Collaboration in spaces and chats

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Spaces and chats overview

Spaces facilitate structured formal collaboration on SignSpace around any topic, idea, subject, project, or workflow. Spaces are used to document discussions, negotiations or decision making process, which can be finalized by electronic document signing.

Spaces consist of a flow of different activities:

  • Text message
  • Text message with file attachments
  • Task - contains a form for entering a title, description and assignees
  • Signing request - contains a form for entering a contract name, description, files for signing and signatories

When you get email notifications (for instance to join a space or to sign a document), most of them lead to some activity on one of the spaces.

Each activity appears as a separate white block in the flow of the space. Use these activities, to create custom workflows based on your organization needs.

This is a space:

SignSpace space window for structured communication

It is the widest block on SignSpace screen:

Main SignSpace window with a space

Activities may be listed in one level flow.

Space activities listed in one level

But it is also possible to use separate branches and multiple levels in the same space. Separate branches in the space are created, if you reply inline to a specific message.

Inline reply to a message in a branch

Multiple levels in a branch start to be visible, if there are replies to a specific reply.

Multiple reply levels in a branch

Chat is a communication channel, separate from spaces. All of the informal private communication on SignSpace happens in chats. You can have instant private conversations for a quick brainstorm or information exchange quickly without overloading spaces with detailed information.

As spaces have a flow of activities (messages, signing requests, tasks), chats have a flow of messages. One easy way to distinguish between a space and a chat is to notice that each space activity is a separate white block, while all chat messages are located on a unified white background. Messages are listed on one flat flow without branches or levels.

This is a chat:

SignSpace chat window for informal communication

Individuals or groups can participate in chats. To ensure privacy, once a chat is started, new participants cannot be added to the chat.

Navigating and searching spaces and chats

All your spaces and chats are listed in the Home list. The list may have one of the two formats: grouped by space/chat or ungrouped.

When Home folder is selected on the sidebar, the list is grouped by space/chat:

Home list is grouped by space/chat

When other sidebar folders are selected (for instance Received, Sent, Starred), the list shows each activity or message separately in an email inbox format.

Home list is ungrouped into separate activities

The list always has a search bar at the top. Type a keyword and click Enter to search in spaces and chats.

Active list search

The list is marked by attention indicators for your convenience:

  • A grey dot means there is a new unread activity. This indicator will disappear once you read the activity.
  • A blue dot means there is a new unread activity that is of importance to you. For instance, you have been mentioned by your name. This indicator will disappear once you read the activity.
  • A yellow dot means there is an activity assigned to you. This indicator will disappear when you complete the assignment.

Attention indicators in the grouped list look like this:

Attention indicators in the grouped list

Attention indicators in the grouped list for an expanded space look like this:

Attention indicators in the grouped list for an expanded space

Attention indicators in the ungrouped list look like this:

Attention indicators in the ungrouped list

Inbox and other folders allow to filter out content according to your current work focus.

Sidebar folders for filtering content

Groups shortlist allows to filter out content where a particular group is participating.

Groups shortlist in the sidebar

People shortlist allows to filter out content where a particular person is participating.

People shortlist in the sidebar

If your People shortlist is long, use a local search to find a specific person.

Local search in people shortlist

Some spaces might get big, so there is Space content functionality to help you get a better overview of what is in the space. To open on the Space content column, click on the right icon in the space header.

Icon for opening space content column

Space content appears as one more column on the right side of the space details view.

Open space content column

To close off the Space content column, click again on the right icon in the space header.

Icon for closing space content column

If you are using a smaller screen, you might like to minimise the left sidebar to have more screen space available for the Space content. Typically when you start using SignSpace the default sidebar is always expanded.

Expanded sidebar

But if you click the < icon at the bottom of the sidebar, your sidebar will be minimised.

Icon for minimising sidebar

Keeping your mouse over the sidebar for a couple of seconds will temporarily expand the sidebar for you to choose the needed menu item.

Minimised sidebar

If you would like to use the expanded sidebar again, click the > icon at the bottom of the sidebar.

Icon for maximising sidebar

Create a new space

A person creating a space is called a space owner. A space owner creates a new space by posting the first activity (a message, a signing request, a task) to the initial space members. Space members can be individuals or groups.

Click the + New button. To start a space with a message, choose Message.

+ New button with open list

Recipients will be the initial space members (more may be added later at any time). The Subject of the message will also be used as the space title. Fill in the form and click Send.

New message form for starting a new space

As you fill the form, it is saved in drafts, so if you click X instead of Send, the form is closed, but your changes are saved and you can access them by following the toast message link to the Drafts folder.

Toast message informing about saved message in drafts

Sidebar Drafts folder selected

If you click Discard in the new message form you will need to confirm that you do not want to save the changes and the message draft will be deleted. Confirmation about discarding unsaved information

After clicking Send in the new message form, a new space will be created and the message will be posted in it as the first activity.

Message posted in a new space

The space members will get invited to the space by email notifications.

List of space members

In the space they can read and comment on the posted activity, create new activities or take actions as assigned, for instance to sign a signing request or complete a task.

By clicking the + User icon or this line below the space title

Number of space members and member accounts

the space owner or existing space member can add more space members at any time (space owner approval might be required for new members depending on the space security settings).

Open list of space members

Space owner can remove any member from the space at any time by clicking the Delete icon. The removed member retains access to the space information up to the point in time when they were removed from the space.

Icon for deleting a space member

Space security

Spaces have advanced security controls for members to share content safely. A space owner may decide, if new users added by existing space members need to be approved in order to join a space. Approval settings are indicated by an open or closed lock next to the organization name under the space title. By default own organization, external organizations and personal users do not need space owner approval to join a space (indicated by an open grey lock).

Number of space members and member accounts

Space owner may change this setting in the space members list by clicking Edit access link below the organization name. The red lock indicates that approval for new space members from that organization is required.

Grey lock icon next to account name

Red lock icon next to account name

When approval is required, an access request to join a space will be posted in the space for space owner to take action. New member will receive an email notification to join the space only after the space owner’s approval.

Access request to space notification

Granting or denying access request

A space owner also may choose, if space members need to verify their identity strongly to access space contents.

Authentication level selector for the space

If strong identity verification is required, user will be asked to go through the identity verification service provided by Signicat. It covers identity verification via electronic IDs for Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.

Collaborate in a space

When you get invited to a space, you will be notified in SignSpace Home view as well as by email.

Email invitation to a space

When you join the space, you may reply to existing messages, post new messages, create signing requests and tasks.

To reply to an existing message, click Reply to this message icon.

Reply to this message icon

Write your reply in the inline reply bar and click the Send icon.

Open inline reply

Your message will be posted as a reply and you as well as others may keep replying to the same branch of messages.

Posted inline reply

If you would like to post a separate new message in this space (and start a new branch), use the reply bar at the bottom of the screen.

Bottom reply bar

Enter your text, attach files if needed and click the Send icon.

Bottom reply bar with an attached file

The message is posted as a stand alone message in the space (in SingSpace terms it is also creating a new branch in this space because you can reply to each branch separately).

Posted new message in a space

You can also post a signing request or a task in the space. Click on the three dots in the reply bar and select the option from the context menu.

Access to Signing request and Task forms

A signing request or task form will open accordingly. These forms allow to include more complex activities in your conversation. This is an example of a signing request form.

Signing request form for posting in the current space

With a signing request you can invite people to sign documents, for example a contract.

Posted signing request

With a task form you can assign something to do to any person or group.

Posted task

Start a chat

If you would like to chat with one person, listed in the People shortlist, click on that name. The Home list is automatically filtered to show only the content involving this person. The chat with that person will appear at the top of the Home list. If this is the first time you want to chat with that person, the chat will be empty. If you have chatted previously, old messages will be pulled up.

Chat with a person in the People shortlist

If the person does not appear in the People shortlist or you would like to chat with multiple participants, click on the sidebar + Chat link at the top of the People shortlist.

Link for starting a new chat

An empty chat window will open.

New chat window

Start typing the names of the people you want to chat with. The auto-suggestion list will help you add people. New people can be invited by email address.

Autosuggest for chat members

You can also include a group by typing a group name.

Adding groups as chat members

People and groups that you add to the chat may be from different organizations.

Make sure to add all the needed members, because new members may not be added to the chat after the first message is posted.

When you have added all the chat members, switch to the reply bar at the bottom of the screen, write your first message and click the Send icon.

Chat message input field

The chat is created and your first message is posted in it.

Posted first message in a chat

Chat in a group

When you belong to a group, you can have an internal chat with members of that group.

In the Groups shortlist, click on that group name. The Home list is automatically filtered to show only the content involving this group. The internal chat of this group will appear at the top of the message list.

Chat inside a group

Linked spaces and chats

By default spaces are stand-alone entities when they are created from the + New button. But spaces may be linked to each other or linked to a chat. The process starts in an existing space.

Click on Forward this message icon in the top right corner of any activity in a space and select Start linked space or Start linked chat.

Menu to Start linked space or Start linked chat

If you choose Start linked space, a new message form will open in a modal. The space title will be prefilled, the original activity contents will be copied, the original activity files will be attached, but the recipients field will be empty. Correct and fill the message fields as needed, add new recipients for the linked space and click Send.

Form for starting a linked space

A new space is created, which has a status of linked space.

Created linked space

For you the spaces appear linked. In the original space you will see a link to the newly created linked space.

Internal links between spaces

From the linked space navigation in the space heading you may access the original space.

Internal links between spaces

Only users who have access to both spaces, will see these links as you do. People who only have access to one of the linked spaces will not see the links and will not be able to access the other space.

If you choose Start linked chat, a new chat will open and original activity content will be copied to the reply bar. At the top of the new chat add recipients with whom you would like to chat about this, fix the message content as needed and click the Send icon.

Form for starting new linked chat

A new chat is created (if you never chatted with these recipients before) or an old chat is continued (if you chatted with these recipients before).

Started new linked chat

For you the chat and the space appear linked. In the original space next to the original task which you shared, you will see a link to this chat.

Space link to linked chat

In a chat a specific separator indicates where the linked chat started.

Linked chat link to original space

Only users who have access to both - the space and the chat - will see these links as you do. People who only have access to one of the items will not see the links and will not be able to access the other item.

@mention users

When composing an activity in a space or writing a message in a chat, you may use the @ sign to mention a user in a text field. An auto suggestion list will open where you can choose the person.

Mentioning users

Posted user mention in a message

If the mentioned user is already a member of the space, the user will be notified about this mention with attention indicators and an email notification. If the mentioned user is not part of the space, before sending the message you will see a notification that this user will be invited to the space.

Confirmation if mentioned user is not part of the space

If you choose to proceed and send the message, an access approval might be needed depending on the space security settings. In that case an access request will be sent to the space owner to allow the user to join the space. Once the mentioned user is added to the space, the user will be notified in SignSpace and by email.

If the mentioning is happening in a chat, only the chat participants may be mentioned, since chat does not allow adding new participants. The mentioned user will be notified about this mention with attention indicators and an email notification.

Archiving spaces and chats

Use archiving to clean up your SignSpace of unneeded content. To archive a space or a chat click Archive icon in the top right corner of the space or chat header.

Icon to archive a space or a chat

Archiving is not deleting any space or chat contents. They are only moved to the Archived folder and no longer appear in other sidebar folders.

Archived spaces and chats folder

Archiving applies only to your account. Other users will see the space or chat as before.

To restore an archived space or chat go to Archived folder in the sidebar, select the space or the chat and click Move to inbox icon in the top right corner of the space or chat header.

Icon to unarchive a space or a chat