In 2019 Tableau released the new Shared with Me section in the Tableau product. Now, in addition to receiving an email when someone shares a dashboard with you, you can access it in Tableau from the new Shared With Me page.

The Shared with Me space fills a gap in our experience to provide:
A persistent home for shared content where customers can easily find historic content that was shared with them
Difficulty rediscovering shared items: without the Shared with Me space, when users want to get back to the content shared to them in the past, there isn’t an easy way to do so. Users can search a sea of emails, search the server, or ask the sharer to send again. 
"Cold-start" problem: without the Shared with Me space, when new users log into Tableau they are presented with a blank home screen. We are building "a distributed social way for teams to bring new team members onboard to the value of Tableau Server", since it showcases relevant data content to new users.
Sharer can't gain awareness of recipient: without the Shared with Me space, when sharing content by name, an email is sent to the user, which could get lost in a sea of emails and get missed. Other ways of sharing (e.g. Slack) get diluted with other messages. For sharers and content creators, sharing becomes a more effective channel to gain awareness and drive usage of the creator's content. 

The Shared With Me space can help solve these problems by bringing the sharing flow in-product so that Tableau can record who has shared what content to whom, and display content Shared with Me based on these relationships. 

Shared with Me also leverages functionality that customers highly value from other industry leading collaboration tools. 
My Role 
As the sole UX designer on this project, I was responsible for designing and shipping Shared With Me and designing ahead to influence the future product roadmap. I worked closely with the Product Manager to identify the requirements for this feature, I conducted user studies to understand scenarios, I continuously communicated with various stakeholders across the company (business leadership, PMs, Engineering, Customer Support and Marketing) to get feedback on ideas, get buy-in and I worked closely with engineers during the development process.
Initial Discovery & Research 
I spent the first couple of weeks collecting existing data and research findings on the subject of sharing in Tableau. I met with internal stakeholders who had worked in this space prior so they can share some of their knowledge. I also spent time looking at competitors and looking at other “shared” spaces on other platforms to better understand what are the patterns and flows that people are used to in similar spaces. 

I sketched out some rough flows of what this Shared with Me  experience could be and gathered initial feedback from 7 customers to better understand their mental model and expectations of a Shared with Me space.

We conducted a 30-minute user study where we interviewed 6 internal stakeholders to get feedback on some of our very early concepts of what the Shared with Me flows could be.

Initial, rough wireframes of what the Shared with Me experience could be 

Target Users
Shared With Me will provide admins and content owners with a direct way to push their content to others. In turn, Shared With Me will allow managed users to easily receive and get notified about content that was shared with them, all within the product. 

As a user:
I want to easily find and see the content that was shared with me
I want to easily discover historical content that was shared with me
I want to maintain direct outreach with my managed users
I want to know why I’m seeing content
I want to be able to pass along my discoveries to relevant stakeholders

Some typical cases:
An admin wants to share content with their managed user(s)
A user remembers that a team member shared a visualization with them and wants to easily find that shared content
A user encounters shared content, but wants to view a prior shared instance of it
A user wants to understand why they’re seeing shared content and whom its from

Cases to keep in mind:
A user opens shared content they don’t have access to
A user un-shares content, removing its access to others (including those on Mobile)
A user receives shared content that isn’t supported on Mobile
Design Principles
After getting a better understanding of what the problem space is and after spending time talking to the internal stakeholders and having some initial conversations with a few customers, I put together five Design Principles to guide and steer our UX desicions through our design process of this feature:
1.  Relevant - You should always know why a shared item is being shown to you
          -  Who has shared with, why you're seeing it, any notes, general context
2.  Control - You should always feel in control with items shared with you
         -  e.g. filter/show by group, hide an item
3.  No Lost Information - You should be able to know if something is shared multiple times with different contexts
         -  e.g. different states of the viz, shared with multiple teams, shared at different times, when recipient doesn't have permissions
4.  Smart defaults - 
          -  e.g. don't notify large groups
5.  Don't reinvent the wheel: align with people’s existing mental models and existing patterns
          -  e.g. as seen in Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.,
Initial Design Explorations 
After getting a better understanding of what the problem space is I started my design explorations, focusing on :
-  What would the Shared with Me space look like within the existing Tableau product?
-  Where would the entry points for Shared with Me be within the Tableau product?
-  What is the user flow for the Shared with Me feature?
-  What content should be part of the Shared with Me card, to provide enough information, context for someone about the shared content?

User flows of the Shared with Me experience

Shared with Me section on the Tableau Homepage
Shared with Me section on the Tableau Homepage

Two of the five personas and empathy maps developed

Shared with Me page - Filters
Shared with Me page - Filters
Shared with Me - List View
Shared with Me - List View
Shared with Me - Custom Views (tags)
Shared with Me - Custom Views (tags)
Shared with Me - Notification Center
Shared with Me - Notification Center

Research study: Customer Interviews

I worked closely with our user researcher to develop a study plan that has questions and tasks relating to the Share with Me feature to observe and hear from our customers their thoughts about the value and usage of this feature.

We conducted 45 minute, 1:1 interviews with 8 customers over the course of 4 days. Questions ranged from customers’ expectations around discoverability and entry points for this feature, thoughts about the use and need of this feature as well as asking for general feedback about this feature.

Customer Interviews - shareout

Some of the top findings from this study:
-  Overall, participants had positive feedback about the Shared with Me feature. Participants understood right away what the Shared with Me feature was, what  the content in this section would be and the value of this feature.
-  In the case where someone shared content with someone who doesn't have access to that content, almost all participants agreed that the sharer should be notified by the system that the recipient does not have access to that content. Participants agree that sharer should have full visibility of recipient's permissions so that sharer has a choice of if/what they want to share.
-  All participants associated the act of permissioning with sharing and agreed that permissions should be part of the sharing process.
-  A couple of participants said that they expect content owners to be able to visual and manage access.
-  A few participants mentioned the importance of a note/message associated with a share to get more context around the reason for sharing the content.
-  Participants said that they found the Sharing Activity useful and valuable in tracking content, tracking sharing history and in referring to other custom views.
Feature Release
Shared with Me was released  Q3 2020.
The shipping of this product adds value to Tableau’s customers as Tableau continues to support collaboration and communication around data and insights amongst team members.
Homepage with SwM
Homepage with SwM
SwM Landing Page
SwM Landing Page
SwM Landing Page - menu
SwM Landing Page - menu
Customer gets notified about a new share in the In-App Notification Center
Customer gets notified about a new share in the In-App Notification Center
Customer gets notified about a new share in their Slack Workspace that is connected to their Tableau Site
Customer gets notified about a new share in their Slack Workspace that is connected to their Tableau Site
Success Metrics and Future Enhancements
Shared with Me future enhancements include: 
-  Adding hide, filter and sort options
-  Adding to our Slack Integration: adding our Share feature to Slack to meet our customers within their workflows (launched Q3 of 2021) 
-  Adding Grant Access Widget that will offer a lightweight version of permissioning that's in-flow (at time of need) via a re-usable component.
-  Group Share will expand Named Share to support sharing to groups of users
-  Share content items in bulk (multi-select)
This is best done by adding them to a shared collection or project or sharing multiple times.
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