SAS - Software as service

I very well agree that SAS - software as a service will be the next big thing, however when it comes to their use, why some designers act dumb is my question. This idea popped out of my critical mind once i tried to create an account on mint.com. Mint allows the user to manage their finances and daily budgets, it gives him good options to check out deals and best buys.

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The account is free, the ROI model for mint is - they get the profit from the advertisers who are trying to sell deals on mint.



Why i did not moved future with mint.

  • Security is my concern, mint is a financial planning site, do they need to collect financial data by hacking to your bank account transactions. i don't think so.




  • I logged in and a pop up came asking me my bank, my account number, my password etc.Give me a break ....



  • Come on guys--- the flow is ok, but not so encouraging.


The numbers for financial planning and budgeting is based on
1. How much money your account have
2. How much assets
3. How much liability
4. Source of income etc

i think these details can be added in the software instead of the software linking to your bank account and just fetching out data. Why to open another hole in the water tank when there are increasing concern about online banking security.

Please feel free to add your thoughts on the same. Do we need to change the task flow or do we have to share the banking secrets to the software just for the sake of budgeting.

Survey monkey, good tool

Survey Monkey is one of the most popular tools to create surveys, publish survey, conduct survey and finally even record the participants feedback and analyze the results.

I have tried many tools in the market for the user survey but i feel survey monkey is better in many ways. Let us try to see how survey monkey works.

Survey Monkey is my personal favorite

hyenalabs-survey monkey

 

Components in survey monkey: Survey monkey has basically 3 important sections that once mastered will help you to create and manage user surveys.

1. Design: this section helps in designing of the survey which will be posted to the participants

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2. Collect: this section will help in collecting the responses

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3. Analyze: this section helps in the analysis of the responses and prepare the survey report.

Account type: In most cases a free account will help you to create, collect and analyze the results. In free account there is restriction for download of the reports.Based on the requirements go ahead and sign up. In most cases i think you can easily work with free account, in case you need higher reporting capability then go for the paid options.

Big Step 1: Creation of a new survey

Creation of new survey is as easy as 1 2 3… see the below image for illustration.

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Adding Questions: You can easily add questions, notice the default section that will be shown to you and the “Add Question here” button.

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Themes: there are some color full themes that you can use to change the look of the survey questionnaire. See the above yellow color and the green themes.

Once you click on “Add question here” the below overlay will be shown to the user

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You can select the type of question and frame your answers. This window allows the users to have questions of the following types

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In this way you go on and create the questions. Once you log in the application it is pretty much easy to work with it.

Big Step 2: Collect responses

In this section the user publishes the survey to the users. There are 3 ways in which the responses can be collected. The 3 ways are shown below

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Big Step 3 : Analyze results

Once the survey is send to the participants, there responses are collected and the analyzed. For collection we need not worry as Survey monkey has built in tool to collect the responses. The survey results are collected on a auto pilot and you can go forward and analyze the results.

image Each questions answers are calculated and based on the responses a graph is created which can be shared with the customers.

Now see how cool it is to use Survey monkey. I would suggest instead of using pen and papers for survey go forward and use online tools this will make the survey easy to manage and in one sense makes the process eco friendly – Go green with Survey Monkey.

Site evaluations

To perform site evaluation based on industry trends is a tough cup of coffe.Performing Heuristics evaluation is much easier as compared to this.The reason being from industry to industry the evaluation parameter will vary.

In an entertainment site Bread crumbs may not matter as compared to the real estate it occupies on the web page.The stakeholder's may want their users to go round the site without any bread crumb aids to explore more.Let me show you the steps we can follow to come up with a good site evaluation based on industry trends.

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First step: Research on Website industry positioning
This research can be carried in the below manner.
Client e-mail tracing: Read through the finer lines in e-mails send from the client, they mostly specifiy the industry sector in which they are positioned.Go through the meeting notes even to find out more, even you can schedule clinet calls to know exact details about the industry positioning of client business website.
Online research - Forrester: Find out the latest industry trends that are affecting the website.What are the most important parameters that will affect the user experience on the site.Which features are most liked in the web application.If you can get Forrester account then your life will become easy in this respect else you have to do some searching in google.What makes the user experience good is important.
Stream line Compitetive focus: Have a look at competetior's website, find out what are the best they are doing, the worst things they are doing etc.Try to formulate parameters & best practices by looking at the compitetion.Go through the client website also to have a good understanding about it also.
Second step: Finalize parameters

Collate the information from the above & ideate with the team to finalize the parameters.Once the parameters are done we can move on with the site evaluation.

Third step: Evaluate the website

Note : The biggest trick in site evaluation is that avoid taking a parameter first & try to find out issues related to that.Mostly if you do in this way you restrict your mind to see multiple issues on the website.My experience says "find out issues in the website & then classify it under suitable heads."

Fourth step: Evaluation presentation

We can either go for using word doc or presentation to present the evaluation.

Important tip: When we present the information in word doc, the biggest problem will be positoning the screen shots consistently.We can do this by placing the screen shots in tables & finally hiding the table borders.

In this way we perform site evaluations based on industry trends.

Dell Self service portal

I just got an opportunity to visit dell customer care website as i recentely moved from UK to India. I was there in UK for about 4 months on a UX consulting project for BSI- british standards institute. On the last day i bought a laptop and that was DELL inspiron, as it is a good deal. hyenalabs-dell

The laptop served well to me as long as i keep it stressed by working a lot on it. Few months back i went to US for Universal music group project. It was a short assignment of 1 month. I kept my love - my laptop at home and when i came back my love's key board is not working.Only few keys are not working. Can you guess the keys ... space bar, del, w etc.
I drove to the dell service center in bangalore to look into it. I was willing to pay the price for the replacemnet but DELL is DELL, the executive is pointing at me that i may have stolen the laptop and brought it here so first i have to do a TAG transfer here

http://dell.com/dhs/globaltagtransfer

I filled the details and kept waiting for 1 week and i got a reply after 1 week that i have filled some form details wrong. Does it take a reputed company to check a form that some details are filled wrong. If the service tag number is so important then why the applicaiton is not able to track where the laptop is bought from.

The issues i found on the form are

1. Action button : the action button "Submit" is tagged to "enter" key. If by mistake you press enter key the form goes for submission. I agree enter key should be tagged to submit key, but here we have a comment box, before the submit button. Think once will you press enter key while entering a paragraph or not.

2. Multiple submissions: The form can be submitted multiple times, and each time it will give you a success message, as a UX architect i get the push and shock when such things happens on reputed websites such as Dell.

3. So many service tags: There are multiple text boxes for service tags, i have no clue what service tags are they looking for. Is the form designed to delay the serivce offered to the customer.

4. Playing monopoly: The representaticves at the Dell service center were acting as they are the only one who can fix the problem and there is no other way to get this thing straight. I felt so bad and moved and thought even after paying a huge amount, and willing to pay more for the service why Dell is not able to help.

5. Customer centric: The service at the banglaore dell service center is not at all customer centric.

Suggestions
1. Make the form small and tag necessary details to 1 service tag number
2. Please do not try to adopt monopoly attitude
3. Faster response to the forms submissions.
I pray to GOD that things improve and i get my laptop working fine. I wrote this blog as there are other people who are accessing the Dell website and they should get there work done faster and easy. Hope DELL representaive reaches this blog and take appropriate actions.

Next blog will be about the indian banks and what they are doing WRONG and how it is affecting there business in the long run. See you soon reading the new blog.