We are building an app for Zoom where we allow participants to present their screen and annotate.

As an important note, we are aware that Zoom has its built-in annotation feature, but it is not sufficient for our purposes. There's also a lot of business logic involved that I'll just leave out here.

One technical limitation we have currently is that only the presenter can annotate. We will eventually allow everyone to annotate, but for this v1, that is the limitation.


Is it necessary to include some type of banner immediately after the presenter attempts to annotate that says, "Only the presenter is allowed to annotate... (with link to instructions)."

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  • One downside is that since the presenter is sharing their screen, everyone else will see this banner. More often than not, this banner will not be contextual since 95% of the time, only the presenter ever really needs to annotate; quite rarely do other participants/non-presenters need to annotate.
  • It highlights the flaws of our app for many people that won't even care or come across it

As an alternative, we will provide training to our users prior to using this app. This is required because we are in the legal space where delicate and confidential information is being shared, so there will need to be training whether or not we decide to add this banner.


  • In the even that other participants do need to annotate, instructions will be in front of them.

1 Answer 1


I would say no banner is needed: You’re telling the person who can annotate, who has installed your app, that they can annotate. They’re likely to know already, especially if they’ve had the training you mention.

If you did want to use a banner (and as a legal designer I understand working in the legal space!) I’d consider:

  • Putting the note on the same line as the controls
  • Phrasing it a bit more like ‘The presenter can annotate using the pencil icon’, i.e. merging the copy so it feels more like one thing.

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