7/29/2015 : SUCCESS!
We have successfully loaded the new design in the Jive Community! Congrats to the Social Edge team for fabulous work.
PLEASE NOTE: You may need to clear your browser cache and possibly update your browser (if you are using an outdated browser) in order to access the site correctly.
After many months of anticipation and hard work, we can finally say "we did it!" The Jive Community has been redesigned to reflect world-class community status. Do we still have more work to do to really achieve that goal? Of course. But first, I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who helped out with the effort by providing their thoughts and feedback. We couldn't have gotten to this point if it wasn't for you.
Advance warning: downtime required
A maintenance window of 1 hour will occur this Wednesday night, July 29, at 8 pm Pacific Time in order for us to turn on the theme/design and quick-check functionality. That window provides us with enough time to check the design and set it back to the previous version if something isn't quite right. Please be sure to save any work you are doing in the Jive Community prior to that time.
Check out the new design
Once the new design has been launched you can come back to this blog and learn more about the changes below.
Here's the short list of what's different in the community as a result of the new theme and design:
- The sidebar has been removed from the home page. We want to get the home page closer to the look-and-feel of version 8 and this does the trick. It will look familiar to what you see in version 8 today (if you have version 8). You can access your Inbox with the link provided in the navigation bar, look for this icon... And the Activity feed is now visible on the Home page in the Latest and Trending widget.
- Featured content is smaller so the Find Answers widget is more visible. We still have featured content but it only takes up one spot and that spot is much smaller, allowing the important content below it to reside higher on the screen.
- Call-to-action for new users to get registered or to visit the Getting Started space. Depending on how a visitor enters the site, they will either see the prompt to register or a link to the getting started page for new users.
- Product and technology updates/news has a spot all its own. Users will not have to dig around to look for the latest news or updates from our product team. When there's no new product news, we will use this spot for links to more technical blog posts.
- The search widget is better than ever. It searches from Jive Support, Jive Knowledge Base, and the Documentation website as soon as the user starts typing in the search box. Not seeing the answer you need? We also link to a document that explains where users can find the types of answers they might be looking for in other places.
- Content is tailored based upon your interests. In the Your Track widget, you can select the type of content you are interested in seeing. Maybe today it's Community Manager content, maybe tomorrow it's Developer content. You can easily change your track in the pop-up selection window. This connects to a new profile field for interest track. So in the future, we will be able to get a feel for the numbers of people coming to the community for a particular type of content or interest.
- Activity and Trending feed on the home page. Users will be able to see the pulse of the community right on the home page.
What you should know
Any time there is change it can take some getting used to. While the points above represent some great developments, a few of the features might create a stir, so I'd like to address your concerns here:
- Where's my cheese!? The removal of the sidebar links mean that many users who have pinned the Inbox or Activity Stream as their home page will no longer have that option. Since many of our long-time users have pinned the Inbox as their home page, I suspect there will be some adjustment required. Granted, the move to version 8 would create the same change, so really we are simply moving this pain forward in time.
- Our answer: Selecting the (@) at the top of the navigation bar will you to your Inbox. From there, you can create a bookmark in your browser and use that as your way into the Jive Community. Be sure to bookmark: https://community.jivesoftware.com/inbox
- Why is the navigation bar so tall? We are choosing not to use the skinny/sticky navigation bar in order to accommodate links for global navigation back to our web properties. The old Jive Community design has the same type of global persistent navigation.
- Our answer: The new JC navigation bar is actually skinnier than the old navigation bar. So it's an improvement space-wise.
- You'll be asked to pick a track. The first time you log in to the Jive Community after the redesign, a pop-up window will appear asking you to select a track. It should only happen once if you select a track at that time. It's possible that having to select an interest track might create some additional questions when people want to select a new interest track. If you have any questions about the tracks, please let me know.
- Our answer: Select a track when you see the pop-up. You won't see the pop-up again until you want to change your content track. Change your track either by clicking on "Change Track" in the home page widget or by editing your profile (scroll to the bottom of your profile to Track).
- We have a new space just for Community Managers. This was a result of the need for more focused content in the Community Manager interest track. We discussed combining the two community groups into one, but that idea wasn't well received. And at more closer examination, I discovered that most of the content in those groups was user-generated discussions. The community still had the need for a single, official Jive place for Community Manager best practices.
- Our answer: While a single place was needed we didn't have to change what is already in place. In the same way we have a home for Partners, Developers and Customers, we now have a home for how-to and best practice content aimed specifically at Community Managers. I've pulled in discussion feeds from both the Internal and External Communities groups and point out to CM training in the Community Manager space as well. We will continue to add to the official content in the [Archived] Community Manager space over time.
The exercise of conducting the redesign really uncovered a bunch of work for the near future:
- Upgrade to version 8. In order to really delivery a world-class experience, we need to get on the latest version where our support case creation and management system will work. We are planning to do just that with an August update to version 8.0.1 hosted.
- Rearchitecture. Much progress has been made simply as a result of the redesign. However, we still have too many spaces where nothing is happening. We need to really look at combining some of our Jive-owned groups in order to simplify and clarify the experience for users.
- Clean up the mess. The architecture is being streamlined and slimmed down. But there are still HUNDREDS of Jive-created groups that are random with no activity. Since this requires quite a lot of effort, we will be reaching out to you for your help with clean up as needed, one topic at a time.
- Get to cloud. We have been using our own platform for customer support for 14 years. With the introduction of Jive Cloud, we began to evaluate the many customizations utilized by the Jive Community. With the upgrade to 7.0.3 in 2014 we were able to eliminate a majority of the customizations. The larger, more labor-intensive customizations still remain. To address these customizations, Jive's Support team is working very closely with our Engineering and Product teams on specific business processes and will be making both changes to the process and enhancing the available add-on framework to accommodate overall business needs. We've determined that to take advantage of the functionality in newer versions of Jive and continue our progress toward Jive Cloud, the Jive Community will be upgraded to Jive 8 in August 2015 (further announcement to come). Planning continues toward a Jive Cloud migration (the timeline has not yet been set). Jive is committed to the Jive Cloud product and is excited to move closer to being able to use it for our business activities.
Once the site is live, please let me know what you think!