ONE Chat Overview
The Chat capability in ONE is intended to allow companies to provide one-to-one and group communications capabilities to cover a large variety of use cases. Chat is an evolving capability with several planned features. This document will be updated as new capabilities are released.
The server features are intended to provide a central configuration of Chat that affects the entire company. The Chat screen is found within the tenant admin and is available to users with Portal Admin or Chat Administration permissions.
The Chat Settings dialog at the top of the Chat screen is used to control the overall deployment. In the future, settings for specific chat behaviors like allowing picture attachments will go in this section. Currently, the settings in this area control who is able to use chat and what restrictions they have.
There are effectively three modes for deploying Chat. The first option is to check the Enable Chat for all Users checkbox as shown in the image above. This mode should only be used if a person wants all of their users to have access to Chat without any restriction on who can chat with whom. Even if it is eventually intended to make Chat available to everyone, Limeade encourages all customers to start by restricting to certain groups.
The next screenshot shows the first of the two group-restricted options.
When this mode is selected, the user will need to search for specific groups with the Add Group button and then save when the list is complete.
Once these groups have been configured, only users who are in at least one of the groups will be able to see the Chat functionality on their phones. In addition, when a user searches for another user (either to start a new chat conversation or to add a user to an existing chat conversation), only users who are in at least one of the specified groups can be found. This mode is appropriate when wanting to have chat rolled out to a portion of an organization without having to apply any further limits to the users.
The final option is the most restrictive and is achieved by checking both boxes as shown below.
Just like the less restrictive mode, setting this option means that only users who are in at least one of the groups will be able to see the Chat UI within their phones.
The additional restriction in this mode is that when users search for other users, they will only find users who are in at least one of their groups. So if in the screenshot above, a user is only in the Sitrion Germany group, then they can only find other users who are in the Sitrion Germany group to start a new chat conversation with or add to an existing conversation. This mode is intended for companies who want to restrict chat conversations in some way (e.g. within business units or locations). Note that if there is a user who is in multiple groups that, that user can invite another user from any group that they share. So for example, a user who is in both the Sitrion Germany and the Denver Office groups shown in the screenshot above can create chat conversations that span these groups.
The second major function on the Chat screen is to define Managed Conversations.
Managed conversations serve two general purposes. First, if it is very likely that there will be chat communications for a specific scope (a business unit, a location, etc), creating a Managed Conversation means that end users have immediate access and don’t have to go through the trouble of trying to create a group and make sure to add all the right people. Second, Managed Conversations have a controlled membership where users cannot leave or be added. So, to have a chat that is only among a group of managers, for example, one can define it here and know that no other user will accidentally be added to the conversation by one of the participants.
In some ways, Managed Conversations mirror the idea of email distribution lists that are used in many companies. They represent known channels of conversation. To make it easier to manage these in ONE, users have the option of synchronizing these with a group that has already been defined for the Cloud Comm functionality. When clicking Add Conversation, dialog with a checkbox will appear.
By clicking Create Conversation from an Existing Group, a choice to search for a group will be given. Then, whenever users are added or removed from that group (either manually or by automated group sync processes that a company may run), the membership in the Managed Conversation updates automatically.
A Managed Conversation can also be built by searching for users and adding them in the Add Conversation dialog. The Managed Conversations lists shows an icon to the left of the conversation name if it is synced to a group.
End-users will typically experience Chat from within their phones. As with the server, features are being added on a regular basis to the clients and this document will be updated to cover them. The clients may have different user interface treatments. Screenshots within this document are for illustrating the capabilities.
Chat has an icon on the main navigation bar. If chat is enabled for the logged-in user, it should appear on the bar (note that some customers may have different functionality enabled).
If the user has chat conversations with unviewed messages, a bubble will display on the chat icon.
Tapping the Chat icon takes the user into the Conversations screen. The various chat conversations in which the user is a member are listed here in order of the most recently sent chat message (newest first).
Conversations with a dot next to them have unviewed messages. Conversations with a single person are named by that person and show the user’s image (if uploaded to ONE). Group conversations have a group icon. A Managed Conversation has a group icon that includes a gear. Users participate in Managed Conversations by just tapping them on this screen – the user does not need to go through the Create Conversation process (see below).
From this screen, a user can access settings, create a new chat conversation or view an existing conversation. The settings screen allows the user to turn on or off notifications for new chat messages.
When this is on, users will receive a push notification containing all or part of the message. Tapping the notification will bring the user directly into the chat conversation view (see below).
As mentioned above, users can create a new chat conversation from the conversations listing screen by tapping the create (pen in box) icon. This brings the user to an initial screen for selecting members for the conversation.
Depending on prior usage, the user may have a list of people displayed immediately on this screen. This list is generated based on prior chat conversations in which the user participated. The Search function allows users to find people to add to the chat.
When everyone has been added, tap Next. If more than one person for the conversation has been selected, the option to name the group chat conversation will appear. Tapping Done will open the chat conversation view.
Whether getting to this view by creating a new conversation, tapping a conversation in the listing page or tapping on a push notification, the chat conversation view will always look the same.
Chat messages will be listed in chronological order with the most recent nearest the bottom. A placeholder shows when the conversation started. If someone else is currently typing a message to this conversation, an indicator (three dots at bottom left) will appear on this screen.
When a user taps on the message entry line, the keyboard slides up. When the user taps the Send key, the new message is added at the bottom of the text. Emoticons that are available on the phone are supported in chat messages. The user’s messages sent to this conversation are always displayed on the right side of the screen.
Options for the current conversation are shown by tapping the three dots at the top of the screen.
For a Managed Conversation, Manage Members allows a user to see the list of members of the conversation. For any other conversation, this option allows a user to add other users to the conversation (with the same controls as the Create Conversation screen – see above).
Leave Conversation does not show as an option on a Managed Conversation. For all other conversations, this option will cause the conversation to disappear from the Conversations Listing screen and the user will no longer get updates.