4th Office Update 4.2
This update was designed with two main thrusts in mind – to make interactions with a non-coworkers or contractors, now called a Guests, to be much more intuitive and natural; and to vastly improve our search functionality.
Member versus Guest:
Previously 4th Office refered to users as being either Internal or External Users. This proved to be confusing to new users as they didn't understand which category to use when inviting someone new. Our naming convention is now instantly recognizable and identifiable – as either a Member or a Guest. The easiest way to differentiate between the two is:
- Member = coworker
- Guest = contractor/collaborator
Do they work for your company? Then they are a Member. If not, they are a Guest.
Now that we have our terms clearly defined we needed to make sure that when we are dealing with a Guest that it is instantly recognizable to avoid sharing of sensitive internal information. When a Guest is involved in a thread or conversation there is an orange arrow on his/her avatar, plus the share line of the thread changes to orange. Orange was chosen to symbolize 'warning' Guest involved in conversation.
The orange means that at least one of the 9 people that this thread is shared with is a Guest. If the thread is shared only with Users then the corner will remain a gray color with a dark gray icon and number. Just like before, you can click on the icon to bring up a detailed list of all that the thread is shared with.
Adding a New Guest:
To add a new guest you can either add their email address in the 'To' line or click on 'Share' and type their email address in the share box. With the new release they will not be referred to by only an email any longer, you will now be prompted to fill out a few basic items. See the screenshot below.
All communication with a Guest now has a link embedded in the email notification by default. Clicking this link within email will take you to a stripped down version of 4th Office which is limited to just the one thread item that was shared with that Guest. Functionally this hasn't changed significantly but does have a look that is much more consistent with what you will experience as a User in 4th Office. The view above is called a Guest (unregistered) view this was previously referred to as a 'public link.'
Becoming a Guest (registered):
For a user to experience a nearly full-fledged use of 4th Office, they should just click on 'Sign up for 4th Office' (as depicted above). This will expand the scope of what they can see, and includes added functionality such as tasking and the editing of documents. This was previously refered to as an External User. Please follow the screenshots below to register as a Guest.
This Guest now has the ability to fully interact within the community. They are just limited to what they can view within your community. Make sure to only share Customers, Groups and Projects which you would like them privvy to viewing. This should be used for somone you interact with on a fairly regular basis like a contractor. While a Guest (unregistered) should be someone that you need to interact with on a one time basis.
So there you have the basics of how Guests are incorporated into 4th Office. There are three types:
- Guest (registered) – fully functioning 4th Office with limited view of Customers, Groups and Projects, they see what you allow them to see
- Guest (unregistered) – partial functionality of 4th Office, limited to one thread at a time
- Guest (email only) – users can still respond to email notifications directly and comments will go straight into the feed
With this release the main difference is that it is up to the Guest as to how they would like to interact with the platform. Don't forget that your business doesn't have to worry about paying anymore money when dealing with a Guest, as all three are free!
Updated Thread Look:
There are also some pretty noticeable cosmetic upgrades that you may have already noticed. While implementing some of the major changes along the way we have also given 4th Office a face-lift while attempting to make the platform both cleaner and more intuitive.
Starting a new discussion (thread) on 4th Office it simple. Click on the "Start new discussion" at the top of your Feed.
Our discussion tiles have changed around, so creating a new discussion has as well to reflect this new look. We now have an optional title for each thread item. Simply click on the little pencil to change the name. You can still feel free to add people to the conversation using the "@" symbol in the comment box, but there is now another field used to add email user, called "Shared with." Here you can simply type in an email address and then follow the steps to complete the process of adding either a Guest or a Member.
This is an example of a thread tile that has been filled out. We have manually added Phil by typing his email in the "Shared with" line, while Julie was added automatically by simply mentioning her in the comment.
Finally, the end result will be as depicted below. You can see how the share line turns to an orange color to reflect that this thread was shared with a Guest (Phil).
Prior to this release our search function was rigid and often required multiple searches to get what you wanted as the search was not dynamically updated. Well no more! Now the search results are instantly updated with each and every keystroke. You can get to content much more succinctly and quicker. With 4th Office we realize that you may have many files spread accross the platform, so we've put a lot of effort into finding these much easier.
To try the new search click on the search bar in the upper left-hand corner.
This will bring up the new search bar.
Now simply start typing and the results will be automatically updates. See .gif below.
Our advanced search is meant when you still have too many items in a particular category and you'd like to refine these down even further. In the advanced search you have the ability to implement filters.
Filters can be who started a thread, participants and/or by date. Plus in order to quickly filter you can stack multiple filters on top of one another. See the .gif above – we've filtered by 'Julie Shrubs' as a participant and by '30 day ago' as a modified date. Now we've filtered the result down to just two items. It is really easy to get what you want very quickly.
4th Office Robot
As 4th Office is such a robust platform many of our users have difficulty navigating the initial setup. As a result we have started to roll out some pointers with the help of our brand new mascot - the 4th Office Bot. Look for him to guide you through the learning process.