Atlassian's Confluence collaboration platform picked up a nifty new tool today with the announcement of iRise visualization technology integration.

Images vs Text Descriptions

Because it's easy to get confused by someone else's description of what a product might look like, images are always helpful. When a new product is being designed, however, those images don't exist. With the iRise simulations, those ideas can literally take shape right in the collaborative workspace, and colleagues can comment and interact with the simulations too. 

iRise Compared to Balsamiq

Balsamiq is another image tool for Confluence, but designing mock ups with Balsamiq forces you to leave Confluence. This may not bother some people, but for others, the extra step of linking out to the Balsamiq app is too much of a time-waster. Instead, using the embedded simulation offers fewer steps, and the interactivity makes it much easier to share.

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iRise Project and Page simulations can be embedded right in Confluence using the iConnect API.

Cut Down on Mistakes

Another advantage of using iRise simulations in Confluence is the decreased risk of making costly design mistakes. That's because with working simulations right in the workspace, all team members can see exactly what the others are doing and commenting on. Additionally, because Atlassian's tracking software, JIRA, is also now compatible with iRise, any and all bugs and issues can be itemized and assigned from a simulation preview inside JIRA.

Confluence is a flexible collaboration workspace system with dozens of add-ons that works well for many social business users. Because there are ever increasing social functions for intranet systems, the simulation interactivity can add another layer to that space. In other words, the increasingly collaborative feel of such a tool will make all involved feel more comfortable and confident in any new design or changes. Tell us in the comments if you're a Confluence user and what features you think are best.