A couple of years ago I started to think about the little things that “rub people the wrong way.” The “friction” in the JibberJobber user experience.
Very quickly I started to think about friction in my own relationships… what did I do that seemed abrasive to others?
And that led me to think about JibberJobber users, who every day have opportunities to communicate with others. Have you introduced friction in your communication? For example, type-os or lack of clarity in your resumes, or saying weird things in networking situations or job interviews? Is their friction because of what you wear, or how you say things?
Friction can be good, of course. If it weren’t for friction, cars wouldn’t stop (or go, the way they are currently designed). But in our relationships and experiences with others, I wonder when friction is good. And if it is good, it’s probably the exception, not the rule.
Let me give you a concrete example of friction that we found in JibberJobber. It didn’t take to much effort to find this friction… we even had help from users who emailed us things like “uuuuugh!” and “yuuuuuuck!” and “heeeeelp!” I’m specifically talking about the experience you have when you click on the Import/Export link, under Contacts. Most of the time people click this link to import their contacts from LinkedIn (or Outlook, or wherever). This is what they say, after clicking the link:
Can you tell what you are supposed to do? The main problem I see when I put on my UI/UX goggles is that there are too many things to choose from. You have the main menu (10 or 11 options), gray tabs (11 options), the link on the right, the icons on the bottom… you have LOT to look at. Some people ignore all that and find the Choose File button, and go from there. Honestly, it’s not that hard to do… but there is too much FRICTION. Too many choices. Distractions.
Just like our communication, when we are unclear. We give people too many choices (when we want them to do only one thing, like call us, or go to lunch with us), and we insert too many distractions. It seems like it’s human nature to distract the person we’re trying to communicate with. STOP DOING THIS.
Okay, back to JibberJobber… we’ve been working on redoing the import experience… and here is the new page (which you should see in the next few days):
Of course we still have the main menu (blue bar), but most of the superfluous stuff was moved to a collapsible box on the right. Note the little arrow icon on the top-right of that box – click that and the box collapses, reducing all that noise.
It’s clear where you are at in the process… you are on step 1. It’s also clear what Step 2 is all about, and what Step 3 is all about. The friction has been reduced.
This seemingly simply project took hours of design time (to analyze, come up with alternative ideas, weigh pros and cons of ideas, and prepare communication to the dev team, and then many more hours (weeks, really) for the dev team to clean things up, reengineer the process, etc.
Don’t think that a very, very clean web design (or any design) is the result of a whimsical thought and a few minutes of effort and work. Of course, sometimes that can happen. But think about the difference between Yahoo’s homepage and Google’s homepage. I remember sitting in a computer lab in college, and going to the page I always started with: Yahoo. It was THE de facto landing page. It had news, weather… all kinds of things that you should want when you fire up the internet. Then, someone said “you should start at Google.com.” Goo-what? What is that? So I went there. And all I saw was one search box and one button.
How could one search box and one button replace the ultra-useful information that Yahoo offered? Who came up with this too-simple idea? Apparently it was Marissa Mayer… she was the brains behind the simple page at google. What did she do? She identified why people came (to find something) and reduced EVERYTHING ELSE. No friction. The page was fast to load, and delivered exactly what you wanted: the ability to type something in and get results. No distractions. No noise. Simple, and delivering exactly what the inherent promise was. (It’s funny to note that she was responsible for that brilliant move away from what Yahoo had set up, defining what our internet experience should be… and now she is the CEO of Yahoo :p).
By now you probably get the idea of simplifying, reducing noise and friction. You are bought in. The thing I want you to realize is that the process of getting to a good, clean place is not as simple as you might think. Put thought and effort into it. When you come up with a simplified message, you can help many more people understand you, and how to help you. And that effort is worth it.
Let’s end with some quotes attributed to Mark Twain:
“To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself…Anybody can have ideas–the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.” (reference)
“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” (reference)
“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”(reference)
Yesterday we talked about how to add tags to a lot of records at once… but what if you are ready to retire, or change, a tag? That’s also really easy. You could follow the steps from yesterday and do it from the List Panels, but there’s a better place to do it: the Tag manager.
Mouse over Contacts, Companies, or Jobs in the main menu, and click Tags (which should be the third link from the bottom):
On that next page, you will see all of the Tags you’ve created, but only for Contacts OR Companies OR Jobs. Depends on which dropdown you clicked on. The Tags Manager page is a very simple List Panel. On the right, you’ll see icons to edit or delete.
This is so self-explanatory I don’t know what to write about it… except one thing:
If you edit or delete a tag, it will affect all of your records that had that tag.
For example, if you had a tag “people_I_want_to_talk_to,” and you change it to “prospects,” you won’t see the old tag anymore… anytime you go to a Contact that had that old tag will now have “prospects.”
Another example, if you delete “people_I_want_to_talk_to,” you won’t see that tag on any Contacts.
If you simply want to remove the tag from one Contact, but not remove it from others, then go to that Contact and remove it from there.
“I need to add two tags to everyone in our data base that already has the tag of [Tag-1] or [Tag-2]. Can I do this without having to go into each record?”
Why yes, there is a super easy way to do this… here’s what you do (this applies to the Contacts, Companies and Jobs List Panels):
Assuming you are talking about tons of Contacts, go into Manage Columns and show 255 Contacts. Manage Columns is accessed by an icon… see this post for pictures.
Do a filtered search like this: tags:family (where “family” is the tag of the Contacts you want to select… note there is no space between tags, colon, and the tag). This will return the records with with family in the tag, including family_mine, family_hers, etc. Check out this post on filtered searches.
On the left, click the checkboxes of each of the records you want to add the tags to. I would select all (top-left checkbox), and then deselect the records you don’t want one-by-one.
At the bottom of the List Panel, there are icons… you want to choose the the fourth from the left… the rubber-stamp looking one.
On the page that comes up next, add the new tags in the big box… this is pretty self-explanatory.
And that’s it!
Tags are a powerful way to slice-and-dice your data. I use tags almost exclusively over categories… are you making use of tags?
We have been working on a new feature in JibberJobber to help YOU feel more confident about JibberJobber, and use the right features to help you accomplish your goals.
Because too many people login to JibberJobber with a hope that we can help them, but they get to the front page and think “uh-oh… I don’t know were to start! This looks too complicated?”
And then they go back to their 1900′s solution of a very ineffective spreadsheet, thinking that the sophistication of JibberJobber is reserved for people who are smarter than they are.
Over the years we’ve been introducing various things to help you get up running on JibberJobber, and feel like this is YOUR system, and it WILL work for you. The latest thing we’re rolling out is a 30 day email series to help YOU.
The technology is in place. The emails have been written. We’ve tested it internally and are ready to have you give us your feedback.
Whether you have logged in 3,000 times, or you haven’t ever signed up on JibberJobber, would you please sign up on this email series, and then let us know how it goes?
We want any and all feedback, including:
Are you getting the emails in your inbox (or, are they going to your spam folder?)
Does the formatting in the email look okay, or does it look messed up? (in other words, is it clean?)
Do you feel you are getting the emails are weird times of the day?
Are the messages too short? (our goal is to have SHORT messages that you can act on each day, and not feel like it’s too much to (a) read or (b) do)
Are the messages written well? Are there any typos, grammar issues, etc.?
Do the daily tasks seem like they are too much? Or too little?
Do you think this would help someone who is trying to make heads or tails of getting started and getting value out of JibberJobber?
We hope to roll this out to the masses soon, but I would love to get some candid feedback from you before we do… Please send any feedback to me (Jason@JibberJobber.com) or through the Contact Us system.
Here’s how you do it (this will be more automated, and less hidden, once we are ready to roll it out to everyone):
Login to JibberJobber
Click on Account from the main menu
Click on the tab “Mailing Lists”
Click on the only one on that page: New User: First 30 Days Jumpstart
Click the blue Save button.
You should get the first email the day you sign up, and then each morning for the next 29 days you should get the next one in the series.
In this blog post I dissect the page to add a new Contact, manually, in JibberJobber. I find myself adding Contacts more using Email2Log, but I do come into here regularly. Here’s what you need to know:
At the very top you’ll see the three most important fields… when I create a new Contact I always want to have a first and last name, and an email address. Having an email address allows me to use the Email2Log feature later, without creating duplicate Contacts. Note that you can create multiple email addresses for each Contact, which comes in handy.
Add the image of the person by uploading a file from your computer or from a URL. The way I do this from a URL is to right-click on the image and then choose the option to get the URL of the image. You’ll paste that into a box on JibberJobber, and we’ll go out and grab the image from the website (that’s pretty cool!).
The Referred By allows you to indicate who introduced you to this new Contact. This allows you to build the “Tree View” which is really cool!
Categories and Tags allow you to group your Contacts so you can later say “show me all of my friends,” or “show me all of the hiring managers” or something similar. We tend to favor Tags around here, since you can have multiple tags on each Contact.
Rank Contacts to know how strong the relationship is with each person in your network. This comes straight out of Never Eat Alone (Keith Ferrazzi), where Keith says you should know how strong the relationships are with each person.
Most of these fields are intuitive. Note that you can add a Company or Job and if it’s already in your account in JibberJobber, we will associate this Contact to that record. You can also have multiple Jobs and Companies associated to a Company. If the Job or Company records don’t exist, type it in and then click either button to add those records (which will also associate the Contact to that/those records).
The Initial Contact is when you first met the person. I find myself clicking the Today button more than I thought I would, but you can back-date this easily.
The Source field allows you to put where you met this person (online, on LinkedIn, at a networking event, through an email introduction, etc.). It’s basically a help to put this Contact record into context, to remind you who this person is.
If you put the day and month of the birthday in, you can get email reminders of your Contacts when they have birthdays coming up.
Notes is where you put general information about the Contact, but NOT Log Entry stuff. The differnce is this: Graduated from UCLA vs. We had lunch and talked about A, B, and C.
If you are looking for more fields, then just add your own. That’s what the Custom Fields are for… you can add as many as you want (although after 9+ years, I don’t have a whole lot that I actually use).
Be default, your JibberJobber data is private. No one can see it except you. This is not a social network… this is a private tracking and organizational tool.
However, it might make sense that someone else sees (and interacts) with your data. For example:
You have a coach who wants to see what you are doing, so they can help you better. Allowing a coach insight into your database could enhance your relationship with them, and their effectiveness to you. Click here to see the list of JibberJobber Certified Career Professionals (these are people who have gone through our certification program, which means they understand JibberJobber pretty good!).
You have a parent or spouse or brother or neighbor or BFF who you allow access to because they are your accountability partner.
You really, really, really trust someone else to see all of your stuff, and even have access to add to your account (like, add a Log Entry).
I strongly encourage you to only do what I’ll show you below with people that you know and trust to the highest degree. Furthermore, if you grant a coach or accountability partner access to your account now, when your formal relationship concludes, I encourage you to remove this coaching relationship, so they don’t have access to your private relationship management tool forever. It goes without saying, if you grant someone access, you should probably be careful what you write about them if you have a contact record for them…
First, mouse over tools and click on My Coaches:
Next, click Add a Coach (which will open up #2, the boxes):
Next, invite the person to be your coach in JibberJobber:
You can do this by adding their username, if they know it, or their email address (which is associated with their account). Either way, ask them what their JibberJobber username is, or what email to put in.
They will get an email from JibberJobber saying you have requested the relationship, and they have to click a button to agree to this request. Once they click this button, assume they have access to all of your data. BE CAREFUL!
Finally, you might consider following up with the person who you invited…
Just to be sure they got the message, and acted on it.
There is an alternative to this process… your coach can go into their Coach Dashboard and reverse this process, which sends YOU a message asking for permission to be their coach (and access your data).
As long as you totally trust the other person with your data, you should be good to go. Note that this was originally designed (9 years ago) for recruiters, but I got feedback from recruiters that they should not have that level of access to my job search, because they could do bad (unethical) stuff with it (that would not benefit the job seeker).
In JibberJobber there are many pages that we call “List Panels.” List Panels are kind of like Excel, with columns and rows. You can do things on the List Panel, such as filter your search to only show you hiring managers in a certain city, or see a list (and get email addresses) of all of your family or friends. You can do more things, but I want to focus on one: how to change the data that shows up on your List Panel.
First, to get to a List Panel, you can click on any of these menu headings. Note there are other ways to get there, but this is the main way I get there:
Next, directly above the List Panel, find the Manage Columns icon, which will be on the left of the filtered search box (note in this image, I’m filtering my List Panel results to anyone I’ve tagged as a recruiter):
Click on that and you see three columns:
Column 1 allows you to turn on or off columns, and reorder them (by clicking and dragging to the new position)
Column 2 allows you to show more (or less) than the default of 20 rows per page (and you can do a couple of other things, which I rarely change).
Column 3 allows you to save the changes, or reset your entire List Panel to the defaults.
What you do here will be saved so the next time you come into JibberJobber you don’t have to do it again. You can change your preferences as often as you want.
Those are good questions… in today’s Focus Friday we talked about this. You can see the exact video here.
Basically, the Tree View, degrees of separation, and “relationship,” is all controlled by the field “Referred By.” This is one of the top fields on the Add/Edit Contact page, and it’s on the right, just under the Relationship field, of the Detail Page.
When you are on a Contact’s record, and you fill in the Referred By, you are saying “I was referred to this person that I’m adding by this other person (in the Referred By).”
If John introduces you to Jane, or you find Jane’s name from John’s LinkedIn Profile, you would add Jane as a new Contact, and in the Referred By field choose or put John’s name in.
If you don’t do that, Jane is a 1st degree contact.
If you do that, Jane will be one degree past John… if he is a 1st, she will be a 2nd. If John is a 7th, Jane will be an 8th Degree Contact.
Unfortunately, the export you get from LinkedIn are your 1st degree contacts. The CSV file LinkedIn gives you doesn’t tell you what degree of separation they are, probably because they are all 1st degree contacts. So, the answer is no, there is no degree of separation logic that happens on an import.
I’m regularly asked what tags people should use in JibberJobber, for Contacts, Companies, and Jobs.
That, really, is up to you. I have things like family, friends, recruiters, prospects, and things that make sense for me. I even have a tag for “service_providers” which I’ll use for my garage door guy, small appliance repair guy, accountant, etc. You know, all of the people I don’t necessarily want to have to call (because calling them usually mean paying money I didn’t plan on paying), but it’s nice to have their numbers at my fingertips.
Last night we did a release that mostly new users will see, but it’s something that everyone can get value out of, even old-timers!
This is a new widget on the homepage which you can easily turn on… simply click on the Manage Widgets icon right under the main menu of the home page:
Once there, click the checkmark next to the Getting Started widget, and then click-and-drag the box to the top, like this:
Then, you’ll see this on your homepage:
Most of these will be crossed out if you have already been using JibberJobber for a while, because we automatically detect whether you have done those things or not. Note that each line is a hyperlink, and it will take you to the page to do the thing, or a page with instructions.
These were the top 11 things we could think of to help you feel better about using JibberJobber, and get more comfortable with it as a tool for your career management!