive, to be honest; at the very least change it to “Show others’ cursors” or something, so that it doesn’t sound like it’s actually turning the pointer-sharing feature off when it’s not and you still have no privacy at all and the toggle only made that less obvious.)

Other threads on here have lamented this because they’re being micromanaged, or are stressed about people watching them work on things that aren’t ready, and so the dismissal/deprioritization has been “you could avoid this by using the drafts feature”.

But that doesn’t apply when you want to collaborate on something,
but only want to share what you actually intentionally do to the content, not accidental-noise-as-metadata like:

  • what your mouse is doing flying around the screen while you’re thinking about the various items on it,
  • or the fact that your mouse isn’t moving at all because you don’t have anything to contribute to that part of the discussion,
  • or when you’re hovering somewhere because you’re thinking about stamping a vote down on it (which ought not to be revealed to the others until you decide),

or anything else that might make people uneasy during group meetings.

Broadcasting your mouse cursor position is inherently invasive and a total lack of conceptual privacy that some folks need in order to do our best work.
As shown, your competitors in that space included the ability to turn that feature off, independently of whether to display the cursors of others who haven’t turned it off themselves.
Please acknowledge these two concepts as separate and consider providing users the ability to opt out of cursor broadcast.


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