Here in sharedo land we use ‘personas’ a lot for product development…these are a generally well accepted way of ‘getting inside the heads of users’ with the specific aim of designing solutions that are both easy and a joy to use.

However, we decided to take this a step further during our early stages of product development and actually build the concept of personas into sharedo itself. The central idea was to be able to categorise users according to their behaviour and experience using sharedo and to then take that categorisation and ‘adapt’ the sharedo experience to their needs.

Why would we do this? Well simply put if the experience is personalised then sharedo users are going to be happier and more efficient.
Alongside the persona approach, we also opened up sharedo so that anyone could be a user…not just employees of our clients but any client, service provider or customer of our clients (think policy holders); and for good measure we would allow them to login (subject to permissions) with ids such as facebook, linkedin or their own company credentials.

With these two elements in place we were in the position to start creating personalised experiences for all different types of user…experiences that can largely be achieved through configuration not coding. Yes, that’s right, there is no need in sharedo to create traditional “extranets” and all the costs that goes along with these … instead you simply configure to your stakeholder needs.

The persona – this is a set of rules that identify someone based on a type e.g. fee earner who hasn’t visited for 2 weeks or a property investor or even a B2C claimant etc.

A theme – this defines the overall look and feel for the persona…pretty useful when you are supporting lots of different B2B scenarios but also allows us to do white labelling.

A portal definition – this defines what the persona will see; typically it involves simplifying views for clients or B2C style personas.

…and finally, and probably most importantly, security … we can then lock down this users’ ability to do.

Hey presto; a new personalised portal is created for that user; who is able to interact with the case securely just as if they were an internal user.

So is this unique? Well, not really. The concept of personalisation has been a common one in the world of e-commerce web sites for some time…so for us it was a matter of taking that same approach to make case management that little but more personal and in doing so open up a whole new world of possibilities for different collaboration and service models.