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Late last year we told you that major changes and improvements are being made to Jive Rich Text Editor (RTE). In order to help us prioritize our todo list, we also opened up a survey to gauge your satisfaction with the current RTE. Today I want to take a few minutes and walk you through the survey results and some of the new improvements we've made to Jive 5 based on that feedback.


First, the survey results


Our survey asked a number of questions: how often specfiic features were used, overall satisfaction, Jive version, internal vs external collaboration, etc. It gave us our first in-depth look across communities at how people were using the RTE, and how successfully. We conducted the same survey internally at Jive as well, with consistent results. The first graph below shows the top 3 pain points in the RTE according to the survey results. If there was any doubt, this survey clarified and quantified the trouble areas.


We rolled out Jive 5 internally over a month ago, and we've just re-surveyed internally (we'll be sending out a new customer survey to all of you after Jive 5 ships). I'm very happy to say that you can see a dramatic positive shift in satisfaction in the second chart below.




We'll be continuing our surveying (along with user studies and testing) to keep a very close eye on user satisfaction with the RTE moving forward as we continue making progress.



So what's changed?


Satisfaction increased dramatically in key RTE feature areas with Jive 5, but why? For the top pain points – tables, lists, and links – here's what's new in Jive 5.



In 4.5, all of the table controls were packed into a 3rd toolbar at the top of the RTE. Each of these buttons looked similar (first problem) and generally opened modal dialogs (slow and cumbersome).



In Jive 5, we took a dramatically different aproach with editing tables. Instead of tons of buttons and dialog windows, we've streamlined the UI with contextual controls. For starters, creating a new table now looks like this:



No more slow-loading dialog with 10 input fields. Once you've added a table, editing and styling is now entirely through contextual controls. When your cursor is inside the table, small draggable tabs appear on the row and column to let you easily reorganize the table's contents. A mini-form at the bottom makes it painless to add new rows in bulk, and a small contextual popover menu temporarily appears when you click into the table. This little menu is the gateway to all the formatting you need.




Just click into that popover menu, and you have your whole host of options to format your content:






Lists have a long sordid history with jumping cursors, broken formatting, and keyboard commands and indentations that were inconsistent across browsers. We've gone to great lengths to make sure that copying and pasting lists, formatting lists, and the entire experience around bullets and numbers is significantly more intuitive and consistent. We've also applied the new contextual menu here for easier styling. Now you can choose Roman numerals, decimals, and anything in between for your bullets and numbers.




The third feature area we focused on was adding links to content. Jive 4.5 introduced the ability to "@mention" other users in status updates. We've now integrated @mentioning into the RTE for all content types throughout Jive. Now you can easily add links to other users, recently visited content, places, nearly anything simply by typing "@".





Demo Video

With all of the new changes we've made to tables, lists, and links, the best way to show you all of the changes is to, well, show you! Check out the demo video below:


Screen shot 2011-03-16 at 4.13.06 PM.png



We've been getting some great early user feedback and loving using the new RTE in Jive 5 ourselves with all these changes (and more). We're looking forward to bringing these improvements to you here and in your own communities soon. And, since our work is never done, we'll continue to keep you posted on our ongoing progress in quality, performance, ease of use, and end user delight with the RTE.

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