Openbravo's User Experience Lab
GUI design, ERP Usability and Visual Design

Testing Yammer, Chatter and Teambox

Monday, January 31, 2011

Every couple of weeks I take the train from Barcelona to Pamplona. It is a four hour journey and although it seems quite long, I always enjoy the ride. Being offline lets me work without distractions on the more creative kind of stuff such as designing product features or writing blog posts. Or I just relax and listen to my iPod while watching the landscape blast by through the window.

A few days ago I was on my way to Pamplona once again and - following my ritual - after exactly 2 hours I decided to go for a coffee in the train cafeteria. While I got up from my seat, I noticed my colleague Xavi sitting right behind me! What a coincidence and how silly that I did not know he was (going to be) there. Using Facebook and Twitter, I know about the whereabouts and plans of many of my friends but I don´t always know what my colleagues are up to. So Xavi and I went for a coffee and donut and spent the following two hours talking about things that he and I were doing at the moment. We realized that our work activities have a lot of dependencies and that it would be good to know more about what other teams are doing. However, this is easier said than solved. The first problem is that none of us is really keen on planning meetings just to exchange information. The second problem is that many of us are geographically dispersed. Openbravo has staff in seven countries.

Would an internal social media application help to improve cross-departmental communication?

In the next few weeks a couple of colleagues and I will test Yammer, Chatter and Teambox. Actually we started this morning already with a couple of updates and I just learned that I have to bring back a tennis racquet to Barcelona this week when I return from the Pamplona office :-)

Thinking ahead, the next step could be to place one of these apps in an Openbravo Workspace Widget so you can use it directly from within Openbravo 3. Imagine how cool it would be to place links to Openbravo documents in status updates, such as "Jorge just received payment against invoice INV/010010". You would then just click that link and the document opens on a new tab.

Share your thoughts on the UX Lab forum.


Anonymous said...

Try Flowr (, I think it is free or at least way cheaper. Yammer is better though...

JH said...

Very good suggestion! I always had Twitter in the back of my head for this, realizing though that that would be a security issue. I never realized there were closed alternatives available like yammer.

Ecommerce website developer said...

Thats great you write blog posts when you travel, because, by doing so you just share the useful information with us. Keep the good work.. I really enjoyed reading your post..

Rob Goris said...

Update: we have chosen Teambox because of its open source nature, extensive project/task management capabilities and pricing. Coincidence or not: they´re also based in Barcelona.