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mei 20, 2014

I like this discussion!

'Liking' is a concept that is wildly used in social media. In a social business context a 'like' can mean lots of things: appreciation, support, saying 'yes' to something, or simply liking something. For business there is definatley value in using 'likes'. 
Through my likes count I can see if a certain blog post or file is popular, so it might encourage me to share more stuff like that.

Since the introduction of IBM Connections 4.5 you can also like a forum discussion, or a response to a topic or question.

You might think, "so what? That's just a tiny feature!" True, it doesn't seem to be a big thing.

What does this tiny feature mean for applicability to business?
Forum discussions can appear messy: long trees of responses, and the direction of the discussion can go sideways as it evolves. Very often without proper management it is actually going nowhere - or eveyrwhere. When forums are used as a business process for brainstorming, it is important to follow that process, evaluate and THEN: do something with it. The forum shouldn't be the end point, but should be the START of a new project or activities. But how do you keep an overview of what is being said, what wis most opular - or voted for - and which topics should be taken for next action?

A like for a topic gives direction to where the discussion is going. Just as in real life ~ when a discussion is taking place face-to-face ~ you can tell what contributions are accepted or endorsed by the group of people participating in the discussion.
Without 'likes' it may be unclear where the discussion is going, and it may be hard to 'end' the discussion. With likes it becomes clear what topics are generally supported by the people in the group. 

The same is true for topic responses. Likes on responses can stop unwanted directions (no likes), and stimulate the desired direction. A like can even be used as an RSVP: when posting a question like 'Who's interested in ...'.

So liking topics and responses can actually make a discussion more suited for a business process, where we can take some topics and move them on to next actions.

mei 17, 2014

Coachmarks: snelle tips voor nieuwe functies IBM Connections app

Sinds 16 mei 2014 is de IBM Connections mobiele app versie 4.7.0. uitgekomen.

Nieuw in versie 4.7.0 van de IBM Connections mobile app is Coachmarks.
Coachmarks, is een nieuwe functie, die voorziet in een context handleiding van nieuwe functies als je voor het eerst inlogt op een account. Coachmarks is een instructionale overlay voor apps. Door coachmarks in te zeten kun je gebruikers wat tips geven over bijvoorbeeld nieuwe functionaliteit, door instructies op het scherm te geven in de daadwerkelijke app. Coachmarks zijn handig. Ze geven de gebruiker net een zetje in de juiste richting. Zie het als een kleine visuele aansporing om nieuwe dingen te ontdekken.

Korte handige tips
Het is algemeen bekend dat gebruikers uitgebreide handleidingen niet lezen. Ze willen gewoon snel aan de slag, zonder eerst de UI te moeten aanleren. Dit is de paradox van de actieve gebruiker: die wil in zo'n kort mogelijk tijdsbestek en met zo min mogelijk inspanning, effectief geavanceerde functionaliteit leren gebruiken. De paradox zit hem in het feit dat juist het leren van en het correct gebruiken van deze geavanceerde functionaliteit de gebruiker nu juist tijd zal besparen!
De kunst van goede coachmarks is dat je niet teveel instructie geeft. Omdat je niet de overlay kunt lezen en tegelijkertijd de app gebruiken, zul je de hint of tip moeten onthouden, om dezelater toe te passen. Het korte-termijn geheugen kan niet heel veel onthouden, en de informatie zal na 20 seconden vervagen. Wanneer je de tips ook alleen geeft daar waar de gebruiker zich op een bepaald moment (voor de eerste keer) bevindt (in de context van het werk), en deze kort houdt, dan zal de coachmark het meest effectief zijn.
Coachmarks zijn dus geen uitgebreide handleiding, waarin je alles gaat uitleggen, maar korte tips die binnen een bepaalde context gegeven worden. Ze zijn daarom uitermate geschikt voor het tonen van 'What's new' informatie van apps.

Impressie van Coachmarks voor Connections Mobile app versie 4.7.0:

New IBM Connections app provides glimpse into Connections Next

On may 16 2014 IBM has released a new IBM Connections mobile app for iOS, Android and BlackBerry.

This new version 4.7.0. provides a glimpse into what is coming in Connections Next which will be released for Smartcloud may 21 2014!

iOS: Requires iOS 6.0 or higher. Compatibel with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This app is optimised for iPhone 5.
Android: Requires Android 2.3.3 and higher.

Version 4.7.0 for iPhone and iPad
  • New iOS 7 Look and Feel
  • Coachmarks, are a new feature, which will provide in context tutorial of new features when you first login to an account.
  • New navigation model to provide easy and customizable access to your content:
    • The new History view allows you to easily see where you have been in the app.
    • Quickly access content that you use the most by adding it as a favorite
    • Reorder your Connections apps in the navigation to best meet your needs
  • Search and filter activity stream items
  • New Blogs look and layout!
    • Easily access and navigate your blogs in the new Blogboard
    • Want to read a blog entry but don't have time now? Mark it to read later.
    • Use the time line to easily scan through the entries in a blog
  • When you access a Community, see what's been happening. The updates view is now the default view shown.
  • Access events in a Community and set an alarm on the device for an event.
  • Copy a link to content so you can share it with others.

Here are some inpressions of the new Connections app for iPad:

Here are some inpressions of the new app for iPhone: 


NB! Note to our customers running iOS6: In a future update we will be requiring iOS 6.1 as the minimum iOS level to install new updates.

Version 4.7.0 for Android
  • New Look & Feel
  • New navigation for easy and customizable access to your content:
    • New History view to easily see where you have been
    • Access content you use most by adding it as a favorite
    • Reorder your apps in the navigation
    • Copy a link to content to share with others
  • Search & filter activity stream items
  • New Blogs look!
    • Access your blogs in the new Blogboard
    • Mark blog entries to save and read later
  • Multi-window support
  • Note: In a future update we will only support Android 4.0+

Here are some impressions of the new Connections app on Android phones: