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Transparency and Collaboration

Collaborate and Listen…

A few weeks ago we started this series on UX design for messaging by laying out three key design principles:

  1. Understand the use case
  2. Optimize signals vs. noise
  3. Leverage collaboration and transparency

Messaging platforms come in many different flavors. By all measures, text messages and email can be considered messaging platforms, but these earlier and simpler forms of messaging lack the team-based and collaborative features that platforms like Slack bring to the table.

As discussed in our previous blog post, messaging is a highly constrained medium with a lot of UI limitations, but what it lacks in UI features it more than makes up for in terms of user feedback and collaboration opportunities.

This week we discuss four ways to leverage collaborative and feedback mechanisms to create transparency for your users, your clients, and your team members.

  1. User Input for filters
  2. Feedback for features
  3. Collaboration for problem-solving
  4. Sharing for transparency

Use Filters

Filters aren’t a new concept for applications, but they are critical to implement when building in a messaging-centric app.

The volume and frequency of messages generated by your app should, not only be configurable by your user, but your app should proactively prompt users to add filters. At Eletype, we prompt users to choose which monitors they want on/off and also offer a mute option for all notifications.

On/off is part of our configuration feature and it allows a user to control which monitors are important to their specific connections and campaigns. We prompt all users to add/modify a configuration immediately after install.

We also created a mute option embedded in all alerts and notifications. Mute is different than on/off because we allow a user to mute temporarily for 1 day, 1 week, 1 month or indefinitely (same as off).

Feedback for Features

Unlike other mediums, messaging puts your app a lot closer to the user than other mediums. By default, your messaging app is already in a conversation with the user, so let’s make it easy to turn that conversation into a feedback loop.

In other mediums, it can be difficult to provide feedback. Other mediums often require you to create an account, or visit a support page, or send an email, or log a ticket. Messaging, on the other hand, puts your app right in front of the user and we recommend offering an on-ramp to feedback that is, not only simple but encouraged.

At Eletype, we prompt the user regularly to use our “/eletype feedback” command to start a real-time conversation with us. This is a critical part of requirements gathering, prioritization, and support. One messaging app that does an amazing job at this is Userfeed.io. Userfeed makes user feedback central to the messaging experience within Intercom.

Collaboration

Team-based messaging platforms, like Slack, are growing because they are collaborative by default. Earlier attempts at messaging and chat, were one-on-one by default. AIM, ICQ, text messaging, Google Chat/Hangouts, Yammer, etc weren’t centered around channels, they were centered around individuals. Slack, of course, offers direct messaging, but that is not the core of the experience.

When building in Slack, we should assume that the experience is collaborative by default. This can make building your app or bot much more difficult than assuming you are only talking to an individual.

External Sharing

Sharing with your team seems obvious. Slack is very similar to a social network and users are accustomed to sharing, tagging, replying, and discussions within their network. But what about people that aren’t in your network?

A lesser known aspect of Slack is the ability to create shared channels with people from outside your network. Guest accounts and shared channels can open up your organization to a conversation with your clients, users, community, and partners.

We encourage our users to install Eletype to shared channels. Especially marketing agencies that have taken a big step towards transparency by creating client-centric workspaces and channels where their client counterparts can collaborate in real-time about campaigns, content, mistakes, results, and planning.

Next week we are going to wrap up our series on messaging application design with tips summarizing the last month of blogs.

  • Michael Sengbusch, CEO & Co-founder

Slack Meetup

This week we hosted the inaugural Atlanta Slack Platform Community meetup at ATDC. The event was led by our very own Brian Mullaney and featured developers from Cypress.io, CNN and Siemens. The hot topic this week was Slack security and Enterprise Grid. For the latest updates follow this community on Twitter at @AtlantaSlack.

Slack – Your work is our work.

In case you missed it, Slack had its direct listing on the NYSE this week. At Eletype, we’ve been bullish on Slack as, not only a viable but as the optimal platform for building new products. We are proud to be a part of this community and happy to see that shares were up 50% on the first day of trading.

Partner News

Slack’s conference for App developers takes place in San Francisco, October 22-23. Spec is a great way to not only meet other developers building on Slack, but also to hear directly from Slack engineers about how they build Slack.

Mary Meeker has proven her record of sighting nascent technologies that will impact our world and how we do business in it. She’s released her insights for 2019, so head over to TechCrunch and take a look at another of her famous slide decks.

“Measuring marketing performance is critical, but challenging, and today’s businesses are looking for reporting that will help them optimize their marketing efforts and maximize their marketing budgets,” said Kevin Mann, co-founder and chief product officer at CallRail.

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Michael Sengbusch

Michael Sengbusch

CEO of Eletype - Entrepreneur, Founder, Engineer

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