7 Replies Latest reply on Jul 10, 2012 1:05 AM by smoghe

    Training Challenge?


      I was speaking to one of our UXers in the company and yes, UX folks can be quite tough with their feedback for anything, but something she said seemed to ring true. She said, "Jive takes a significant amount of training to get used to." Just a few minutes before that we were complaining about how Facebook and Twitter hide their help under an obscure menu and she said, the help is quite unnecessary for something like Twitter - it's a fairly straightforward tool and doesn't do much. On the other hand Jive does so much - blogposts, collaborative documents, discussions, questions, answers, widget based customisation, activity streams, @mentions. Hell, there's at least four ways to track a group (Follow, Join, Track in Communications, Join) and the differences between all of these are so subtle!


      For the community managers on the group, I wonder if you face a similar training challenge with Jive - too many features seem to be a gift and a curse at the same time. How do you deal with it? We want to rethink our community education strategy, so any pointers will help.


      For Jive, is there something up your sleeve to simplify the user experience for the platform? Right now the platform is so feature rich that the mobile app feels like a step-child of the main web interface and I can't imagine a time when we'll have a full experience on mobile. That by itself is a big problem in my view. Cisco's taken an interesting approach with Webex Social. They've taken the guesswork out of content creation - every thing is a 'post'. That's it - no deciding whether it's a blog/discussion/document. Thoughts?



        • Re: Training Challenge?

          This is a great question and you make some great points. While I can't speak to the UX piece of your question, I would say from a training point of view, I will only emphasize one or two ways to do something, not the 5 or 6 that may exist. In other words, I try to teach based on the best practice I want them to follow, and let them discover the various other ways they can do the same thing on their own.


          I've mostly come across folks who love Jive and think it is easy and intuitive to use-- but then again, I am mostly working with Advocates at this point. I know we have others who do find the feature-rich platform to be a bit overwhelming-- so I think it is fair to say that our population runs all along the learning spectrum.

          I like what you pointed out about WebEx Social and the simplification by calling everything a post. Definitely a nice concept.


          The thing I don't know how to figure out, though, is-- what % of my population is like the Advocates, and what % is not? While I am no expert in UX design, I wonder-- if 50% of my population finds it challenging to use, is that a big enough percentage to move forward with significant UX re-design? And if re-design does occur, how do we know it does not cause the other 50% to suddently find the interface less useful/intuitive? Tricky stuff, I'd think.

          • Re: Training Challenge?

            I agree with Melissa. We're still on 4.5 and I believe Jive is one of the most easy and intuitive tools to use from a functional point of view about 80% of the time. I mean if your users can't figure out what menus like "Join, "New,"  "Create" and "Your Stuff" mean on their own ...


            My opinion is that your UX users are really saying "I'm not sure how or when to use all the features to their fullest potential."  This is the case with my users, so we have focused our education strategy on maximizing usage, not step by step instructions:


            1. We provide almost zero job aids about performing the basic Jive processes in the traditional sense. No "5 steps to publish a blog" or "How to upload your photo” information.  Email/Following are two exceptions.
            2. We strongly encourage users to experiment with Jive to learn the basics or browse to see how existing groups are using it.
            3. We force learning by directing all user support to a Jive group with a library of self-help documents and an active discussion forum.
            4. The self-help documents focus on the best uses of features, not step-by-step instructions. For example: “When to use a Discussion vs. Blog” or “The importance of your profile.”
            5. All the workshops we provide focus on how to best use the features through demonstrations (which indirectly shows a user the step-by-step actions)


            This has not been the most popular strategy, especially for a company that assumes every application requires 8 hours of classroom training to use. But it’s effective use of my team’s limited resources and it’s much more sustainable in the long-term. It’s also proving to work. We went from 140 pilot groups to 750 active groups in just 11 weeks. I spend 80% of my helping people create successful communities instead of designing manuals and fielding Jive 101 questions.

            1 person found this helpful
              • Re: Training Challenge?

                This seems like a very good way to approach things.

                • Re: Training Challenge?

                  We have a really similar approach.  When discussing a feature in self-help docs like how to stay on top of the community we do offer how do to it all the different ways, but then usually make a recommendation for if your objective or your usage pattern is this -> then I'd choose this way.  

                  • Re: Training Challenge?

                    Thanks Jesse - you make some great points. I think I need to clarify my point and provide some context.


                    The context here is of a highly successful Jive installation. We've upped the contribution on most of our major communities anywhere between 100-300%. Most of our users participate in the community using either email, web or mobile. For a company that just crossed 2000+ we have close to 600 social groups, a very strong internal blogging and story-telling culture and leadership that's quite supportive. So the question here isn't from a situation of gloom and doom.


                    Our users are extremely high-intellect IT professionals, many of them sophisticated users of IT, many of them authors of books; highly mobile, lots of young people all across the globe.


                    I think the problem here is the fundamental way that enterprise collaboration is different from consumer social media. Facebook doesn't care if my mum didn't get on it. On the other hand if my company employed my mum, they definitely want her participating and engaged on the collaboration platform that we invest a fair chunk of change on. So while 90-9-1 is an accepted reality on the big-broad-interweb, it'll usually be termed a dismal failure in the enterprise. I think that's where the tension lies.


                    So yes, when you compare Jive to the history of bloated enterprise software such as the old MOSS and Lotus Notes, it's a very 'easy' platform. When you compare it to consumer social software, it's complicated and we either face it or live in an unreal bubble. You could go PEBKAC when users ask questions like "What's the difference between a Space and Group?" or "Why use a blog over a discussion or a document?" or "Should I follow, join, track in communications, or receive email notifications?". Or you recognise that the system isn't as intuitive as it's designers may think it to be. I think of myself as a power user of Jive and a lot of things seem just natural to me. I recognise however, that not everyone spends as much time inside the platform as I do and in that as community managers there's perhaps an element of education, community organisation and design that we need to consider. This is while Jive itself considers simplifying the design of the platform. I think the problem here is that there are too many ways to do one thing.


                    Also, there's a challenge of culture. At my company top down directives don't usually go down too well. While in several organisations, no one would complain about poor usability and would just ask questions about "How to...", in my company conversations about platform features and design can tend to become a meme. For example the meme of being 'jived to death' - refers to how Jive will eat up a bottom posted (or trim posted) response in email. Nothing makes this obvious to the user and whether we like it or not, it causes much angst. Now there are 'hidden' features that help you get over this, but well - they are hidden. Just like 'tag your content to make it show up in search', and 'use @mentions to loop people into discussions'. There's so many nuanced ways of getting the most out of the platform that it's tough to just do a 5 minute overview of Jive. I'd love to see if someone could come up with a commoncraft style video of "Jive in Plain English" so people knew the basics of the platform in a short period of time. It's darn tough!


                    I hope that provides some clarity to the question. And yes your answer is helpful - I guess answers vary from whether users are in the 'coping' or 'evaluating' stage. :-)

                  • Re: Training Challenge?

                    I love that you posted this question. Coming from someone who has trained hundreds of Jive customers over the past 4 years, and has watched in person how people react to each new version's features going back to Jive 1.3, I can say that you're going to like what you see in the new Jive Cloud.


                    We've included a "Discover Jive" getting started guide that pops up on the screen the first time you use Jive, and gives you a series of short videos from actual customers, show-casing how they use Jive to reduce meetings, work better with teams, get connected, etc.




                    After watching the 30-second video clip, you're encouraged to "Try it yourself" with a link to tasks like "Post a question".


                    Typical tasks like creating documents, sharing your thoughts in a blog post, or getting help by posting a question now have intelligent tips built into the interface that explain exactly how to use each feature.



                    You can sign up for a free 30-day trial of the latest version of Jive to see these features in action: Try Jive - Free 30-Day Trial


                    I think these kinds of built-in learning aids will go a long way towards providing the context and connecting the dots for new and seasoned users, so they can quickly become proficient without having to sit through a full-on training course.


                    That being said, I'm still a big fan of instructor-led training, because everyone learns differently. The approaches I highlighted above will work for a certain percentage of your site members, but not for others. Some people just need a 2-minute "how to" video that they can watch from their mobile device, and they're good to go. Many people need the chance to talk it through with someone, or to try it themselves under the supervision/guidance of an instructor.


                    And we need to start thinking of learning as an ongoing experience, not a single event in time that happens when an employee first starts using the community. People learn best over time and with repetition. Small chunks instead of long, boring marathon training sessions... and the more you can focus on how this will help them improve something tangible about their day-to-day work tasks, the better they'll retain what you teach them.


                    Some resources that can help:

                      • Re: Training Challenge?

                        We've included a "Discover Jive" getting started guide that pops up on the screen the first time you use Jive, and gives you a series of short videos from actual customers, show-casing how they use Jive to reduce meetings, work better with teams, get connected, etc.


                        Hey Rick, I really liked this when i saw it in the Jive preview which I'm already on. Question for you - are we able to tweak those in-built tutorials and guides?