Engage Usergroup 2019 presentation slides

As every year, Theo Heselmans outdid himself again with organizing a great Engage event. 400+ attendees gathered in Autoworld Brussels for three full days of sessions and workshops.

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On cats and usability….

Yesterday someone posted this picture in a chat:

I laughed and then I posted this reply:

That’s the whole problem with usability in a nutshell. What developers THINK is intuitive is not the same as what users perceive as intuitive. It’s not the developer that decides what is intuitive, it’s the user.

What followed was a good humored banter between me (playing users advocate) and a bunch of hardcore developers. With replies like:

“does that mean that we have to cater to the 10% of users that still doubleclick on everything? and confuse the internet with the internet explorer? :D”

“I think we’ll have to do a cat satisfaction survey”

and

“the satisfactions is measured in ppm (purrs per minute) ;)”

So all in good fun but usability really is a hot topic for me. Only last week I was pointed at a feature in Cisco Jabber by someone which was “obvious, right?!?”. When I asked what the action meant though, I was baffled to learn it had a totally different meaning and function from what, not just I, expected but also all others in the room.  It wasn’t obvious at all to us.

I started out doing usability in 2009 and it is a topic very close to my heart. Back then it was a particular example that immediately triggered me and which I described in a blog already back in 2010 (I will link it below). Curious to see if it’s just me being over-sensitive of these things or if others would pick up on that example too, I recreated a mockup of it and asked a couple of people  to take a look and tell me what was wrong with it….

Can you spot it? (DON’T SCROLL DOWN BEYOND THE NEXT PICTURE YET, I’LL PUT THE ANSWER BELOW!)

Surprisingly, out of three people I asked only one saw it, but after about two minutes of me prodding, one really had no clue and one overlooked it. Explaining to me later: “you see it and you expect it there so you don’t really register it’s wrong…

No clue yet? Here is how I would expect it to be….

Most of the elements are just decoys as I didn’t want to make it too obvious right away. One person pointed out correctly that No/Yes is usually ordered the other way round (Yes/No) and I agree (I put it in as a kind of trick test) but that order also depends on the question being asked so is not necessarily wrong in this context (although there is a lot to say about correct formulating of questions & answers too!). The main thing here though for me, are the Previous/Next buttons in the bottom.

As Previous/Next imply a directional relation as in <- Back / Forward ->, our brains associate  a spatial order/location with the actions. Most of us don’t even read what’s on the buttons anymore and simply press the button that makes sense for us in terms of where we would expect the Previous/Next action to be.

So…. did you see it? I’m curious to hear!

The 2010 blogpost I did on this topic:….Usability

Slide deck for: “Taking a Social Analytics Look into Your Collaboration Landscape to Drive Adoption”

Slide deck for my session on Social Analytics at Think2019 in San Francisco on February 14th 2019.

IBM Connections Activities – Implicit versus Explicit expectations

In IBM Connections one of the most used options is Activities. A great way to manage and organize information and to do’s around a common task. Especially when using in combination with the Kudos Boards Add-in from ISW which makes it one of the strongest and most used features of IBM Connections (yep a shameless plug, but seriously, it IS the best Add-in for IBM Connections and if your organization isn’t using it you should definitely take a look at it) .

However, Activities also has it’s challenges…

Working for a customer on creating some documentation I found the following.

In Community Activities you have the option to limit what community members can do and you can even assign specific rights to specific community members. Great! But…

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Stop making me feel connected!

Another login… yes seriously I now have well over 200 different logins for sites, for companies, for whatever…
It is hip to be connected and hip to give your customers that feeling of being appreciated by giving them a personalized and password protected 24/7 connection to your company. No need anymore to send letters, lets just get ourselves a portal and have our users look up their own information there, they will love it! and why we’re at it: why not add a form for users to submit their own tickets. Heck we can even eliminate that expensive helpdesk that way!

Yes, you get it, I am getting fed up by that whole ‘(exceptional) web experience’ thing. Okay, in a lot of situations having the options to get information directly and without having to call or wait for office hours is good but… I think we’re going overboard.

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Making IBM Connections actionable

One of my biggest frustrations with being an adoption consultant for IBM Connections is that apart from it being very hard to get good insights into what’s happening in the platform, it is even harder to set up corrective measures or actions based on that information.

Cleaning up inactive communities for instance. Every environment has them and every user gets annoyed by it when they keep finding communities that have no relevance anymore. At the same time, IBM Connections itself puts no pressure on community owners to clean up so they forget or simply ignore and the situation continues. After only a few years, most organizations will have dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of such inactive communities. Continue reading Making IBM Connections actionable

IBM Connections, how would you want to see it improved?

As most of you know I’m very passionate about IBM Connections as an Enterprise Social Network. I love how it puts people central and allows organisations to foster and expand their users collaboration. However, it also has certain things that can or should be improved. In the past there was an IDEAJAM site where ordinary users, customers and business partners could suggest or vote on ideas for changes, additions and improvements but unfortunately that was discontinued. Leaving very few avenues for ordinary IBM Connections users to leave their ideas.

This has now changed. With the site https://connections.ideas.aha.io everyone now has the option once more to suggest ideas for improving IBM Connections or to vote for ideas suggested by others. So what are you waiting for?!? This is your chance to help IBM understand what is needed to keep making this product great. Let’s all take that chance and make ourselves be heard 🙂

ConnectionsExpert 2.0 released!

It’s summer and that means that news is sometimes announced during a period while people are about to go – or just coming back from holiday. This happened to me when ConnectionsExpert 2.0 was released just before I went on holiday. Which meant that I wasn’t able to share my excitement over its inception as much as I would have liked to and that’s also why you are now reading this blog post with a few weeks delay. Don’t worry though, my excitement over this release is still the same!

So what’s ConnectionsExpert?

For those that don’t know, ConnectionsExpert is a tool from panagenda that allows you to gain deep dive information about the health status, usage and adoption rates of your IBM Connections environment by collecting and displaying key metrics and monitoring information about the platform and its usage. As a team we’ve been working hard to further expand the features of ConnectionsExpert and that has resulted in this new release! Continue reading ConnectionsExpert 2.0 released!

How not… data visualizations

I admit freely that I’m still learning every day when it comes to how best to visualize data and that means that I look at other visualization much more in detail than I would have done in the past. There are many best practices around how to visualize data and when a data visualization doesn’t keep to them I can’t help but go into analyzer mode (yes, even my own and I’m in no way perfect!).

One of those that caught my attention this week was the following.

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SocialNow a new approach to presenting…

Social Now letteringTwo weeks ago I was at SocialNow conference in Lisbon and was honored to have a short session on ‘social analytics’. The conference has quite a unique setup in that it is completely based around a fictitious company called Cablinc which is thinking of implementing an Enterprise Social Network. All speakers address the conference as if they are presenting to the company trying to either instill knowledge as a ‘consultant’ or get them to buy their product as ‘vendor’. Several speakers and vendors are invited around various topics and they are provided with information about the Cablink company as well as specific use cases they could use in their presentation.

As this is quite a different approach to what I would normally do I decided to really go ‘analytics’ on this challenge of talking social analytics as one of the ‘Consultants’ and build Cablinc a dashboard around the theme “What does Cablincs current usage of mail & file storage facilities say about the need for implementation of an ESN?“…

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