In 2009 thought leader Bell Labs was exploring what I like to call “FaceBook for the Enterprise”.


The Intuitive Collaborative Design group (ICD) was charged with implementing a social networking and collaboration platform across Bell Labs. A primary focus was on integrated messaging and workflow collaboration.

This was a delightful engagement: A small, but high-powered team of forward-looking professionals working on cutting-edge stuff.  It was  nice combination of practical and visionary.  Here is the first of several “process-focused” posts excerpted  from this timely case study.


Our challenges were:

  • provide appropriate tools in an accessible user interface
  • actively encourage participation by range of behavioral profiles


Role, Behavior, Design Challenge

First things first:  Who is involved, How do they motivated and  and What do they want to do ?  In my opinion, you will probably find these types of behavior:


  • Proactively starts new collaborative projects. Motivated by creating & leading. Often a manager.

Design Challenge:  Rewards for success in crafting traction to action


  • Cleans up info, reduces noise, edits and organizes information, actively creates tags. Motivated by guiding and organizing.

Design Challenge:  Editorial tools – an efficient environment for providing value


  • Mediates threads and forges connections among them.  Motivated by harmony.

Design Challenge:  Management tools for crafting the environment


  • Responds to (by rating) or comments on existing threads.  Motivated by casualinvolvement.

Design Challenge:  Convenient valuation and attribution tools


  • Participates passively, contribution thru presence. Will join groups formed by others. Influenced by status.

Design Challenge:  Communicate the value proposition


  • Observes but little active contribution, no obvious presence. Uses service to “harvest” information provided by others.  desires anonymity.

Design Challenge:  Overcome barriers to more active participation, while providing a safe environment.


These attributes describe a continuum of activity and often overlap in an individual.


View the Case Study

© The Communication Studio LLC

Published in LinkedIn on September 30, 2015