This past month, the Shelf platform has received a very noticeable upgrade that includes a brand-new and one-of-a-kind search experience, reminders that help keep your content up to date and additional system usage insights.
A Whole New Search Experience
As part of the June updates, we released the most significant and ground-breaking change to Shelf’s rich search experience since the platform opened to the public.
Shelf’s Pinpointed In-Document Search allows you to browse through various search results within a whole document and open it at the exact location of any of the results.
Richer Display of Search Results
The Shelf search harnesses the power of rich metadata. Adding specific metadata to your content enables a better search experience. Two highly valuable pieces of metadata come in the form of Tags and Badges.
Enriching your content with Tags and Badges is essential for your search because it gives you and your users another way to categorize your content so you can find it more easily later.
With Tags and Badges providing such a core function to quickly identifying sought-after information, we decided to display them prominently when listing Gems. The so-called Snippet View is the most information-rich of the three content views that are part of the Shelf platform, and once you run a text search, you are automatically presented with this view. The Snippet View now includes the Badges and Tags for each of the displayed Gems.
Remember that you can always switch to your preferred view while keeping the current set of displayed Gems intact, regardless of whether or not you previously ran a text search. While the Snippet View includes the most detailed information about a Gem, the Card View provides an excellent visual representation, and the List View shows the largest number of Gems at a single screen.
As you may already have noticed on the images in the previous section, the Gem views have been redesigned to make all the displayed information more accessible. The combination of faceted filters and text search are great to narrow down the number of Gems from which to select from. The very accessible display makes it a breeze to quickly digest the displayed information.
Pinpointed In-document Search
The Shelf Search surfaces the most relevant information very effectively through text search and filters. But once you find the desired document, how do you get to the exact location within that document that contains the paragraph you wanted to refer to? Especially on large documents or PowerPoint presentations with dozens or even hundreds of pages that is not a small feat.
The new Search in Shelf changes all of that. Not only can you find the document you’re looking for with high accuracy, but you can now also browse through the various sections within the text that Shelf identified as highly relevant.
Once you identified the appropriate section, a single click opens the Gem Page, displays the document, and navigates you to the exact page with your search term highlighted. This all happens on the PDF preview that we generate for your content. So it works with almost any file type, such as Word and PDF documents, Powerpoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, and even Google Docs.
Just like inside documents, searches also return individual matches inside of Wiki Pages, Articles, and from any of the comments of a Gem. Again, a single click takes you to the exact content location or the comment that you identified as the relevant content you were looking for.
Even text search within Images is possible as Shelf extracts text contained within an image via OCR technology. What this means is that you can search and browse the results within Infographics and other text-heavy imagery.
Recently Changed Content
Alongside the pin-pointed search and the redesigned display of results, we added another option that lets you sort the list of Gems by when the content was last updated. Take a look at the newly designed sort selector to see all the available sorting options.
Apart from the added ability to sort a list of Gems by recently changed, the Home Dashboard now includes a new section for Recently Changed content. That way, you can quickly see what content was recently updated so you can take a look yourself. Remember that you can customize the dashboard to show or hide the parts you’d like to see.
An entirely new feature released this past month is the Reminder functionality. With Gem Reminders, you can make sure content gets reviewed at pre-defined intervals.
Apart from specifying future dates for the reminder, attaching custom messages let you detail the actions to be taken. When a Reminder becomes due, in-app notifications and email reminders are sent automatically to the appropriate audience.
Earlier, we talked about the importance of Badges as a way to categorize the information you curate on Shelf. Since Badges hold special importance, there now is a new notification that once enabled will alert you for any changes to the Badges of Gems that you have access to. It’s a user setting so all users of your Shelf account can decide themselves if they’d like to receive in-app notifications or emails or both.
To change your Notification settings, navigate to your Profile Settings, then Notification Settings.
The last new feature I’d like to talk about today is the ability to view who viewed a particular piece on content. For this, we added a new tab at the details section of the Gem page, next to the Comments and History.
By opening the tab Views, you can see who accessed the content and when. This will help you understand the usefulness of the material and the frequency by which it was accessed. Further insights are available to Admins of a Shelf account on the Admin Panel. To learn more about the Analytics Dashboard, please refer to May’s Product Update.
Oof, this was a long update! Thank you for taking the time to learn more about these recently introduced new features, and I hope they will make your work with Shelf even more useful and pleasant. And of course, thanks again for the fantastic feedback we keep receiving from you, our users.
I’m very much looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the new Shelf Search and the other updates. Be in touch!