Blackbaud NetCommunity 6.45: Introducing Multiple Selections and Administrative Consistency

One of the goals of Blackbaud NetCommunity 6.45 is to increase usability in key areas of the system.  We’ll be reviewing a few of these options in the upcoming weeks, starting today with the Multiple Selections.

Our Product Development teams worked with Administrative users from a number of organizations identify key areas that could improve the administrative user’s day-to-day experience.  One of those areas was managing Pages, Parts, Email Lists, and Images.  Given a task to move 10 parts from one Website Folder to another, we learned an average of 3.5 minutes was needed for an experienced user to complete the task.  The process was also repetitive: requiring we manually adjust the folder on each Part’s properties tab.

In 6.45, we worked to improved this by adding the ability to manage multiple selections at once.  We’ve added a checkbox to the Action pane of multiple areas of the system, allowing you to select multiple entries at a time.  We’ve also added a Move button and a “Select all” checkbox.  The Move button will open the folder structure in a modal Ajax window, a departure from the full-on new browser window used in the past, e.g., editing a Part’s properties.  The results of this design change were so effective, the Product Development team decided to spread this initiative through all areas of Blackbaud NetCommunity: no new functionality will require opening a full browser window dialog.

How long did it take users to complete the task of moving 10 parts, in version 6.45?  Less than 10 seconds.

Another aim of this version was to create a more consistent feel across administrative areas of the product.  For example, a user working in Email > Lists and Site Explorer > Pages & Templates had to become familiar with a different interface in each area to complete the same types of tasks.  In reviewing user activity, the Pages & Templates area scored most favorably for usability, with its Search and Folders option.  We chose that as the basis for standardizing other Administrative areas.  Your Email > Lists, Parts Gallery, and Image Gallery will now feature the same Folder and Search capabilities you currently enjoy with Pages & Templates.  While we were at it, we made sure multiple selections and bulk management was available as well!

Speaking of new Folder options, we’ll finish up this post by reviewing updates to the Image Gallery.  We learned there was a lot of confusion in the way Categories were used to manage images.  To enhance administrative consistency, Image Gallery will now use the same Folder system used in other areas of the system.  What does this mean for your existing image categories?  Two things:

1. All Categories will be converted to Folders of the same name.
2. All Images within a Folder will also be tagged with all associated categories for that image.

What about images with multiple categories?  We considered placing a copy of the image in each associated folder, as well as placing it in the top-level (primary) category.   The choice that resonated most with our test base was the one we implemented: placing such images into a folder called “Multiple Categories.”

Multiple Selections are available in the Image Gallery, as well. Using the Shift and Control keys on your keyboard, you can select multiple images at once.  Note also how the Image Gallery provides Move and Approve options.  Coupled with Multiple Selection functionality, managing and approving multiple images has never been easier!

Interested in participating in future discovery projects to improve Blackbaud NetCommunity?  Check out our discovery page.

You can keep up with us on Twitter by following @bbsupport; we use the hashtag #bbnc when we discuss Blackbaud NetCommunity. Take a look at our Twitter Guide for more information.




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