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2 Posts authored by: adam.wulf

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.

If you're using Jive, then you know how integral the rich text editor (RTE) is to the Jive experience. Millions of unique users are creating documents, crafting blog posts, discussing, commenting, and collaborating in Jive every day! Through many discussions with customers, end users, and conversations here in the Jive Community, we know how important the RTE is to each of you. With this post, Olivia Teich (the RTE's product manager) and I (Adam Wulf lead developer for the RTE) are beginning a blog series focused entirely on creating content inside of Jive. Over the coming months, we'll be focusing on new RTE features and improvements, quality, tips and tricks, and much more. If you have any specific questions you'd like answered, please reach out and let us know!


Focus on Quality

Over the past month at Jive, there has been a lot happening behind the scenes with the RTE, and to kick off this blog series, today I'm going to focus specifically on the improvements we've been making to RTE quality and to our development process. We've significantly increased the size of the team members focused on the design, development, and testing of the RTE. This new team is making progress on quality and consistency across browsers and operating systems faster than ever before.


As the first task of the expanded RTE team, we have re-reviewed every reported bug and all of the enhancement and feature requests. Many of the issues are related to consistency across browsers and operating systems, where all web editors still lag behind desktop editors. To this end, we are focusing our near-term efforts on a few high-impact areas, especially:

  • Adding and editing tables
  • Copying and pasting text, especially from Office programs
  • Formatting bulleted and numbered lists
  • Inserting and editing links


We have already begun significant development to address these issues, and our upcoming releases (especially Jive 4.5.5 and 4.5.6, Jive 5.0 and 5.0.1) will focus almost entirely on tables, copy & paste, and lists. For our next major release, Jive 5, we are also building a completely new interface for working with tables that we think you'll love. I'll demo that new UI and share more details in our next post.


Improvements in How We Test the RTE

With all of the new bug fixes and features that we're adding to the RTE, we're focused on making sure that we're consistently making forward progress (with no regressions). While we have always had some automated tests for the RTE, until recently the bulk of our stability and bug testing was done manually. A full end-to-end manual test of the RTE takes upwards of two weeks, and is subject to human error – this has impacted the pace of our progress in the past.


To remedy this, over the past month we have been adding new tests and we begun a complete overhaul of our RTE automated testing strategy, including:

  • adding hundreds(!) of automated JavaScript unit tests to the RTE code base
  • adding even more automated Java unit and functional tests
  • completely reviewing and augmenting our browser automated Selenium tests
  • and, before every release, we will still do a full end-to-end manual test of the RTE


Over the next few months, we'll continue adding hundreds more JavaScript, Java, and Selenium tests to the RTE. This focus on automated testing techniques will reduce our dependence on manual testing and let us develop and innovate faster, with quality. Even over just the past few weeks, our team has been able to fix bugs, add features, and and improve the RTE experience much faster than in the past. You'll see the results starting in the Q1 releases.


Measuring Our Progress, and How You Can Help

Along with this new blog series, we're also launching a survey to gather your feedback on the RTE:


Click here to take the Jive RTE Satisfaction Survey


Please help us by filling out this survey now. It's only 1 page and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Share it with colleagues, members of your community, and anyone you know using Jive. Your feedback will help guide our focus for the next round of improvements.


We'll post a new version of the survey after each quarterly fix pack release -- please fill it out again whenever you upgrade your instance of Jive, or based on your evolving experiences with the RTE here in the Jive Community. Your answers will help shape the directly of RTE development.



Thanks to all of you who have spoken with us about the RTE. We're all extremely grateful for your Jive passion! Your input helps us move in the right direction. We'll post again next month with an update on our progress and plans. We hope this blog will continue our conversation and help clarify exactly what steps we're taking at Jive to make the RTE awesome.

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