What is Howspace? Overview Of Digital Collaboration Platform

Today’s workplaces are noisy. The more devices and tools we use, the easier it is to be disturbed by a continuous flow of messages, alerts, and notifications. (My watch just reminded me: it’s time to move.)

How much could we improve our productivity if we reduced the amount of noise around us? How could we co-create change by collaborating in one shared, virtual, noiseless space? These are the challenges we’ve recognized, and Howspace is the solution we developed.

What is Howspace?

Howspace is an AI-powered digital collaboration platform that brings social learning to the forefront of organizations’ processes and development initiatives.

Howspace Screenshot

Howspace can be accessed from any device with internet.

We believe that people have the intrinsic need to be heard, and we created Howspace to offer organizations a way to listen to their people and collaborate. At the core of Howspace are the endless possibilities of designing structured discussions.

The Origins of Howspace

As founder and CEO of Howspace, I’ve been working in management consulting, learning, coaching, innovation, co-creation, and facilitation with a collaborative approach for over 25 years. Throughout all these years, I’ve been creating new facilitation methods and software products to support this business. Howspace is the result of all these learning experiences.

There have been dozens of different products we’ve launched previously, but the goal has always been the same: to help people make sense of each other and transform business initiatives through collaborative processes.

At the core of Howspace is not what we do, but what you do. Unlike many tools out there, people don’t need to learn how to do things our way to benefit from Howspace. We are enabling others to make their dreams come true.

The Howspace platform in a nutshell

The way to begin using Howspace as a facilitator is by building a workspace—a noiseless space where participants can focus on the shared goal without any distractions. By providing everyone with the same shared context, you help replicate the benefits of being together in the same physical space.

Within a workspace, you can create or hide different pages to guide journeys, categorize items, or separate different user groups. Plus, you can brand the workspace according to your needs by editing the page visuals.

Howspace includes a set of ready-made widgets that you can easily drag-and-drop into your workspace. These widgets are the building blocks of your workspace, and include:

  • Super chat: You can choose between two AI-powered chat modes—discussion and sticky note. Brainstorm, categorize, and guide discussions with this facilitator-rooted widget.
  • Content: Share images, videos, PDF, or any other file types. You can also embed third-party websites and tools.
  • Assignments & exams: Create custom activities for participants to gauge comprehension and progress.
  • Polls: Quickly gather feedback and make decisions with the poll widget. Polls provide an instant visual representation of opinions.
  • Checkpoint & pulse: Ask scalable check-in questions, collect answers over time, and measure participants’ progress.
  • Booking & timer: Book group activities or 1-2-1 sessions. The timer widget can be used to show how much time is left or as a countdown.
  • People: Visualize a group of people and create a sense of community. You can use profiles to provide recommendations for other people to connect with.
Howspace Widgets Screenshot

Howspace widgets include super chat, booking, and pulse.

Here’s a closer look at what you can accomplish with Howspace:

Co-create and collaborate

Involve a limitless amount of participants in your workshops and processes, regardless of time and location. This makes it easy for everyone to collaborate and be heard. In fact, our clients typically see unprecedented participation rates between 80-95%, based on the strong involvement features and one-click access.

Howspace also allows for asynchronous collaboration, which is becoming increasingly important. We all spend way too much time in online meetings and that is seldom the most effective way of working.

Howspace Collaboration Screenshot

Participants can collaborate within Howpace from anywhere in the world, at any time.

Facilitate the process

As a facilitator-led platform, everything within Howspace is customizable and easy to use. You can think of it like building a custom website for your program, without any coding at all.

Howspace goes beyond instant messaging and gives project managers the power to actually guide a dialogue. You can automate reminders based on behaviors and provide specific guidance to keep participants engaged. Rather than host one-off workshops where ideas and action points are forgotten, you can build facilitated journeys.

Engage people before, during, and after meetings through activities and conversations. This creates social connectivity among participants, which translates to increased motivation, involvement, inspiration, and engagement.

Howspace Emails Screenshot

Howspace administrators can send out emails through Howspace.

Provide transparency

Howspace enables you to create different types of iterative dialogue where you can easily measure engagement. The social media-like design lets you vote, like, or give points to items. This helps to prioritize ideas and makes it easy to keep participants activated, while making decisions transparent.

Howspace creates a safe environment for everyone to contribute; for example, people can choose to type their ideas in a chat instead of speaking out loud in front of their peers. This way, inclusive and transparent collaboration can be brought into the largest organizations and communities.

Howspace Vote Screenshot

Howspace lets you vote, like, and give points to ideas.

Make sense of large-scale dialogue with AI

At the core of Howspace AI is a state-of-the-art, deep learning model that is capable of highly sophisticated natural language processing (NLP). Howspace AI helps you make sense of large-scale dialogue and continue important conversations. The different AI features include:

  • Theme clustering: The AI theme clustering feature lets you zoom in on important themes. It quickly divides a dialogue into meaningful categories, which are not only based on actual words but also larger themes it detects through NLP. These clusters are a great starting point for deeper analysis and discussions.
  • Summary: The AI summary feature can quickly summarize dozens or thousands of comments into a few sentences or paragraphs, depending on your needs. This is great for providing progress updates or inspiring a company mission statement.
  • Word Cloud: The intelligent word cloud feature helps you quickly visualize which words, concepts, and themes have dominated a conversation. The words are shown in different sizes in relation to how often they have been mentioned. You can click a word to filter out all comments containing that word.
  • Sentiment analysis The AI sentiment analysis feature helps you understand what kind of sentiments arise in the discussion. This feature recognizes comments with appreciation and concern. This can help to determine what is working and, on the flipside, what topics people are concerned about to identify areas for improvement.
Howspace AI Screenshot

Howspace AI summarizes the discussion question “What can you do with Howspace?

Where does Howspace fit among other collaboration tools?

We don’t claim that any one of our widgets alone—whether content sharing, assignments, or polls—is the best in the market. And we’re not saying you won’t need other tools like Slack or Zoom to collaborate together effectively—we use those at Howspace in our day-to-day work.

Tools like Slack, Teams, and other instant messaging platforms are good to a certain extent but they are really just streams of information without structure. Without the appropriate context and meaning, collaboration tools and structures are forgotten and waste time.

Howspace is the only digital collaboration platform that enables you to facilitate dialogue with all those widgets in one shared, noiseless space.

Howspace Matrix Screenshot

Matrix of digital facilitation tools, including Howspace.

Our aim is to help leaders deliver powerful change, learning programs, and workshops. We invite you to move change forward with us. If you’re wondering whether Howspace is a right fit for you, you can start a free 30-day trial and play around. And if you have any questions or feedback, just send me a message and I’d be happy to help.

Ilkka Makitalo

Ilkka Makitalo

Ilkka Mäkitalo, CEO and co-founder of Howspace, is also the father of the Howspace digital platform. Ilkka’s passion is in participative leadership, digitally facilitated organizational development programs, and the future of work.

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