Social Signals #1: Our framework for adding social signals into Pesto
This is the first installment in a series of posts about the various social signals that we built into Pesto.
Social signals are critical for team communication and especially so for remote teams. In physical offices, social signals are pretty straightforward.
- When I put on my headphones and have Visual Studio foregrounded on my screen, I’m locked in deep work.
- When I’m reading Hacker News at my desk while sipping on my coffee, I’m taking a break.
My subtle behaviors in physical offices send powerful messages to my teammates. But when I work remotely, I immediately lose teammate awareness.
- I don’t know if Doug is in a Zoom call
- I don’t know if Mary is eating lunch and free to chat about a new feature idea
- I don’t know if John is working on another client’s project or a task for Pesto
Some social signals can be excellent for remote team culture and productivity. But in order to incorporate social signals, teams have to evaluate them correctly. At Pesto, we use two dimensions to measure the effectiveness of every social signal we introduce into the product.
Clarity of Intent (COI): Does the signal give me meaningful insight into my teammate’s intent or behavior?
Example: The COI of seeing that my teammate is on a Zoom call is high. If I know that she is on a call, I won’t try to grab her for a conversation.
Invasiveness to Privacy (ITP): Does that signal invade my privacy?
Example: The ITP of seeing my teammate’s work Google calendar is low. But, the ITP of seeing my teammate’s personal calendar is high. And interestingly enough, both work and personal calendars often have high COI - they often give high insight into a teammate’s behavior.
The best social signals have high COI (high intent) and low ITP (non-invasiveness).
This article was the first installment in a series of posts about different social signals that we built into Pesto to communicate status and a frank evaluation of how each signal performs on these two dimensions.
We also released the second social signals post about our Spotify integration. Stay tuned for more posts about new integrations that we built into the product - a calendar integration post is in the works as well.
What is Pesto?
I built a virtual office for remote teams to frictionlessly chat and feel present with each other. We use various social signals to provide remote teammates on Pesto the confidence to start conversations with their coworkers.