24 Replies Latest reply on Aug 8, 2017 3:04 PM by madema

    Have you transitioned your community to tiles from widgets? Why or why not?

    heatherausmus

      Since tiles have been introduced, there has been a push for us to use them over widgets, but the introduction of tiles has been slow and widgets still offer more functionality and I think, a better experience.

       

      Our community is currently a mix of widgets and tiles, mostly widgets. We designed it in a way to support this and had plans to move to all tiles, but I'm now questioning it and wanted to discuss with other external CMs whether you've made the transition and why or why not. We have some design work coming up that it may be a good opportunity to move to this, so I need to make a decision soon. So...

       

      Have you transitioned your community from widgets to tiles? Why have you or why haven't you?

       

      If you have moved to tiles, was the effort worth it and what was the return (more engagement - active users, questions, helpful answers, etc., better sentiment on community experience, etc.)?

       

      If not, are your users okay with the different experiences for mobile and desktop? Is the activity page enough for users on mobile?

       

      Thanks in advance!

        • Re: Have you transitioned your community to tiles from widgets? Why or why not?
          aluciani

          I'm new to Jive, but have seen titles in other communities and really like the look and feel. I'm considering that option for our community. Need to read up on it some more. What community do you manage Heather Ausmus - I would love to browse it for ideas

           

          Thanks

          • Re: Have you transitioned your community to tiles from widgets? Why or why not?
            mcollinge

            We've stuck with widgets on our Jive 8 (soon to be Jive 9) on-prem externally facing site (element14.com). We've used some custom CSS to make widgets visible on mobile (Activity page view on mobile is only the Activity widget? ), which meant we didn't need to transition the site to tiles.

             

            The overall performance of custom tiles was pretty poor, and there are limits (configured via sys prop) on how many custom tiles you can have on a page. We generally have 5+ custom HTML widgets on an overview page. These use a custom widget that we developed that can handle mobile + desktop, has localisation options, and a whole bunch of other features that make it as customisable as possible.

            • Re: Have you transitioned your community to tiles from widgets? Why or why not?
              shailendrap

              Hi Heather,

               

              The transition from widgets to tiles is pretty much beneficial in many aspects:

              1. Integrating tiles inside your activity/custom pages gives us more options to customize the page. (Responsive issues, building custom layout of pages by changing soy files of jive)

              2. With tiles integrated, there's never an issue of cross domain inside tiles while calling 3rd party API's. Jive handles all this  stuff internally.

              3. We can build configurable tiles. This option was limited/not available while building widgets. Everything can be handled easily at UI Level. Earlier while constructing custom Widgets, we need to use the handle Java files of Jive to customize everything.

               

              Feel free to reach me, if you have any query. I would be happy to help you.

               

              Thanks,

              Shailendra Pratap

              shailendrap@grazitti.com

              • Re: Have you transitioned your community to tiles from widgets? Why or why not?
                gbrettmiller

                We are still using widgets (on-prem 8), primarily because the selection of tiles in 8 doesn't support all we need. Once we make the move to 9 I expect we will have a strong push to tiles.

                • Re: Have you transitioned your community to tiles from widgets? Why or why not?
                  Jill Ross

                  Hi Heather Ausmus,

                   

                  We've made the move, and I'm a big fan of tiles. See my responses to your questions below!

                   

                  Have you transitioned your community from widgets to tiles? Why have you or why haven't you?

                  • All of our public-facing spaces and groups have (mostly) transitioned to tiles. We feel it's a better UX and gives CM's some great new functionality. As the ECM, I find that the tiles framework is easier to manage overall. We didn't have any sophisticated custom widgets, so we were not concerned about tile performance. If you use Jive mostly out-of-box like we do, it's a pretty easy move. My favorite aspects of tiles are the following (in no particular order):
                    • No drag-and-drop interface to add widgets to pages. I personally found that process annoying and it was buggy for me.
                    • Activity + Pages. With the Overview page on the widgets framework, you only get that one page to customize. With the 5 Pages in addition to the Activity page on Activity + Pages, you don't have to worry about real estate as much. It's helpful when someone wants to feature marketing content, but you don't want to take away from the main Q&A use case of the space/group.
                    • Categories tile. It is SO much better on tiles vs. widgets. You can rearrange the order, and pick and choose which Categories display in each tile. The Categories widget is all-or-nothing and the Categories only display in alphabetical order. I've found that this one change from widgets to tiles, in combination with Activity + Pages, has eliminated the need for sub-spaces in many new community setups.
                    • Super List tiles. They are simply awesome for customizing feeds of content.
                    • Key Content and Places tile. You can add/delete items rearrange the list much easier. Bye, Featured Content widget.
                    • Helpful Links tile. You used to have to do this manually with a Formatted Text widget. I also like that you can customize the icon for each item.
                    • Key Dates tile. Love this for displaying upcoming webinars, tradeshows, and user group meetings.
                    • Responsive design. Overview pages (widgets) do not render on mobile devices whatsoever - it's a simple recent content feed, and that's it. We have a good amount of mobile traffic, so matters to us. Also, when you're using the Banner or Carousel tile, this makes for a much better UX than some of the custom HTML widgets I've seen that are not responsive and scroll horizontally when you get to a smaller screen laptop.

                   

                  • Having said that, there are some drawbacks:
                    • No tile equivalent to the "View Blogs" widget that shows the title, thumbnail image, and first few lines of text. When I want to feature blogs in a tile, I now have to use either a carousel or banner tile to give recent blogs more visual appeal.
                    • No tile equivalent to "Recent Activity" widget. You get a nice visual for the Activity page, but it would be nice, for instance, if you could have a similar looking feed in a 3-column layout. Your only option with Activty + Pages is an all content Super List tile, which leaves much to be desired from a design perspective.
                    • No RSS tile - there are some custom options out there, but I would like to see this out-of-box for tiles.
                    • No Formatted Text tile - You have to use the HTML tile (no WYSIWYG editor) or "View Document" tile to achieve the same result. Both are more time-consuming.

                   

                  If you have moved to tiles, was the effort worth it and what was the return (more engagement - active users, questions, helpful answers, etc., better sentiment on community experience, etc.)?

                  • I don't have much data to prove the impact this has had on our KPI's. Overall, the CM's seem to like it. I don't think the end users noticed much difference, because we made the transition very gradually and tried to replicate as much as we could when moving from widgets to tiles.

                   

                  If not, are your users okay with the different experiences for mobile and desktop? Is the activity page enough for users on mobile?

                   

                  Thanks in advance!

                  8 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Have you transitioned your community to tiles from widgets? Why or why not?
                    benfowler

                    Hi Heather Ausmus> Great question - glad you asked it. It's a big topic that hasn't seen a ton of conversation yet. I appreciate all the other responses here as well. It reminds me of the big reasons we switched, and a drawback or two.

                     

                    We switched to tiles mainly to optimize for mobile usage. We had a number of custom HTML widgets that wouldn't cooperate in mobile at all, so the move to tiles gave us a better UX in that customers could access all the necessary functions we needed to make available, including access to support cases, software downloads, and more (these functions were all tied into external applications through our SSO system). Overall mobile friendliness was a key reason.


                    Another reason we switched was that it gave us the ability to programmatically create pre-configured (templatized) spaces.

                     

                    Another reason was the ability to create more pages in a space.

                     

                    Another reason was that we had stability and security issues anytime Jive updated the platform. We are on a Cloud instance, and after software updates, we would often have to reconfigure our custom HTML widgets to get them working again.

                     

                    Finally, another reason was that there are some tiles that don't exist in the widget realm, so we were happy to gain those (for example the upcoming events tile).

                     

                    Since we've switched, we've also found that tiles are a lot easier to manage, so we save time on the administrative side.

                     

                    On the downside, only having 5 custom tiles per page was a small hurdle we had to get over. Additionally, the home page doesn't support tiles (!?), so we're still lagging there. We have to switch to News or Activity feed format in order to use tiles on the home landing page.

                     

                    The transition to tiles was fairly seamless but did require quite a bit of pre-planning, staging, and overall project management. I don't see that it really improves engagement per se, but does give us the ability to more easily manage pages, and gives users better access to key functions when coming in from mobile. We haven't fully promoted mobile compatibility just yet as we still have some testing to do, but I imagine it will give us an improved experience for customers who have been frustrated coming in via mobile. More to come on that...

                    2 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Have you transitioned your community to tiles from widgets? Why or why not?
                      umillm6

                      Hi, Heather. We are primarily an internal community, but I thought I'd chime in.

                       

                      Have you transitioned your community from widgets to tiles? Why have you or why haven't you?

                      We are in the process of transitioning everyone to tiles. Tiles are responsive and accessible, which is very important to us and to our users. We've also started to notice some intermittent bugs with widgets and we know Jive is no longer iterating them, so we want to move to the technology that will be improved upon moving forward.

                       

                      If you have moved to tiles, was the effort worth it and what was the return (more engagement - active users, questions, helpful answers, etc., better sentiment on community experience, etc.)?

                      It was worth the effort. The out-of-the-box tiles really are easy to use and there are lots of creative ways to use different tiles to get what you need. For example, when teams have more than ten people, we've been telling them to stack Featured People tiles, but  Maggie Judge taught us to use the Banner tile, which has more image options, as another solution.

                       

                      People really like having the option for up to five pages, too. Some Overview Pages had you scrolling for days and there was so much information, you didn't know where to look first. Being able to signpost and group particular content on pages has been wonderful.

                       

                      Jill Ross's list above is great and I agree with nearly all of her points. Where our philosophy differs is with the Formatted Text option. We prefer to use the View Document tile since the content is always there. Using a document allows people to search for the content, like it, bookmark it, and comment on it. And, if someone accidentally removes a tile or deletes an entire page, they don't have to recreate all of the content as they would if an Overview Page is re-set and they lose the data in the HTML Widget or Formatted Text Widget.

                       

                      If not, are your users okay with the different experiences for mobile and desktop? Is the activity page enough for users on mobile?

                      Users prefer the Activity + Pages on mobile because it is so easy to access and interact with content. Images and videos on Overview Pages are very buggy on Jive Daily and mobile browsers; we've had much more success using tiles here.

                      3 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Have you transitioned your community to tiles from widgets? Why or why not?
                        jamie.battin

                        This is great stuff.  We are starting our upgrade from v7 hosted to v9 hosted.  Great things for us to consider.

                        • Re: Have you transitioned your community to tiles from widgets? Why or why not?
                          MickT

                          Hi Heather,

                          Until this idea is addressed, I don't see how we could move to tiles: Advanced Gamification (Bunchball) Tiles. Also, not allowing a tile-based home page and requiring the use of News as the homepage is a bit of a stumbling block, as benfowler pointed out.

                           

                          Otherwise, it is just a matter of finding/creating the time.

                           

                          Cheers,

                          Michael

                          1 person found this helpful
                          • Re: Have you transitioned your community to tiles from widgets? Why or why not?
                            grantc

                            Every so often I think I must relook at using Tiles but everytime I do I find I can't recreate what we have already. It would be great to be able to create pages but until there are more Tiles I don't see the benefit as yet. There also seems to be limited development of Tiles from Jive too after a big push a few years back.

                             

                            Most people who are happy with Tiles seem to have access to good developer resource to make them work well, so that will be an issue for some.

                            2 people found this helpful
                            • Re: Have you transitioned your community to tiles from widgets? Why or why not?
                              madema

                              I hear our company will be transitioning to tiles from widgets..  where can I see how this is going to look so I can start planning?