2Know Magazine: Sharing KM Knowledge
2Know: Sharing KM Knowledge
January 2016 - Magazine No. 196
January 2016 - Magazine No. 196
Edition:

[This article is based on my lecture "trends and innovation in KM in 2016", delivered at the 2015 KMDM Convention which took place on 11.16.15 on behalf of "People and Computers"].

Introduction

I intend to briefly examine the technological and organizational trends which I predict we will experience in 2016. We shall begin with our starting point.

 

Starting point

Let's take WhatsApp for example…

Nearly everyone seated here has the WhatsApp application installed on their mobile phone. Most of you are members of numerous WhatsApp groups. We are all members of personal groups, family groups, social groups, workplace, etc.

The new technologies, such as WhatsApp, are attractive, intuitive and easy to operate. The user therefore adapts to them quickly. This type of technology spreads globally in no time. WhatsApp, for example, has expanded greatly and now features a PC version. We rapidly adapt and adopt innovation when it comes from an outer source. Yet, intra-organizational processes are slow. That is our starting point.

In what areas do we predict technological application?

Let's examine the social networks used in organizations: it seems that the future has arrived. Pioneering organizations are already setting up social network applications for organizational use.

Yet these are only the "early adaptors". Most organizations nowadays are not even nearly close to thinking in this direction. Even those few aforementioned organizations mentioned above are only making their first steps in this field, with mostly modest advancement. Some of the applications available nowadays are: 

YAMMER, JIVE, SAP, SALESFORCE, FACEBOOK@WORK.

 

 

What about our Mobile Phones?

Our mobile phone is our most close and personal tool. We all have one in our pocket! It is therefore a matter of time and data security till all data we require for performing our jobs will be received directly to our palm via mobile phone and will therefore be constantly available. Furthermore, add the abilities social networks enable, and WhatsApp as well- and you have Full Collaboration. Here's a spoiler: During 2016, ROM Knowledgeware will be launching a designated application which will enable organization workers to access procedures from any location.

What else is new in the technological aspect?

The organizational search will play an increasingly dominant role, leading to an increase in its number of users which will in turn obviate other search utilities featured on knowledge websites and networks.

We are living in the age of Google, which means the Google approach will be increasingly implemented in organizations. Therefore, it is natural to assume that organizations will invest many resources in improving and upgrading the organizational search. Technology-producers are already investing in this field, e.g. SharePoint 2013.

What is the new Buzz we will be hearing about all year long, which will only later materialize?

It is the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), a term originally used in the field of instruction. The larger the number of participants the virtual world will be able to include, the more the field of instruction will utilize video clips as a main work tool.

 

 

These videos will be short, concise and address specific subjects as well as be efficient and instructive and will make up the organizational VOD or YouTube. This is an example of a crossover between the fields of instruction and Knowledge Management, mutually enriching each other.

According to instruction experts- this video library will soon be the main component of organizational instruction. Nevertheless, let's not forget that this initiative is a costly one; the financial aspect of producing many videos will most probably lead to a slower development of this field than the aforementioned enthusiasts predict. It seems that organizations will feature a combination of the MOOC and more traditional tools.

In order for all the above to succeed, we need to remember: Implementation- OUT; Change Management-IN.

 

Our current approach is not based on the implication of tools and technologies. It is a more holistic, change management-oriented approach (which can include a technology-implicating component). Organizations are increasingly using the term 'Change Management", since they understand that saying that something has changed is just not enough; a change process must occur and this process must be managed as a project in itself in order for this change to succeed.

So, what will be new in 2016? In recent years, we have seen mostly certain academic and theoretical approaches to change management. There is lately a turn towards more practical and organized approaches, a turn which I believe will develop into a full-grown method.

Click here for articles on Change Management from the ROM Knowledgeware website.

 Conclusion: what can we expect from 2016?

We will see the baby steps of these new trends:

  • Social Networks
  • Mobile Applications
  • Search Expansion
  • MOOC
  • Change Management

Knowledge Management requires that we- KM consultants and organizational Knowledge Managers- play a big part in the materialization of these objectives. It all depends on our energy and intellect, in order to encourage the organizations and slowly but surely achieve our shared goals.

 

 

Written By Sharon Cohen-Arazi

Have you happened to visit any innovative website lately? Have you noticed that there aren't any navigation menus? You are not mistaken. So, you might have asked yourself, how does one navigate through these websites? You can navigate by using the search bar which will find your destination after typing in a word or two, or by clicking on the few icons on the homepage which highlight the important/useful tools, maybe even a teaser or two.

As the years go by, we are flooded by an inflation of both information and tools utilized to receive and distribute information. Each website includes so much information that navigating through the most efficient and organized content tree will take far more time than typing in a couple of words and pressing the Enter button. The more we advance as organizations, the more Google-style searches become more popular and necessary in organizations as well- a phenomenon which enhances our search skills and habits.

 

Optimally characterized search engines will usually first present the currently "hot" search results. The homepages will present only updated/useful items. When we require a search history, we need only move a page or two or change the search words.

Imagine a situation in which you have lost your Smartphone. You must now search for it, and are facing two options:

  • Call it. If it happens to ring, bingo! You found it. If it is on "vibrate" mode- it will take a few seconds to find. Even if it on "silent" mode, you can at least search for the blinking light emitted from the screen.
  • Search by trying to recall where you left it, walking through your house turning over cushions etc. This might take a frustrating hour, or even days.

Searching for an item in a website is similar to searching for a Smartphone by calling it:

If the item we are searching for is one properly promoted/tagged, it will pop up during the initial searches. Some cases might require some more "digging" into the search results, usually not more than few seconds/minutes (this rule does not apply to in-depth, research-oriented searches).

Speaking of Smartphones, website surfing and information consuming is rapidly moving to smaller screens. An entire generation consumes information from Smartphones and tablets, obviating computers. No one owning a Smartphone calls Information in order to acquire a telephone number; we all just type in the relevant details and usually find the number in several different websites.  The transition to smaller screens requires organizations to construct their websites efficiently due to the smaller space each page is provided in mobile format. The navigation menu takes up lots of valuable space, and it has already been proved that it is unnecessary/inefficient as a search and navigation tool in our information-flooded websites, let alone mobile ones.

 

Let's search for an address on Waze: imagine you would have to search for the address by clicking on the specific location on the map. Typing in the address is much quicker, certainly if one considers the autocomplete feature most search engines provide. You begin typing, and in seconds the search bar presents a menu of several possible options. We can stop the search and click on the correct option, or (how strenuous!) type in another word or two and find the address in a matter of seconds. Searching through websites is very similar to searching for an address using Waze.

 

 

This change does not render menus/maps/hierarchy useless. These are all still important as organization tools, at least behind the scenes (or screen). Most websites will still feature a "breadcrumb trail" from the item you reached back to the home page, in order for the user to understand the context in which the item was written. A navigation menu can still be accessed through a small icon on the screen's periphery, just in case you still prefer navigating.

In conclusion

 

We are advancing towards websites which utilize search engines, leaving the menus for organization purposes (yet not displayed). So, if you haven't searched in a while- better exercise those searching skills.

It's simple.

Written By Moria Levy

The Hamburger button is a new concept. It is an icon composed of three horizontal and parallel stripes which is featured on the webpage's upper right/left corner, where a menu would otherwise be.

Assuming that nowadays website users have much less patience as well as free time, we might ask: is the side drawer-menu, more commonly known as a "hamburger menu" more preferable than the traditional upper navigation bar?

 

The website owners aspire to maximize users' level of involvement and commitment to the website and thus evaluate duration on the website and encourage wandering around the website. Regarding navigation, most users would prefer an easy navigation menu, one which is both user-friendly and predictable. Navigation should therefore require investing minimal effort in the process of reaching at the desired page.

 

Those who support the hamburger menu will claim that it provides a clean and airy look as well as and makes valuable website "real estate" vacant in age in which websites' are required to develop websites adjusted for cellular phones, dealing with a substantially smaller screen.

 

Those who oppose the menu will claim that a design-team which chooses to replace the traditional navigation bar, which is comprised of a continuous line of tabs, is making an essentially bad decision and avoiding the need to perform a prioritization process. They would furthermore argue that anything concealed from the user's vision is nonexistent to the user. In the rare case that the user does click on the navigation drawer and finds the desired item on the menu, the user will most probably forget its location till his/her next visit to the website.


Research and user-testing have proved that the transition to the Hamburger Menu has drastically lowered website users' level of involvement and duration of daily and weekly connection. Due to the integration of a Hamburger Menu, the user is required to click twice before reaching a main component, as opposed to navigating using the traditional tab navigation bar. If the user chooses to navigate through the main menu's core components, a website featuring a Hamburger Menu will require the user to return to the homepage each time, while a tab-oriented navigation bar enables navigating through the website's core components in one simple click.

 

In conclusion, it can be said that there is no unequivocal recommendation. A Hamburger Menu has its advantages and disadvantages; the organization's designer team must seriously consider whether a Hamburger Menu will provide their website's users with an optimal, simple and intuitive user experience or may harm their engagement.

References:

 

  1. http://thenextweb.com/dd/2014/04/08/ux-designers-side-drawer-navigation-costing-half-user-engagement/
  2. http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/24/before-the-hamburger-button-kills-you/
  3. http://www.theatlantic.com/product/archive/2014/08/the-hamburger-menu-debate/379145/

 

 

 

 

Written by Rom Knowledgeware
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