With spring around the corner, it’s time for another update of what’s new in your Shelf. Throughout March we’ve been working on ways to broaden how you use Shelf in your organization. In addition to working on Enterprise SSO with SAML support, we’ve added a new Gem type and placed a strong focus on the overall usability and findability of your content.
Gem Type Post
With Posts, we’ve added a new Gem type to Shelf that adds more collaboration features to your knowledge base. You can use Posts as a way to make announcements to specific groups or even the whole organization.
In combination with the option to pin content to the Home Dashboard or a specific Group, this is a powerful way to distribute information across your entire organization.
Posts can also be used to pose questions and allow your team a place to engage in discussions, the content of which may become valuable knowledge itself. And as a reminder, you can connect other Gems to a Post to create rich maps of knowledge.
More on the above-mentioned option to pin content to the Home Dashboard, Groups, and even folders in February’s Product Update. And in January’s update, you can read more on how to connect (or link) multiple pieces of content with each other.
Gem Page Changes
The Gem page is where you can view all the details of the content you’ve added to your Shelf, such as tags, your selected badge, who created the content and, of course, the main content itself.
We made a couple of subtle changes to the Gem page. Most of the available actions are now grouped together in a single menu. This way, there is now a single place from which you can access them and there is less distraction when viewing the content with many potential actions available.
Editing most of the Gem’s content is also available through that menu via the ‘Edit Details’ option. However, editing the main content of Wiki Pages remains accessible directly via the prominent Edit button next to the main menu.
Redesigned Header and Search Context
The header section displays the current search context once a text search, filtered search, or any navigation through your content has taken place. From there, you can further refine your search – or just reset to start a fresh search.
These past weeks we’ve refreshed the layout of that section to help focus more easily on the most important aspects of your search context. Apart from a general UI redesign, you’ll notice that each search token now includes a small icon to associate it with the type of search, be it a text search or a filter. In case you’re not familiar with one of the icons, simply hover your mouse over it to see further details.
A New Login Flow
Until recently, we actually provided two ways for you to log in to the web app: either via navigating to the specific domain of your Shelf account or via login.shelf.io. Only the latter now remains but don’t worry, your specific domain will take you to the right place as well.
The login flow has been changed to a simple two-step form: enter your email in Step 1 and your password in Step 2. Apart from an additional layer of security, this change sets the path for enabling logins via Enterprise SSO, such as Active Directory or other SAML-supporting SSO providers.
Speaking of SSO, you can use Google SSO on the new login form as well. This no longer requires prior setup. As long as your Shelf user’s email address is the same as your Gmail address, you can use Google SSO to log in.
The new login flow with two steps and added security is also featured on the new versions of the Shelf Collaborative Web Clipper, both for Chrome and Firefox.
Filter Untagged Gems
The Hatrack filter for Tags now has an additional option that lets you filter for Gems that don’t have any tags. This is another option to support your curation efforts by letting you identify pieces of content that may benefit from adding more meta information for better findability.
The display of Gem snippets, for example, when you perform a search, typically include a small thumbnail to visually support the content. Previously, some content had no thumbnail, but now Shelf automatically generates an attractive image for these Gems when a link to the original source is available. Also, you may notice the previews of new Wikis have white backgrounds and are more readable, just like for the new type Post.
In the month of April, we’re going to place a strong focus on enhancing Shelf’s search experience. Furthermore, I’ll be talking more about the Shelf-supported SAML-based Enterprise SSO options that cover various services, including Okta and Azure AD.
Your feedback on new, upcoming, and existing features of Shelf is more than welcome. Please be in touch and thank you, as always for your continued support.