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    Wireless Phone Services

    Objective: Find out about and choose a rate plan and phone.Range: 8-9Average Clicks:8.7Comments: A lot of choices. As with banks, comparison matrices made it easier. And faced with a real-life choice, many consumers would have had to click many more times. We phoned Co. Bs Customer Service line and verified information on an attractive plan, and found it was inaccurate. It was generally easy to choose either the rate plan or the phone first, and peliculas porno none of the sites skipped a beat.Considering the complexity of the purchase (e.g., if done in person), nice job by these companies, despite the seemingly high number of clicks.

    Internet Access (ISP)
    Objective: Find access plan and buy itThree companies offered dialup and DSL. Two were Baby Bells and the other 2 were Internet-only companies. Results blended.Range: 4-10.5 ClicksAverage Clicks: 6.8Comments: Companies A and D were the Baby Bells. The difference in total average clicks doesnt tell the whole story: it was decidedly harder to figure out where to go next on those two sites, and a web newbie may well have had a much xnxx harder time with these two. The reasonably fast DSL-availability checks kept us on board.

    Music CD Vendors
    Traditional mail order record companies and Internet-only entitiesObjective: buy a Classic Rock CDRange: 5-7 ClicksAverage Clicks: 5.4Comments: From a marketing standpoint, why force visitors to log inright away? This is how the older, traditional companies handle it. Before forcing me to look up my membership number, or sign up, tell me if you have what Im looking for. In the long run, we propose, users will be more likely to want to come back pornhub than if forced to sign up.

    Office Supply Click & Mortar Companies
    Objective: Buy a task chairRange: 6-7 ClicksAverage Clicks: 6.3Comments: Inventory is finite, so we didnt mind typing in our zip code first. Pretty straightforward and easy process even though A, B and C had different logical paths to the chairs.

    Website Hosting Companies
    Objective: Choose a hosting plan and order it, along with a new domain nameRange: 6-8 ClicksAverage Clicks: 6.7Comments: Significantly more user-friendly an experience than the youporn ISP group, despite the similarity in average clicks. Consensus was that Companies A, B and C easily led the user through options and choices; Most clicks involved investigating product choices, not hunting for the finish line. ISPs required significantly more mind-reading and/or luck to find the right information.

    Survey Conclusions

    Despite widely varying approaches, B-to-C websites offer fairly similar numbers of steps from arrival on the home page to consummating the sale (although the number of clicks does not tell the whole story)
    The old 2-click and 3-click rules cant quite apply to most B to C sites; this is OK, as the best sites work just like the brick-and-mortar world, where a consumer can get assistance in efficiently narrowing down his or her choices and then easily act on the final choice. Many sites, however, would seem to reflect a corporate attitude that
    a. Site visitors already know the website and the product/service offerings as well as the companys Marketing Department
    b. If you shove enough extra or tangential products and services in front of site visitors, even if the information clouds the visitors ability to easily find out about and get what they came for, theyll buy all the other stuff, too?

    The fact that many big companies have elaborate, well-funded websites offers no clue as to the ease with which they guide (or misguide) visitors through their offerings.
    Companies big and small should test their sites usability objectively and subjectively, using subjects who are new to their websites, their product offerings, and, arguably, e-commerce.
    Where are the buyers?
    According to StatMarket, AOLs search facility is the top source among all referrers when it comes to the conversion rate, or percentage of visitors who buy after finding what they were looking for, with a whopping 3.3%. This industry leaders conclusions were widely reported, and also widely interpreted to mean that AOL might be THE place to put ones search engine marketing dollars.

    Some bloggers and pundits took a more skeptical view, and we fall somewhere in the middle: We think it depends. Some considerations:
    AOL users on average, are newer to the Internet, and perhaps more susceptible to the novelty of buying online.
    It would be useful to know what the repeat purchase rate is
    It would be useful to know the demographics of the websites that converted the visitors: industry, average purchase price, etc
    It would be useful to know how AOL stacks up against say, Google and Yahoo! (#s 9 and 10 in conversions) when it comes to revenue produced and profit generated from these conversions.

    Anti spam: the pressure mounts.
    Microsoft combats spam on users screens, in addition to in the courts (see WebPromote Archives)
    Late last fall, Microsoft announced what they say is powerful new anti-spam technology, designed to intelligently assist users of Outlook, Exchange Server and even MSN Explorer and Hotmail in blocking spam from entering e-mail boxes.
    In addition to powerful SmartScreen Technology, the software giant has inserted the insights and experiences of thousands of users (or, spam victims) in the development of Internet-related tools.
    See presspass/events/antispam/ for full details from the source.
    Well have to hope that our screens are Smart enough to discriminate between legitimate, desired e-mail and spam. The best scenario: Benign and not-so-benign spammers get the message and stop clogging the entire e-mail enabled world with their instant trash.

  • News

    What’s the Buzz?

    Business-to-Consumer (B-to-C) Online survey: How do leaders in their fields stack up against each other in usability and the old 3-click rule?

    by Technology Coach Jonathan Lane

    We tested 31 websites in 8 B to C industries to see just how easy it was to get to the finish line, i.e. to check out with our shopping cart, or equivalent. Following are some objective and subjective conclusions. We have chosen to mask the actual names of the companies and websites we tested.

    Airline Reservations
    Objective: Find roundtrip flights and make a reservation.We checked the sites of 3 unaligned travel reservations services (cos. A, B and C) , and 3 U.S. airlines (cos. D, E, F).Range of clicks needed to get to checkout: The Multi-vendor or unaligned reservations sites scored a 6.7 average.The individual airlines did significantly better at 4.3 clicks to checkout.Overall average: 5.5 Clicks to heckout.

    Comments: Perhaps understandably, the single-airline-only sites got us to the purchasing process in fewer average clicks. Several times, we were informed on Company As site hat a fare that was offered and we selected was no longer available one quick click later. While this could be attributed to the volatile nature of that industry, we suspect that this could be averted.While in these times, every dime of revenue counts, and we understand the value of up-selling, we felt that many customers could become disoriented and lose sight of the continue button when its located 3 screens down from the top, after a great deal of content about rental cars, local tours, hotels, etc. etc. Kudos overall to the airlines for streamlining the proces

    Apparel/Department Stores
    Objective: Find and buy a mens tie.E-merchants: 2 High-end brick and mortar department stores and a popular, hip, web-only vendor.Range: 5-7 clicksAverage clicks: 6.0 to checkout.Comments: A and C, the big departments stores, made for 2 very different experiences. Company A permitted us to browse for a tie by brand OR by category, in a logical set of clicks. Company C chose to present us with a choice of a dizzying array of virtual versions of current print catalogs, and brands/designers. This is how many people like to shop at the brick and mortar locations. Why not take advantage of the cross-referencing abilities of the online database to allow those many shoppers who are just looking for a nice tie to shop across brands, easily?

    Commercial Banks
    Objective: Get enough information to choose a checking account and begin the application process.Range:6-12Average clicks to checkout: 8.5Comments: More clicks generally meant that these banks required a back-and-forth method of comparing the various options. Fewer clicks meant that a comparison matrix was available on one web page. In the latter case, if we were really opening a checking account, more back-and-forth clicks would have been required. Maybe more than wed have tolerated, and off wed have surfed to Bank C or D.

    Marketing and Advertising Associations Unify against SPAM
    Just one day before Microsofts COMDEX announcement, the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and the Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) urged ht US Congress to (get off the stick and) pass national anti-spam legislation.
    Conclusions: Better late than never. We certainly support the legitimate use of outgoing communications, including e-mail (see WebPromote Anti-Spam Statement), for sales and marketing purposes. The general sales and marketing world realizes that their future may well lie with self- and government-regulation so that the legitimate solicitation is not

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    Creative Solutions Surveys

    Participating in Creative Solutions User Surveys is valuable for both you and Creative Solutions. Our goal is to provide you with the finest software available for the professional accounting market and back it with top quality support and services. While we compile user suggestions throughout the year, our annual user surveys are the most important way we determine future enhancements and improvements to our software.

    Creative Solutions Internship Program

    Product Support Internships

    During this paid, full-time internship you will be fully-trained on one of our tax productstraining that includes a full background in relevant tax law and broad coverage of applicable network and computer operating systems utilized in public accounting firms. You will help our customers during their busy tax season. They will rely on you for answers to questions that include computer operations and peripherals, tax preparation, questions about forms, law and taxation theory, and other issues impacting professional tax return preparation. Through our training, you will become familiar with Windows 98/NT/2000/XP, Citrix and other relevant wide area network technology, printers, local area network operating systems, and web-based/internet applications. You will also learn about tax laws, regulations, and research methods. Customer questions will range from simple queries regarding software installation to complicated matters regarding tax calculations and theory. You will be exposed to the business practices of thousands of CPA firms nationwide and acquire skills that will help you transition into the workforce in any number of career fields or possibly become a full-time member of our staff.

    These internships begin at the end of December and continue into April. We will begin interviewing candidates for December 2004 start dates in late Spring.

    Customer Service Internships

    During this paid internship you will work one-on-one with our current clients in a team environment along with other interns and full-time employees, developing your hands-on business experience while working with professional accounting firms from across the country. You will, among other things, distribute tax license codes, provide support for our customers who call with questions regarding their account, facilitate the shipment of software, and report developmental release plans and delays. In doing so, you will be providing assistance to our dedicated users during their busiest time of year tax season.

    These internships run during Winter Semester and we will be actively interviewing qualified candidates during fall of 2004.