So your company purchased Jive and you've been brought on to manage the community! The platform will probably be set up by a system administrator but the look-and-feel may be up to you. What is a community manager to do?

 

Jive is built to be easily themed and configured with easy-to-use widgets on the Overview page. I've written about the topic before in my blog Designing a Jive Overview page.

 

Now let's take a step back and make you aware of all of the design resources available to help you as a community manager (in case you don't have the skill set yourself).

 

First off, you need to be really sure of your community objectives because anyone you reach out to will want to know what you are trying to achieve in your community. I recommend picking your top 3 objectives so that you are really clear on what your home page design needs to focus on.


Some examples of community objectives include:


  • Connect community members with each other
  • Get users to answers quickly
  • On-board new employees or partners
  • Allow users to submit product ideas
  • Collaborate online about product ideas
  • Recognize the work being done around your company
  • Provide an online channel for company news

 

Next, you have two basic options for designing your community: do it yourself or hire someone.

 

Do it yourself

 

If you choose this route, you better put on your learning hat because most community managers have never done anything like this before. Maybe you've designed a web page or used Photoshop (and those skills will help) but configuring a theme and overview page in Jive is different. You might have an engagement with Professional Services to get your community up and running. If that's the case be sure to ask for their advice as well on how to approach defining your community design.

 

The best place to start learning is with the Jive official documentation.

 

You can find it on the web at: https://docs.jivesoftware.com Get to know this page because it offers documentation for both users and community managers. You can use the documentation site for tips and tricks for your community users once you get started. Be sure to pick the version that you are on for accurate instructions.

 

I've drilled down into the documentation to find the instructions for Configuring the Home Page:

 

Once you have the general idea of what is required, read my blog Designing a Jive Overview page and check out the Theme and UI/X Discussion because there are some extremely helpful people there who are willing to share code and help you configure cool features in your community.

 

At this point, you should be able to test out some designs and themes on your UAT system (if you are hosted). If you're on cloud, you can still play with an overview page and see what it looks like before you push the Publish button.

 

Overview short-cuts just for you DIYers out there:

  • Need to get users to answers fast? Add a content widget for "Ask the XX Community." Be sure to configure the widget to search the places you want for already-answered questions and post new questions to the proper group.
  • Want to feature content in an image carousel? Check out the post: Image Rotator - Start Here
  • Want to drive people to take certain actions? Use the View Document widget and populate it with Call-to-Actions in a document like this: Call to Action boxes - sample document

 

Now on to option 2...

 

Hire someone

 

I think I've mentioned before that the average person can probably put together a bed-frame or build a bookcase, but if you want to build a house you'd hire a professional designer or architect, right? So if you have champagne wishes and caviar dreams for your community design, you will need to hire someone to help you accomplish your goals.

 

You have several options for getting help:

  • Jive Professional Services: Jive's own employees build and design some of the most beautiful and functional communities we have. You can contact your Jive account manager to start the conversation and get a quote for services.
  • Jive Partners: We have so many amazing partners! I'm not allowed to play favorites but I think it's safe to say that visiting our Partner Community can give you some ideas.
  • Hire a developer for UX/IU work: Post a job opening on the Careers Using Jive space and at-mention the Developer and Theme and UI/X Discussion places for good measure.

 

The first two options above( PS or Partner) will guide you step-by-step through the process for creating a community theme and design. The last option (hire your own) will mean that you need to have a clear idea on what you are trying to achieve and you simply need someone to get it done.

 

Either way, I heartily wish you luck. I can speak from experience that it can take multiple evolutions of a community design in order to get it just right.

 

Keep trying and ask questions here!