From Good to Great: Extending the Jive Platform with Custom Tiles

Brian Molstad | April 4, 2016

Over the years, 7Summits has worked extensively with the Jive Platform.  There are many great out-of-the-box features when it comes to laying out elements on a page and showcasing content.  However, sometimes client and user needs call for some custom solutions and we’ve worked together with our clients to push the envelope to create great user experiences.

Jive has traditionally offered configurable “widgets” on the community homepage and place overview pages to allow administrators to add elements to pages.   With the advent of Jive’s add-on framework, Jive has been transitioning to tiles which integrate more easily with the data from add-ons and apps.  They are also mobile responsive which is of course a huge plus for people on the go.

Widgets are still supported and in some cases, must be used (such as on the community homepage), however tiles are clearly receiving the most attention and upgrades from Jive.

The inventory of out-of-the-box tiles is growing steadily, but through our work with clients, we’ve found the need to create custom ones to fill the gaps.   In this post I’d like to walk through some of my favorite 7Summits Custom Tiles.

Featured Poll

Polls help drive user engagement. Similar to the “Recent Polls” widget, this one automatically showcases the most recently featured poll from a particular place. It works best in a small column. Users can vote on the poll from directly within the tile and the number of current comments and likes display.

jive-tile-featured-poll

Projects

Also optimized for a smaller column, this tile lists all the projects that have been created in the selected space or group. The title of the tile can be customized and the last updated time and due date display.

jive-tile-projects

Groups by Tag

Patterned after a similar widget, this tile lets you showcase groups that include one or more tags. This one can be pretty powerful in that it showcase the right groups for the right set of users. Show the right groups to members of particular department. Reach the right audiences by listing groups relevant to a certain set of products, technologies, interests or any variety of topics.

 jive-tile-groups-by-tag

Activity Stream

The activity stream widget in Jive is quite robust and is usually a staple of most Jive communities. We felt a tile version was definitely in order and our clients agree. The 7Summits Custom Activity Tile highlights recent activity within a particular place and includes image previews, the most recent comments, user profile cards on mouseover, like counts, and much more. Even better, the tile can be integrated with external systems that feed data into the activity stream. For example, recent news from a corporate blogging platform could potentially find its way in front of community users.

jive-tile-activity-stream

HTML

When you want to showcase content or data in a very specific way, sometimes only custom code will do. That’s why we created the 7Summits Custom HTML tile. Among its many capabilities:

  • External style sheets can be referenced directly by the tile as opposed to building them in-line
  • Included JavaScript functionality allows for certain content to hide or show based on the user’s authentication state.
  • Automatic height resizing based on the content

We commonly use widgets like this to include custom, highly noticeable calls to action, such as to start a discussion, ask a question, share an idea, or advertise a more custom ability such as to create a case.

Search Tile

The ability to search locally within a space or group is a well-known, common use case.   As such, community managers often want to feature the search box within the body of the page. 

The 7Summits Search Tile can be configured to include a tile title, large heading, subheading as well as  helper text within the search box.  Type-ahead results reveal the first 5 along with a brief excerpt for each and a link to view all results.  You can point the search at any particular place and toggle the ability to search sub-spaces.  

jive-tile-search

Jumbo News

If there’s one thing we’ve found when working with our clients’ communication departments, it’s that the presentation of news needs to be flexible.  Sometimes a large hero image is desired, other times uniformity of imagery is more important due to a lack of internal design resources.   With that in mind we created the 7Summits Jumbo News tile to adapt to the needs of community managers.

jive-tile-jumbo-news

Within the configuration settings, you can browse and select blog posts from across the community using type-ahead search.  Posts can be applied to either a hero image carousel, supplementary stories or both.  Each story automatically links to the appropriate post.  Comment and like totals are also displayed.  The hero image section can be turned on or off and you can determine how many stories to include in the carousel.  The supplementary stories can even be targeted to appear only to those within certain permission groups resulting in personalized content.

We get a lot of mileage out of this tile.

Taking it Further

We have many other tile ideas in the hopper so look forward to more updates as they evolve.  In addition to creating tiles for common use cases, we’ve developed a number of entirely custom, mobile responsive solutions leveraging our Peak Framework.  Solutions include, personalized content, integrated external system data, and advanced content management.   

The Jive add-on/app framework encourages thinking outside the out-of-the-box.  We enjoy the challenge.

To learn more about our custom tiles or to ideate together on tailored solutions for your business, we encourage you to get in touch!

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