In Part 1, we explained how to use Barry’s Community Flower to determine the top three characteristics of your community.
In Part 2, we discussed the importance of identifying community members’ wants.
In Part 3, we added the characteristics to the member wants to define your community’s overall expression. Now, we’ll determine members’ activity flow through your site.
“What happens when I click that?”
Once you’ve got your first landing page designed – by the way, you should do this entire process for every important landing page throughout your community site (e.g., All Content, Your View, major spaces) – it’s time to figure out where the member is taken when they start clicking around.
It helps if you’ve used Jive SBS as an end user before you do this.
How much concierge service do members need?
First, determine the level of concierge service your community’s design needs to offer. If you’ve ever stayed at a hotel with concierge services, you’ll know what I’m talking about. These patient people help you get tickets to the theater. They walk you to the corner, and point down the street you should take. In some cases, I’ve had to ask them where the hell the elevators are. In short, they hold their guests’ hands whenever necessary.
Your design’s concierge service level should be based on members’ overall familiarity with online community and/or social networking concepts, not to mention basic technical savvy.
For example, if you’re migrating an existing community to Jive SBS, members are already familiar with online community concepts, and won’t need very much holding of their hands. But, if you’re unleashing all this social business software goodness on what one of my clients calls “the crusties” – more traditional people with vasts amounts of experience, but new to community concepts – you’ll want to ratchet up the level of concierge service.
If it helps, score your members for the following attributes. The lower the overall attribute score, the more hand-holding you need to design.
* Use Forrester’s Social Technology Profile Tool to take a wild stab at this attribute.
In my personal consulting experience, I’ve found that many have little patience for learning any new technology, especially if participation is voluntary, as so many online communities are.
If it’s not obvious in five seconds or less what they’re supposed to do and how it’s going to make their work/life easier, they leave.
How to map activity flow
1: Identify the call to action(s) that expresses your primary characteristic.
For example, for Relationships, a call to action might be “Introduce Yourself.”
2: Decide what happens when a member clicks the call to action.
For a savvy audience, “Introduce Yourself” might take the member to the current month’s discussion thread that asks people to introduce themselves. The member would read the thread, then click Reply to add his/her introductory comment.
For a newbie audience, “Introduce Yourself” might take the member to a space that functions as a lobby.
- Purpose: space name is “All about Profiles”
- Call to Action: “Complete your Profile” link that opens the member’s profile in edit mode
- Motivation: description of the benefits of business networking and how it relates to better individual performance
- Example: a member’s profile is featured; profile guidelines are explained; link that opens help content about how to complete a profile
3: Decide what the member’s next step is.
Continuing the newbie route, let’s say the member clicks the link to view help information about how to complete their profile. Make sure there is a link in that content that opens their profile in edit mode.
In short, ensure that the activity flow results in the member completing the call to action.
4: Decide how the member gets to the next call to action.
Now, how do you get the member to answer the second call, or at least give them the opportunity to do so? This is why I’m a fan of adding the top two to four calls to action in the theme. That way, no matter what nether regions of the community a member finds himself in, he can always click “Collaborate” in the theme, for example. This might take him to a lobby-type space (e.g., “About Groups”), where he can answer the Collaboration call, understand why he should do so, and see how it’s done.
You could also be a bit more obvious by creating a custom widget named, “I want to…” that’s full of verby phrases voiced from the member’s point of view. If you get a developer to create this as a plugin, the widget would be available everywhere a widget can be placed. If you don’t, just create it as a Jive document somewhere, then use the View Document widget to refer to it wherever you want.
Test it. Be that newbie. Imagine yourself in their shoes. Or, call my mom and ask if she can test it. If she can figure it out, chances are your members will, too.
Well, I hope this helps all y’all. And for those of you who have a Jive strategy session in your future, consider all of this homework.
Call to action
It would be ironic if I didn’t include one.