9 Replies Latest reply on Jun 21, 2012 6:50 PM by mstoner15

    How involved have you been in space design?

    jessekane

      We only launched groups and projects in April, but we are moving forward with migrating corporate content on the intranet to spaces (read non-collaborative information). So far, I'm very disappointed in our two spaces despite providing a host of resources. The layouts are bad, there's too much information everywhere, and even basics like image size, selection and font spacing are horrendous.

       

      How has your experience been? Do you let your spaces fail or succeed on their own? Did you insert yourself into the nitty gritty details of the design. Did you start mandating a base template for a space? I want to make sure that the migration is seen as a success, but I don't want to crush any creativity or individuality. But it looks like we're trading one bad intranet site for one bad Jive space...

        • Re: How involved have you been in space design?
          crossman

          How much input you have will depending on your culture, etc. But I don't think there's anything wrong with providing input under the guise of trying to help the community be successful.

          • Re: How involved have you been in space design?
            JenniferTh

            I find this varies with what the group/community owner is comfortable with. I am more than happy to provide a suggested layout and widgets to help someone get set up, or to work with them to plan the widgets and then let them go do the actual set-up. It is generally not too much time for me to do this, and it benefits them and the group/community to have my knowledge of what works well.

             

            That being said, many users set up their own spaces in ways I wouldn't recommend. I tend to offer advice in these situations (usually worded casually, like "Hey, I just noticed that . . .") but I don't enforce any changes. If they don't make the changes, I keep in touch with these group/community managers and try to steer the conversation this way again if an opportunity comes up (due to some user feedback they've received, or issues they are having in the community).

             

            We don't enforce templates at this point, though it is something we've discussed.

              • Re: How involved have you been in space design?
                mstoner15

                We have a standard template that is created after the Community space is approved. It is a re-freshing and professional look with plenty of start-up material for new users. We provide tips, documentation and samples of already established, successful spaces. I think the people that are serious about using the site for collaboration are going to read the documentation and give it their best effort for a nice site.

                 

                There is so much potential and I am very lucky where I work to have just about every "How To" feature documented. I've only been supporting Jive for 5 months and am amazed at how much I was able to learn thus far. It's always a great feeling to learn a new trick and pass it on to our members. I think visuals/screenshots are really helpful if you don't have enough support to help new members with site design. It is always important to provide support to new users but it is equally important to realize certain users that refuse to read a word of the documentation and basically exhaust you with questions. Not to mention flood my E-mail box. :-(

              • Re: How involved have you been in space design?
                Melissa.Rosen

                Our team plans on giving some guidance-- my teammate posted a pdf here Some ideas around widget packages for Group and Space admins. That said, we won't hold people to these templates-- they are free to be as creative as they like. We do give general guidelines such as saying that they should consider consistency a virtue, and recommend that the Actions widget remain on the page, preferably the upper right. We have a decent-sized group of folks who have html skills, so it will be interesting to see who just plops in the html widget and codes the whole page (if anyone).

                  • Re: How involved have you been in space design?
                    mstoner15

                         When I first started supporting our Jive members I was really impressed with some of the CSS, I-Frames, and HTML that was being used to spice up widgets. Then I learned that we have some standards for good reason because when a patch, upgrade or change happens, IT just can't support the back lash. We have standardized certain widgets so that only admins can implement which saves us capacity on support in our help and IT centers.

                     

                         It goes without saying, you probably don't have enough capacity to support the many different formats. So,I would agree that standard/guidelines should be set up front. This is also a safe guard for a uniform look and branding especially in a corporate environment.

                     

                    Best,

                    Margaret

                     

                     

                    Good Luck,

                    Margaret

                    • Re: How involved have you been in space design?
                      sachac

                      I'd love to check out those widget packages. Could you please grant me access?

                       

                      We provide templates, an icon and button library, and design/prototyping support. This makes it easier for communities to have a simple, graphically-enhanced consistent look and feel. I've also put together community overview design guidelines with recommended widgets, pixel widths, and other tips for designers.

                    • Re: How involved have you been in space design?

                      There's a lot of really good suggestions here for deciding whether or not to mandate design. However, if you're unsure of which way to go at this point, consider that the space/group owners might not know or understand how to design a space in a way that is organized and looks nice. You could consider starting a blog that talks about what you'd like to see...provide images like suggestions above note, suggestions of what do do, what not to do, and most importantly...WHY. If there are some spaces/groups already doing it right, consider asking for screen shots and giving them a pat on the back. This will give others in the community a colleague to go to for discussion about why they did what they did. You may also want to do a short interview with that individual to surface why the decisions for design were made, and what benefit they are seeing. Providing some quick quips about how to do it effectively may alleviate some of your immediate worries while you are still deciding what to do long-term.

                       

                      If you decide to go this route, don't forget to surface the blog in popular areas where it will have the highest visibility.

                        • Re: How involved have you been in space design?
                          mstoner15

                          Great Post Heather!

                           

                          I agree with 99% and if you have the capacity and experience with CSS and HTML you can do amazing things with your space. I saw the potential early on as a support person and have done plenty of tweaking to enhance pages for our users. Then I found out very quickly how time consuming this process can be, especially with a large member base. Our IT team doesn't support much of this unique code understandably. When an upgrade occurs, much of the CSS, I-Frame code breaks and the backlash falls on IT, community managers and support. I haven't seen Jive 5 yet but our current version offers plenty of great space design if you use it to the fullest potential.

                           

                          Thank you for your input,

                          Margaret