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Mobile First? Experience First. (Part 2: Still changing the way work gets done)

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Mobile First? Experience First. (Part 2: Still changing the way work gets done)

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The other week, I posted about some of disruptive the macro trends we're seeing in the world: the shift to connecting via mobile devices, and the increasing youthfulness (and associated changing expectations) of the workforce. We've been talking a lot here at Jive about what these changes mean for our mission of changing the way work gets done.

By and large, enterprise apps have been behind in serving (forget about delighting) the mobile worker. Security, regulations, network restrictions, fear, etc. have all made this transition harder at work than at home. But, happily for all of us as users, the landscape is changing. The battle for mobile heart- and mindshare at work is just getting started. Jive has its own more recent entrants into the race with Mobile 3, but this is just a start.

In thinking about where to go next, it's easy to jump on the Mobile First bandwagon. It's a clear, simple rallying cry that's easy to get behind. Google and everybody else has, right?

  “The answer should always be mobile first.”

  – Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google

For any audience that tends to think mobile last, Mobile First is a useful counterbalance to pull towards a better balance. But putting any one form factor above all others is ultimately the wrong answer. Mobile first has problems too. One smart UX and design guy, Kevin Powell, summed them up nicely:

(His excellent presentation with much more detail on these points is well worth checking out.)

‘Mobile first’ is the extreme reaction to the vast majority doing a lousy job with mobile so far. It’s fueled by just how hard it is to actually make mobile a first class citizen for established products. And it doesn’t reflect the realities of work today, which do still include (and in many jobs favor) desktops and browsers, especially when it comes to rich content creation. Ultimately the pendulum will swing back to a place of balance. At Jive, we're aiming to skip the detour and go straight to Experience First.

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 3.26.04 PM.png

✭ We are committed to empowering people to work naturally with, instead of against, the device they're on, both in the consumption-weighted and short-form conversation that comes naturally typing with thumbs, and with creating and leveraging heavily-crafted content better suited to big screens.

✭ We are committed to giving people the means to connect, communicate, and collaborate quickly; to find experts and answers; to easily share from any device.

✭ We are committed to breaking down the walls that keep out employees, customers, and partners who may not even have a desktop machine or laptop; who are using their own personal device; who may not have corporate email accounts or high-speed access.

Our commitment is to improve the way people connect with each other – across business ecosystems – to get work done, everywhere they work.

We have already been shifting our conversations here towards Experience First, across devices. This means designing for mobile, and tablet, and web, and desktop... (And ultimately glasses, wrists, rings... we've been playing with these too, but it's still early.) It's not an overnight change. We will continue to push some things that are mobile-first to accelerate the mentality change. We catch ourselves often; have to remind our teams, but change is happening today in Jive in product management, design, development, partner ecosystem and more.

I am tremendously excited about the shifts happening in the world around us and about the work we're doing in mobile today.(And I say this even having had the pleasure of introducing our very first ever native mobile app at the first JiveWorld 4 years ago!) We are adding both great end user and enterprise capabilities, rounding out information discovery, portals, and creation and consumption. Mobilizing the Intranet and Portals is a big step for the workforce that has had no access away from their desk. Now we are increasing our focus on connecting in the people who are not so strongly tethered to a desk or deeply immersed in Jive on the web today, helping them to experience a better way to work. Even with all of the channels available today – email, phone, IM, etc. – struggling to connect is still too often the norm.

How are you staying in sync at your company when on the go? Are the 'deskless' workers in your ecosystem connected in? Are people using consumer solutions like WhatsApp on the down-low? And, where are you finding that today's readily available realtime channels like chat, SMS, phone, and video conferencing let you down?

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