Evolving through ideation
Often the best ideas come bottom-up, not top-down. Employees working on the frontline or directly with customers have a close understanding of business needs, but for their insights to be valuable they need an outlet. Digital workplace ideation makes it possible to tap into those often hard-to-access insights on how you can improve anything from business processes to employee experiences. Creating dedicated space for ideation can unlock innovation and untapped knowledge, giving enterprises a competitive edge at a time when reacting quickly matters more than ever.
This is why Unily developed a ready-made Ideation hub feature that can be installed into any intranet environment directly from our intranet Feature Store. But what is an ideation hub and how does it really promote ideation?
What is an intranet ideation hub?
With a purpose-built ideation hub, employees can intuitively make their ideas known simply by clicking the 'Create an Idea' button on their company intranet. Unily’s ideation hub makes getting sight of new ideas simple by being able to select a category from a list, and embed imagery to make ideas stronger and more visual. Then, depending on permissions, the idea can be published instantly or sent to an approver for review.
This means people within the company – from those on the ground to the senior management team – are able to have their say and suggest ideas and improvements to the process. With intranet ideation, it’s possible to contribute ideas at any time, from anywhere, by opening the app and utilizing the fully mobile responsive intranet ideation experience.
The ideation hub is complete with all of the necessary features to get organizations collaborating with their colleagues. Users can check the status of an idea to see if it is in progress, complete, or accepted to be taken on further and developed. Trending ideas are also available for users to see a real-time view of popular ideas, based on the number of comments each idea receives, or top ideas, ranked by the number of up-votes collected in the past month. It’s also possible for employees to ‘follow’ any ideas to receive notifications when they are updated.
With larger organizations, getting ideas quickly off the ground can sometimes be problematic. With an ideation hub, organizations can incorporate more agile problem solving and look internally for support, ideas, and feedback to aid a mindset of continuous improvement.
How ideation can help create inspiring company-wide initiatives
In this blog, we explore how ideation, implemented through a digital workplace platform, can help harness the collective knowledge of your workforce, spread innovative best practices across your organization, apply significant impact changes and bring everyone into the conversation.
Ideation in action: how Unily uses ideation for product innovation
We haven’t just created the ideation feature for our clients to use on their own platforms, we also use it on our own customer community portal, Universe, to drive Unily product innovation. The ideation hub on Universe is a space for clients and employees alike to submit ideas and suggestions for the product roadmap. Once a suggestion has been submitted to the Ideation page, clients have the option to up-vote on proposals that they agree with, showing how popular the idea for development is.
We review the ideas on a quarterly basis, evaluating how the development would fit with our vision for the product, the number of votes, and the likely time to implement. Suggestions taken forward then get added into the product roadmap. More than 40 of the new features last year came from our Ideation portal, showing it’s an invaluable tool for innovation.
"Feedback is important to us, and we think it’s valuable for our clients to be able to have a say as to how the product evolves. Customer experience is the number one priority and if a client has a suggestion to improve this based on first-hand experience, we want to know."
From creating a ‘Start a Teams call’ button option, to adding support for video captions, there have been many ideas and suggestions Unily has taken on board and added to our product to make sure it continues to advance and lead in its space. Our revolutionary Feature Store enables plug and play installation of pre-configured, community-driven features. It simplifies the process to expand intranet capabilities and allows us to invest in delivering superior user experiences.
In the last quarter of 2020 alone, 15 ideas have been included on the roadmap for development. Here are some recent examples of ideation suggestions that have been implemented into the Unily platform and Feature Store:
#1. Offline reading
Unily’s newest offline reading feature is a perfect example of a customer-driven idea developed and built into the product. Offline reading gives mobile users the ability to save content to read whenever suits them, even if there is no internet connection. It enables and strengthens frontline and remote worker communication, allowing them to catch up with the latest company news and updates. The offline reading feature was built in partnership with several of our clients, who provided feedback and insight along the way to make sure the feature was useful and in line with their thoughts.
#2. Awarding Kudos through the mobile application
Similarly, implementing the ability for users to award kudos for employee recognition whilst on a mobile device came as a client suggestion. This new feature will enable the kudos functionality across all Unily platforms, including the mobile application. Employee recognition is especially vital in present circumstances, when workers may feel more disconnected than ever. Being able to award kudos from a mobile device ensures employees can get the appreciation and credit they deserve.
#3. Downloadable image files for front-end users
Another roadmap feature that stemmed from Ideation is enabling front-end users to download images, such as a ‘brand portal’ page containing various logos and icons for employees to use. This feature will include all the functionality needed for administrators to build an image library in which end users can browse and download the images they'd like to use – supporting brand consistency across businesses.
Evolving to stay at the forefront
When it comes to Ideation there is no idea or suggestion too big or too small, and we value and appreciate all thoughts and concepts. Customer needs and requirements change and grow on a daily basis, so it’s important to us that our product evolves and adapts alongside. It’s just one of the reasons why we were featured in Gartner’s market guide for best intranet packaged solutions.
Unily featured in Gartner market guide for best intranet packaged solutions
Unily has earned a spot amongst the top 20 vendors for intranet packaged solutions in Gartner’s recently released market guide. Gartner’s accompanying report sheds light on the factors driving the move to modern intranets and spotlights the key players who are changing the game.