We get it: we’re in month six of working from home, and even though you have a real home office set up by now, a remote-friendly tech stack, and (mercifully) have seen the end of overly-frequent Zoom happy hours, remote work burnout is still all too real. With companies like Slack and Facebook working from home until Summer 2021, and Shopify and Twitter working from home indefinitely, the challenges that accompany remote collaboration aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
We’ve observed this trend of communication tools not bridging information silos between teams, and see Guru as a natural solution. Guru complements real-time communication tools by facilitating ongoing, asynchronous, cross-team access to knowledge. That's why we’re making Guru better and easier to use—a single source of knowledge across teams to foster collaboration and combat remote work burnout.
Because even if you have the right ingredients to enable cross-team communication (a chat tool, a video communications tool, new policies and processes) that doesn’t always solve for cross-team access to information. The ability for a support agent to ping an engineer with a technical question at any time of the day or night isn’t as helpful as the ability for that support agent to self-serve the engineering’s team knowledge in order to answer that question themself.
To further improve the Guru product experience, we’ve identified three key areas to invest in this launch: our ecosystem, the core user experience, and administrative functionality. To walk you through how our newest features aim to make our users’ lives easier and connect teams, check out our launch video featuring our VP of Product, Jason Maynard:
For a rundown on how we’re investing in our ecosystem, user experience, and administrative capabilities in this launch to facilitate cross-team knowledge sharing, read on:
Ecosystem: Knowledge access everywhere you work
One of our guiding product principles at Guru is "not another destination," because we live in a world of ever-expanding apps, tabs, notifications, and devices, all vying for your attention. Our ecosystem focus is all about meeting you and your team wherever you're working, and helping you be more productive.
A primary area of focus for the Guru ecosystem is our Microsoft suite. We recently launched a Guru app for Microsoft Teams, building upon our add-in for Microsoft Outlook and paving the way for a sync with SharePoint in the near future.
Firefox extension end of life
With this launch, we also announce the retirement of one of our legacy features, to ensure we have the appropriate resources and control to make your experience with Guru the best it can be. As of 8/17/20, we have officially terminated our Firefox browser extension. This decision comes after extensive evaluation of our usage data, which shows an overwhelming favoritism towards Google Chrome, as well as an inability to update our Firefox extension since September 2019. By ending support for this extension, we are able to accelerate other projects that will make Guru stronger, more elegant, and more intuitive for users across all platforms. Please note that this change does not impact or interrupt your ability to use the Guru web app in Firefox.
Experience: Making Guru simple and fun to use
Sometimes we focus on new and shiny projects, but as a knowledge product, the core of what we need to get right is pretty simple. It should be easy to use Guru to write great content, find the information you're looking for, and collaborate with your team. Our emphasis on experience is all about reinforcing these core functions.
Recently, we’ve been sharing more behind-the-scenes looks into how we enhance and improve our search functionality across Guru. This quarter, we've focused our work on improving results for keyword searches, as well as upgrades to our search infrastructure to support long-term improvements. You may notice in the coming weeks that your knowledge is surfacing easier than before.
Ever craft content that you’re not quite ready to share yet? Maybe you’re waiting on a final piece of information, or you don’t want your team to get their hands on it until the day of a product launch. Well then, you’re in luck! Drafting is now part of the Guru knowledge creation experience. Users can begin crafting content, save it as a draft, and come back to it when they’re ready to finish it or publish the content to the wider team. Drafts are accessible through the My Tasks tab in the Guru web application, making them easy to come back to at a later date and to see all in one place.
“One of the reasons I’m so excited for drafts is that it’s going to make my life so much easier when it comes to product launches. So many times we get bits and pieces of information, but we don’t exactly get everything we need all at the same time…It’ll allow us to have everything in place, ready to go, when we launch anything.”
– Mariah Carraway, Patient Care Specialist at Hims and Hers
As part of our commitment to our ecosystem and making knowledge accessible everywhere you work, drafting functionality will soon be available as part of our Slack and Microsoft Teams knowledge creation flows as well. Capture knowledge as it arises in Slack or Teams and save it as a draft in Guru to review later.
Keep an eye out for Slack and Teams drafts functionality in the coming weeks!
Administration: Less management, more knowledge
Another guiding product principle at Guru is to deliver “knowledge management without all the management." You shouldn't have to spend all your time managing your content, users, and permissions; you should be able to spend your time creating, sharing, and enjoying your knowledge base. Our administration focus is all about making admins’ lives easier.
Verification is core to Guru’s mission to help you ensure that the knowledge you need to do your job is accurate and up-to-date. With additional verification intervals, including specific dates, you can get even more granular with when your knowledge will become untrusted. Instead of having to pick a weekly or monthly cadence to verify your knowledge, updated verification options will allow you to choose the very day your knowledge will expire—like the end of the quarter, or the day after a product launch.
"I'm super excited to start setting verification dates because it will ensure our content is being verified in a timely manner suitable for our business model and improve our authors’ overall workflow!"
- Liz Lemerand, CX Coordinator, L&D, FabFitFun
Verification dates will be available to all customers very soon!
Building for the long term
Whether you’re already back in the office, waiting to see what 2021 brings, or working remotely indefinitely, the way we work and communicate has permanently changed. Democratic access to knowledge needs to be a part of the future of work if we want to collaborate effectively. We at Guru will continue to invest in our ecosystem, user experience, and administration this quarter in an effort to make cross-company knowledge sharing easier than ever so you can collaborate better and make this new way of working work for you.