Last week we posted the first preview of Highrise. In that preview we introduced the product in broad strokes. With each additional preview we’ll be covering one facet of Highrise in detail.

With preview 2 we’ll be focusing on permissions and groups.

The “keepshare” scenario
Highrise is a shared contact manager. That means that everyone in your organization can use it to keep their contacts and contact history together online. While that’s convenient, it does bring up some visibility questions. There are things you may want to keep to yourself and other things you may want to share with others. We call this scenario “keepshare.”

What if you have someone in your contacts list that other people in your company shouldn’t know about? An investor or a sensitive contact that hasn’t been made public yet. Or what if only some people should be able to see the person? There’s also the case where someone should be visible to everyone, but certain notes about that person should only be visible to some people. Now what?

The solution
We spent a lot of time on permissions in Highrise. The bulk of the code in Highrise is permissions code. We tried a lot of different systems and a lot of different concepts. We finally went with the clearest solution from a customer experience standpoint. There were technically superior solutions, but they required too much mental overhead to understand. Clarity is key so we aimed for that.

In the spirit of open collaboration we wanted everything to default to “Everyone.” If something is in the system, everyone in the system can see it by default. However, you can also make something visible so “Only I can” see it. Or you can “Select a group” of people to see it. Or you can “Select people” to see it. “Groups” are predefined, “people” are are selected on the fly.

One of the things we realized early on is that it would be useful to be able to predefine groups of people to use with the permission system. For example, there may be situations where “Partners” should be able to see one thing, “Investors” another thing, the “Sales” department something else, and the “Board of Directors” some other things. Highrise Groups lets you add people to groups so you can quickly set permissions on people, notes, companies, and cases (more on cases in another post).

Stay tuned for the next Highrise preview.

Sign up to have a chance at a Golden Ticket
As we get closer to launch we’ll begin issuing “golden tickets.” Golden ticket holders will have access to sign-up for Highrise prior to the public launch. To sign up for a chance at a golden ticket, be sure to sign up for the Highrise announcement list.