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Employee Portal - Suggestions for improvement


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Hello,

After spending time configuring the Employee Portal, I have produced a list of suggestions for improvement.  Don't get me wrong, we REALLY like the Employee Portal - a vast improvement over the Self-Service Portal, but we would like to request the following enhancements for the future:

  1. Links Widget - if set to Tile View, we would like to be able to set a "Maximum" tile height for all tiles in the widget (even if there are tiles with no text in it)
     
  2. Links Widget - For Tile View, we would like to have the ability to set the horizontal and vertical position of the content within the tiles, for all tiles in the widget (if Centred, then the text justification should also be set to Centered)
     
  3. Links Widget - For the links configuration, can we have the Description field set to Multiline instead of Single line?  This is primarily to make it easy to see what text has been entered in this field.  I don't expect multiline formatting to be rendered on the Widget though.
     
  4. Links Widget - When creating / updating links in the Links Widget configuration, the list of links under the "Configure" tab should match the formatting set (ie. the background and font colour) so we get a preview of what it will look like when we press Save, before we Publish.
     
  5. Links Widget - Is it possible to not make the Address mandatory?  I've found myself using Links more than the Text widget to display information, like events, and to prevent users from navigating away when clicking on a non-navigable link, I put a hashtag  ( # )  in the Address field.  Alternatively, could it be possible to have a "List" Widget that works the same way as Links, but with potentially more functionality related to lists?
     
  6. Service Portfolio - Can we have a way to generate the Employee Portal URL to the Service itself, from within Service Portfolio?  I was thinking on the first page you access when opening a Service, you have a button to "Copy link" which we can then paste into the Employee Portal Links Widget.  Alternatively, the link is readily available somewhere on that page.  This will make it easier for those who find copying a URL and changing it difficult or too "Technical" as some will say.
     
  7. Employee Portal - Can we have the ability to configure the maximum height against all widgets?  If there are multiple widgets in a row, and both have a maximum height set, then the highest number will take priority.
     
  8. Text Widget - Can we have HTML formatting in widgets using the likes of CKE Editor, with basic CSS support?  CKE Editor should be fine for most people, but for those who want a bit more control with CSS would benefit from it.
     
  9. Employee Portal? - In addition to Domain Categories, can we also have Subcategories?  From a non-technical user perspective, when filtering the My Services widget for example, having multiple of the same category (ie. Applications, Applications - New) in the same list, to display any Current and New Services is confusing. 

    If we could have Domain Category Subcategories, then for each Service, we could set this alongside the Service Domain and Category. 
    1) This will make it easier to filter the Service Portfolio list too to find any Services where the Domain Category Subcategory is set to "New" without having a messy Category list
    2) It is easier to select the Subcategory (if the Service Domain + Domain Category has any) in the My Services Widget.
     
  10. My Requests Widget - Could we have the ability to filter the list of requests by Service Domain and Category?
     
  11. Employee Portal Services pages/Services Portfolio - Could we have the ability to configure the Services Pages themselves?  Maybe from within the Services under Service Portolio?  It does feel slightly disconnected from the Employee Portal - though just might need to be something we need to get used to.  It would be nice to configure the formatting of the Catalogs page to start with (ie. to include a border and background colour to the services)

Thanks,

Samuel

 

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@samwoo

On #10, the Requests are automatically filtered by the Service domain and category that is configured for the visiting page.

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@samwoo,

On #6, you make a reasonable suggestion. The Service page does require improvements and it's on our list. The activity you refer to (copying link to a Service) is a less frequent activity, so in the meantime, I would advise that the URL can be copied by simply opening the Service.

Ehsan

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9 minutes ago, Ehsan said:

@samwoo

On #10, the Requests are automatically filtered by the Service domain and category that is configured for the visiting page.

Hi @Ehsan,

Thanks for contacting your response - can you advise how to configure a page/requests widget within a Service Domain to just display requests from a Domain Category?  I have created various Pages under the IT Services Domain (I can't wait to view this in the upcoming page manager functionality), but no matter what page I'm on in the IT Services Domain, I can see requests for Category linked to that Domain, when some of these pages only relate to certain Domain Categories (Hypothetically).

The same also applies to the Search Widget - I can filter by Service Domain but I cannot filter by Category.  So we've taken these widgets out of the Domain Pages and used them on the Employee Portal Home Page and Service Domain Home Page for now to prevent confusion.

Have I missed a step somewhere?

Thanks,

Samuel

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3 minutes ago, Ehsan said:

@samwoo,

On #6, you make a reasonable suggestion. The Service page does require improvements and it's on our list. The activity you refer to (copying link to a Service) is a less frequent activity, so in the meantime, I would advise that the URL can be copied by simply opening the Service.

Ehsan

Thanks @Ehsan

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18 minutes ago, samwoo said:

Hi @Ehsan,

Thanks for contacting your response - can you advise how to configure a page/requests widget within a Service Domain to just display requests from a Domain Category?  I have created various Pages under the IT Services Domain (I can't wait to view this in the upcoming page manager), but no matter what page I'm on in the IT Services Domain, I can see requests for everything linked to that Domain, when some of these pages only relate to certain Domain Categories (Hypothetically).

The same also applies to the Search Widget - I can filter by Service Domain but I cannot filter by Category.  So we've taken these widgets out of the Domain Pages and used them on the Employee Portal Home Page and Service Domain Home Page for now to prevent confusion.

Have I missed a step somewhere?

Thanks,

Samuel

@samwoo, I will discuss this requirement internally.

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1 minute ago, Ehsan said:

@samwoo, I will discuss this requirement internally.

Thanks @Ehsan - Happy New Year by the way!

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3 hours ago, Daniel Dekel said:

Hi @samwoo,

Thanks for the suggestions. Give us some time to review it and we'll get back to you.

Daniel.

Thanks @Daniel Dekel (just noticed I didnt reply to your message - sorry!)

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  • 12. My Services Widget - Can we have the option to also use the formatting functionality as the Links Widget - more specifically the Tile View

    For example, this the Links Widget which I've manually set to point to specific Services
    (Unfortunately, description and names of the Services in here may not reflect what's set up in Services Portfolio, as there is no link between the two)
    image.thumb.png.49ef51b1b2303ae7b4356fe83a8ea366.png

    This is the My Services widget
    (Changes in Services Portfolio will reflect in here as this is what the Widget is designed for)
    image.thumb.png.f5916a66d02d956ec080ee199cd7dcf1.png

Personally, I prefer the look of the Links Widget Tiles from my first screenshot

Thanks,

Samuel

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Hi @samwoo,

The answers...

1. Maximum tile height you mean if there is a long text or a big image it will be hidden partially? Is that the reason you need it for? 
2. You mean X and Y position in Pixels? or are you talking about alignment (left/right/middle/top/bottom)? Can you please explain more? 
3. YES - Can make the description multiline. Line breaks can take effect as well as WiKi text.
4. You want a preview option? Is not going to be simple because colours can be not visible unless we also preview the entire widget background and default colours. Is probably a good idea, but that will have to be done globally for all the widgets that allow text formatting.
5. YES - Can make the address optional
6. ****** ANSWERED SEPARATELLY
7. because of the way the current layout works is not possible. We will be looking on improving the layout and that can introduce this option.
8. At the moment the only format we support is WiKi. CKEditor and similar generate HTML code and is something we do not wish to support because that can introduce security problems like Script Injections. However CSS is supported in our WiKi ( see: https://wiki.hornbill.com/index.php?title=Wiki_Markup )
9. Still investigating this - Will answer later
10. ****** ANSWERED SEPARATELLY
11. We have a story in our backlog
12. The only difference between the Links and the Services widgets is the icon size. Also the description is not displayed on the Services. What other things would you change?

Thanks,

Daniel.

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3 minutes ago, Daniel Dekel said:

1. Maximum tile height you mean if there is a long text or a big image it will be hidden partially? Is that the reason you need it for? 

If you have a look at this:
image.thumb.png.06ea30336249f34914736b5ed45374ca.png

If we can set a maximum height of all tiles to say.. 192px (which is the current height of the Access tile) then all the tiles will be at that maximum height.  I used the Edge Dev Tools to do this:
image.thumb.png.0ac01bcf3d696df7614c63dcef812729.png

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Thanks @samwoo,

1. OK, now I understand. you want to keep the same height for all the tiles, right? In that case it would be "height" and not "max height". Max height would only be activated when the height is bigger than certain amount. That is not what you need. By setting a height all the tiles will have the same height, no matter if there is less content or more. If there is more, the remaining text will be hidden.

Daniel

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24 minutes ago, Daniel Dekel said:

2. You mean X and Y position in Pixels? or are you talking about alignment (left/right/middle/top/bottom)? Can you please explain more? 

That is precisely correct. 

19 hours ago, Daniel Dekel said:

3. YES - Can make the description multiline. Line breaks can take effect as well as WiKi text.

 

Thanks

19 hours ago, Daniel Dekel said:

4. You want a preview option? Is not going to be simple because colours can be not visible unless we also preview the entire widget background and default colours. Is probably a good idea, but that will have to be done globally for all the widgets that allow text formatting.

 

Yes, though it would make sense to only show it once a link has been created or updated, after pressing the Save button. 

image.png.64795452255aa24409de92da7ab83560.pngFor example this is the tile show on the page:

This is the preview of that tile within the Links configuration:
image.png.62b302fcc297b965b93c9a555d9413a8.png

19 hours ago, Daniel Dekel said:

5. YES - Can make the address optional

Thank you, though I do worry this defeats the purpose of a "Links" Widget - so some thought needs to go into that... maybe rename it to a "LIst" Widget with links capabilities, or create a new Widget type just for lists?

19 hours ago, Daniel Dekel said:

7. because of the way the current layout works is not possible. We will be looking on improving the layout and that can introduce this option.

Thanks

19 hours ago, Daniel Dekel said:

8. At the moment the only format we support is WiKi. CKEditor and similar generate HTML code and is something we do not wish to support because that can introduce security problems like Script Injections. However CSS is supported in our WiKi ( see: https://wiki.hornbill.com/index.php?title=Wiki_Markup )

 

Thanks

19 hours ago, Daniel Dekel said:

9. Still investigating this - Will answer later

Thanks

20 hours ago, Daniel Dekel said:

11. We have a story in our backlog

Thanks for confirming

20 hours ago, Daniel Dekel said:

12. The only difference between the Links and the Services widgets is the icon size. Also the description is not displayed on the Services. What other things would you change?

 

How about being able to format the Services within the Widget? For example, to add a border or a single background colour to each of them (globally) in the Widget configuration? I appreciate it isn't going to be possible to style Services individually (or could this be possible in the future?).  In addition to that, being able to change the icon size, as well as being able to show the description of the Service.

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2 hours ago, Daniel Dekel said:

Thanks @samwoo,

1. OK, now I understand. you want to keep the same height for all the tiles, right? In that case it would be "height" and not "max height". Max height would only be activated when the height is bigger than certain amount. That is not what you need. By setting a height all the tiles will have the same height, no matter if there is less content or more. If there is more, the remaining text will be hidden.

Daniel

Thanks - and I know CSS and should have thought about that when I made the post (facepalm) - I know in a lot of cases Max-Height goes with Overflow to introduce a scrollbar if necessary.   In my request it's just to set the height of all the tiles (we can deal with the amount of text ourselves, increasing/decreasing the height if necessary)

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  • 13. Can I request to have a Scrolling Ticker widget?  It should be thin and has a configuration page that works the same way as the Links Widget configuration page.  We should be able to define the speed of the ticker, and potentially have the ability to click on the item(s) that are showing to take the user to a link.  I don't think it needs to be flashy but should have the basic formatting options.

    If the Ticker is empty, then it should be hidden.

    An example copied from Google Images (I'm certain the scrolling motion can be made smoother that this):
    Jquery responsive news ticker
     
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@samwoo thanks for the clarifications:

1. Height will work... see the very ugly example ;-):

image.png

with 100px height (including overflow:hidden):

image.png

2. Can you please explain more? I don't understand why you need to set X/Y position? To me it sounds overcomplicated.

5. You are right, I'll need to think about that.

6. I agree is not the best, something there needs changing. I also don't like the way you add a new item and edit an existing one. I'll need to review the whole widget config.

12. The problem with customizing individual services within the widget is that you as a user might not have visibility to all the services. you might see only 5 of the 100 defined by the service manager. Can add options to resize the icon and hide/show the description.

13. Why would you not use the Bulletins?

Cheers!

Daniel.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Daniel Dekel said:

1. Height will work... see the very ugly example ;-):

Nice! Ugly but effective :D

4 hours ago, Daniel Dekel said:

2. Can you please explain more? I don't understand why you need to set X/Y position? To me it sounds overcomplicated.

If we will be able to change the height of the Tile, will we be able to manually change the Vertical alignment of the content to "Middle" for example?

4 hours ago, Daniel Dekel said:

12. The problem with customizing individual services within the widget is that you as a user might not have visibility to all the services. you might see only 5 of the 100 defined by the service manager. Can add options to resize the icon and hide/show the description.

 
 
 
 
 

Yes, that's why I thought maybe having Widget configuration settings that changes the look and feel of all the Service tiles would work, which includes Background Colour, Tile Border, Font Colour, Display/Hide Icon, Display/Hide Service Name, Display/Hide Service Description etc. rather than having to change Hornbill to allow formatting of individual Service tiles.

4 hours ago, Daniel Dekel said:

13. Why would you not use the Bulletins?

We've never used Bulletins (well only I have a few times over the years), it's something I think we may explore in the future.  Having a Ticker widget will allow us to display static scrolling information on a single page that won't relate to any Services and won't take up a chunk of the page.  For the next few months, we are trying to ensure the pages are not too busy so people can get used to using the Employee Portal before we start introducing more to it, such as Bulletins, Impacted Services, Service Availability, Average Rating etc. 

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It doesn't look like I'm stopping yet....

  • 14. Can we have the ability to set whether a page opens in the same tab rather than a new tab/window using Wiki Markup?  Testers are reporting that they've got so many tabs open clicking on links within widgets
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Hi @samwoo

2. Aligning all to the centre can mean that icons will look in different levels, it might not look nice at all (see following screenshot)

image.png

or if moving all to a lower position will also not look good

image.png

I think these should all be aligned to the top to maintain it nicely. Now, if there is no icon at all for all of then you might want to align the text to the centre. But I'm not sure that's your case.

 

12. I'll think about that. We are looking in to overall style improvements in the Employee Portal. But it does make sense to have similar options in both Links and Services widgets.

13. It will probably need to be a very different widget because you don't want it to have any minimum height and it should probably be presented at the top and not in the middle. Will add to the list.

14. That is unrelated to the Employee Portal, or only in the portal? The way it should work and we will need to change it is that internal links open in the same tab and external ones open in a new one. The difference :

Internal Link [[newsfeed|Link to your Newsfeed]]
External Link [[http://forums.hornbill.com/|Hornbill Community]]

Hope it makes sense.

Thanks,

Daniel

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On 1/5/2021 at 11:39 AM, Ehsan said:

@samwoo, I will discuss this requirement internally.

Hi @samwoo,

We have added an enhancement request to the backlog. 

Thanks

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On 1/7/2021 at 6:52 AM, Daniel Dekel said:

I think these should all be aligned to the top to maintain it nicely. Now, if there is no icon at all for all of then you might want to align the text to the centre. But I'm not sure that's your case.

 
 
 
 
 

I agree with you, now I can see it in action (for some reason I was struggling to get an example working in the developer tools).  Please ignore these enhancement request.

On 1/7/2021 at 6:52 AM, Daniel Dekel said:

I'll think about that. We are looking in to overall style improvements in the Employee Portal. But it does make sense to have similar options in both Links and Services widgets.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thanks

On 1/7/2021 at 6:52 AM, Daniel Dekel said:

It will probably need to be a very different widget because you don't want it to have any minimum height and it should probably be presented at the top and not in the middle. Will add to the list.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

That makes sense, thanks.  I think it could potentially work anywhere on the page but at full width only.
image.thumb.png.a1b45d60fa7fc77f5bfe50ff2305e004.png

or

image.thumb.png.c51bf1e2798605f9efbf732f3d0a6b5c.png

(Not splendid examples, but it could potentially work in any position depending on the way the page looks or how we customize it)

On 1/7/2021 at 6:52 AM, Daniel Dekel said:

That is unrelated to the Employee Portal, or only in the portal? The way it should work and we will need to change it is that internal links open in the same tab and external ones open in a new one. The difference :

Internal Link [[newsfeed|Link to your Newsfeed]]
External Link [[http://forums.hornbill.com/|Hornbill Community]]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ah I included this in this Employee Portal discussion as I would like to link to other pages within the Employee Portal, but not have to have these pages open in separate tabs.  Testers are reporting having too many tabs open when they attempt to access these links.  One example is we want to use an image displayed on the home page as a clickable button to take the user to a Service Domain page (after initial testing, users reported that it wasn't easy to understand what to do on the home page.  We implemented the image button within a text Widget, but it opens in a new tab instead of the same tab.  
image.thumb.png.7a1ba5d374277d8fabde0c69f372ff0f.png

Thanks.

Samuel

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Hi @samwoo,

14. So the solution I suggested will work for your case. The issue is that it will take some time because it conflicts with some existing functionality.

Perhaps the solution will be to allow a property in the wiki called target: 
[[http://forums.hornbill.com/|Hornbill Community|target=self]]
or an image:
[[File:https://www.hornbill.com/images/logo.png|link=http://www.hornbill.com|target=self]]

So you will need to add this to the wiki to open in the same tab (self)

will this work?

Thanks,

Daniel

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31 minutes ago, Daniel Dekel said:

Hi @samwoo,

14. So the solution I suggested will work for your case. The issue is that it will take some time because it conflicts with some existing functionality.

Perhaps the solution will be to allow a property in the wiki called target: 
[[http://forums.hornbill.com/|Hornbill Community|target=self]]
or an image:
[[File:https://www.hornbill.com/images/logo.png|link=http://www.hornbill.com|target=self]]

So you will need to add this to the wiki to open in the same tab (self)

will this work?

Thanks,

Daniel

Absolutely that would work - thanks Daniel

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