Everyone who books a workspace fills in their knowhow through knowledge tags. In this way you let others see what your social capital is. There will be an update soon about the way people can fill in their knowledge. In this article I will explain what we improved and why we did it.

About half a year ago I graduated in Digital Media and Communication. I wrote my graduate thesis about how Seats2meet.com (one of the power users of the Serendipity Machine) could improve the serendipitous connections through the knowledge tags. I took a lot of interviews from people who were working in a Seats2meet.com location and had booked a workspace. The main goal of these interviews was to get some more insights about the way people fill in there social capital and what their motivation is, so we could improve this process.

Why do the users fill in their knowledge?

By far the most people said the main reason of filling in their knowledge tags is to let others know what their knowledge is and make them able to get in touch with them. Much people said also that they are filling their knowledge in to help others with their knowledge. So this tells us that most people are really understanding the reason of social capital. Great!

How do users fill in their knowledge?

As we expected, the most people (80%) said they never change their knowledge tags when they make a new booking. Your knowledge isn’t something that changes a lot. Sometimes you have some new skills and you could add them, but most of the times you have the same knowledge and skills every booking. One user said:

I never change my knowledge tags. My work doesn’t change, so my knowledge doesn’t change as well. I could fine-tune my tags, but it won’t change much.

So knowledge doesn’t change much. But there is something that changes every booking, and that are the things you will be working on that day. It could be different everyday and it can be another way for people to get in touch (besides the knowledge). This is why we’ve added the field “what will you be working on?” while booking a workspace.

User interface improvements

We also made a lot of improvements in the user interface. First of all we removed the large text area box where you can fill in knowledge and replaced it with a single textfield.

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The old way to fill in knowledge

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The new way to fill in knowledge

We’ve also added autocompletion to this textfield to help people filling in their knowledge. By adding autocompletion we are trying to prevent miss spelling and synonyms like “photography” and “photographer”. This is just the first step, we are working on a lot more intelligent ways to prevent this. But we will write a another article about that in the future.

Autocompletion

The autocompletion while filling in knowledge

A Serendipity Machine checkin

We’ve already implemented these learnings in the Serendipity Machine. When you checkin at www.serendipitymachine.com you can see it in action. You can expect it at www.seats2meet.com soon!