Assisting People New to “BuzzDocs”

As more of us are always-on, always-connected, and participating online in a dizzying array of web applications, you’re probably learning the same sorts of lessons that I am: inviting the newbies, the less-than-tech-savvy or those who need just a bit more TLC than most, is quite a challenge and turning us into quasi-trainers, coaches and tech-mentors.

My interactions with client executives; their teams; my own staff or other small teams in which I participate; has taught me that what seems obvious to those of us who use web apps all day, every day, is not so apparent to most people.

You and I need to step-up-our-game to ensure those we invite to use collaborative apps are comfortable and that they have as seamless an experience as possible. The screenshots above are one example of the current situation: when you create an online document in either Adobe Buzzword or Google Docs and choose to share it with others, if they don’t have an account with either system and click the link in the invitation-to-collaborate email you’ve sent them, they’re brought to these respective pages.

What’s the issue? Neither system recognizes that the email address to which the link was sent isn’t one recognized in their system. Consequently, they both go ahead and present a login to the user, rather than to present them with a prominent “We notice you’re not yet signed up with _______. Would you like to create an account so you can collaborate on this document?

I understand that both companies have a goal of getting people to opt-in and signup. But for those of us already using either application and interested in using them collaboratively with others — regardless if those folks are signed up or not — this small thing presents an obstacle and barrier to sharing with the uninitiated, and people over-n-over again relate to me that they were confused about what to do in order to collaborate on the document with which I invited them to participate.

One other thing that I need to note about user experience and inviting others to collaborate. Just look at the two screens. Buzzword is gorgeous and using it is cinema-like, and Google Docs landing page (and their user interface overall) looks like it was designed by artistically challenged fifth graders.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.