Staying in the Zone
I’m sure you’ve been there — in the zone, crafting the perfect post that you know your audience will love.
Not only that, but you’ve got a million-and-one things to say as follow-up, and you can’t wait to engage with your followers. They’re bound to have input, and you’ll be there to guide the conversation.
The last thing you need is an interruption.
Your fingers fly, and as you reach the end of your final sentence you realize (with no small amount of frustration) that you have to break your train of thought:
1- Remove your hand from the keyboard
2- Reach out for your mouse
3- Guide your cursor to the Publish button
4- Click the button to Publish your post
5- Somehow find your train of thought again and pick up where you left off
6- Repeat ad nauseum…
… What is this? The Dark Ages?
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking:
“Is this a joke?”
“What kind of first-world-problem is this?”
“People have been clicking buttons for decades without a single complaint, and now you’re telling me that it’s preventing me from doing my job properly?”
“Is this an infomercial?”
Fundamentally, you and I both know that the problem is not as severe as all of that. You’ll get the job done regardless, and you probably won’t notice it.
That is, until you do.
Here’s the reality: as software consumers, we’re influenced by a variety of factors that can subtly, perhaps even unconsciously, sway our opinion of the products we use.
Beyond our motivation for using a product, there are multiple factors that can affect our decision to use a product: perception based on the look and appearance of that product; the amount of effort required to learn how to use a product; and our attitudes and beliefs that create a personal bias before we even start using a product.
If we perceive a product to be out-of-date or unattractive, we’re going to be less inclined to use it. How can it be as good as a modern, clean and visually stunning application?
Similarly, if an application is confusing, complex or it challenges our understanding of how an app or feature should work, then we’ll be more likely to abandon that product as our frustration with it grows. This can often be aggravated if our attitudes are influenced by other, more widely used products that do things differently.
So, what does this have to do with the newly introduced ability to publish directly to your stream by hitting the Enter/Return key from the Content Studio? Only everything…
Up until now, we’ve forced you to disengage in order to publish. You create a post, no matter how big or small, and you’re forced to lift your hand off the keyboard, grab the mouse and click Publish.
If you’ve ever experienced frustration because of this action (and the multitude of things that can go wrong along the way — where’s that cursor on my screen, again?), it’s because this violates a lot of user experience best-practices.
As a user of any other social media or blogging application, it’s likely that you’ve grown used to hitting Enter/Return to publish. Facebook does it. LinkedIn allows you to do it. Heck — we even let you do it via our Replies feature. Chances are, you’ve built up an expectation that this is something you should be able to do, even if you haven’t thought about it.
Not only have these experiences affected your attitude and beliefs, but it’s also affected your ability to learn how to use the platform. As a first-time user, not having the option to post directly to your stream by hitting the Enter/Return button will likely contradict experiences you’ve had elsewhere. If you have to consciously remind yourself to click that publish button every time you want to post, it adds to what we call “cognitive overhead”. You don’t want to have to think about the tool you’re using to accomplish your task — you’re already busy thinking about the task itself! Any barrier or interruption to those thoughts can be costly.
Finally, the lack of this feature is likely to add to your perception that a product is “old”, “out-of-date” or “ugly”. It doesn’t look and feel like everything you know to be “cool”, “clean” or “modern”, so it must be the opposite.
All of these perceptions are barriers to your enjoyment and, therefore, adoption of our product. Even if you haven’t given these perceptions much thought, on an unconscious level they still increase the likelihood that you throw your hands up in despair and walk away from your desk.
We don’t want that.
That’s why we’ve delivered a quick win to you and your team.
Just Hit “Enter” to Engage!
Instead of clicking the Publish button, now you can simply push Enter/Return to post your content.
We’ve given you the ability to turn this feature on and off, directly from Content Studio. As much as you may want or expect this feature, there are many circumstances where you (or another user) may want to turn it off. As a result, the very first thing you’ll need to do is activate “hit enter to publish”.
You’ll find that in the bottom-right of the text editor, just above the “publish button”. There’s a check-box with a “return” arrow right beside it. If you’re not sure if you’ve found the right checkbox, just hover over it — you’ll get a tooltip that lets you know what you’re looking at.
Once you’ve found the right checkbox, go ahead and check it — this enables you to hit enter to publish directly to your feed.
Now you’re all set: as soon as you enter text into the text editor, you can simply hit enter, and you’ll see it show up in your stream right away. Here’s an example…
Isn’t that great? It’s super simple to activate and very easy to use. But what if you want to do some simple formatting — a few line breaks to ensure your content is spaced out and easy-to-read? What then?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
I told you! It couldn’t be easier — no matter your publishing style, Rock Content and the Engage team have you covered.
Not only have we reduced any impediments to your satisfaction with our product, but being able to publish immediately without reaching for your mouse means that you’ll experience:
- A faster time to post
- A smoother workflow with fewer interruptions
- The ability to stay up-to-date with your audience, the subject of your stream and any other external events that may be happening, without diverting your attention
- More consistency within the product itself
Hopefully you enjoy!
Lucan is a Senior Product Manager at Rock Content, the Engage live-blogging platform. He has a background in Big Data and Social Media Analytics and has held product roles at several Toronto-based startups in these industries.