I've just converted an old Story Map Tour to the new Side Panel configuration. I like the idea of this, but there do see to be some glitches / options missing:
1: The zoom selection for the map is not working as it should. It seems possible to select a different extent for the Cover than for the points which is potentially useful, but in practice, once the viewer alters the zoom manually, that zoom becomes the same for all sections, unless changed by the viewer. It would be helpful to at least have a set zoom for each point which is reverted to when a new section is chosen, or ideally a custom zoom which the author could choose for each point which would not be overridden by viewer choices for other points.
2: Whilst the switch to media emphasis v map emphasis is appreciated, it would be good for the author to be able to vary this a little more (rather like the option to change panel size in Photoshop).
3: When editing the Extent of the map in Story Settings, the map is not visible.
4: When editing the Story Map, if the browser zoom (I'm using Chrome) is set to 100% in some cases the description appears above the name of the section, mostly obscured by the image, so it is impossible to edit it. If the browser zoom is reduced to 90% or less, the problem disappears.
5: It would be good to be able to very font type and size.
6: It would be good to have the URL options available, as they are in Cascade.
7: It would be good to have the different colour options as in the original Story Map Tour.
8: When viewing the new Story Map Tour (on a small mobile device and laptop as well), the cover map does not appear at all, and for the first section, the black title banner obscures the map and doesn't disappear until the viewer begins scrolling, which leads to a confusing start. Also, when scrolling, the map moves in a sporadic, jumpy way. It would be good to improve this, ideally to make the map move more smoothly to achieve a fly-through effect.
9: When converting an old Story Map Tour to the new new Side Panel configuration, it would be useful to have a 'Save as' option in order to keep the old version.