• San Luis Obispo,
  • California,
  • United States

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Upcoming Live Changes

Hello everyone!

Since the release of the Live functionality in 2016, we’ve received tons of feedback on the product. We’ve had several projects over the past year aimed at improving both the customer and consultant experience, including: layout revamps, flexibility in time purchases, giving consultants more control over their pay rate, the topics they assist in, and office hours, while also providing greater accessibility to the product around the site.

That being said, we understand there are still areas where we can improve, and one of our teams has started working on a set of projects to address what we’ve identified as our top issues:  

  1. The time addition and expiration system can be hard for clients to understand.
  2. Consultants would like more control and alerts related to conversation time to ensure both consultant and client have good experiences.
  3. Payment for work in Live prohibits some users from participating as consultants, e.g., job or certification conflicts, level of familiarity with the product, not having a PayPal account, etc.

The first project focuses on issues with earning cash by allowing consultants to help members with Premium access for points. The general concept is that interested experts (consultants) would be able to assist on Live for points instead of cash. These consultants would be exempt from the additional legal agreements associated with Live, and would not be required to link their PayPal account for payouts. Only clients with Premium access, who are generally more engaged, would be able to reach out to this subset of consultants. We would then award these consultants with points. Allowing consultants to review help requests before accepting, and having the option to deny requests, would remain in this experience. The moderator team will have access to point-based conversation transcripts to ensure interactions and outcomes are above board. During this initial phase, consultants will not be able to switch between points and cash compensation.

Our second project will tackle the introductory period and timer system improvements. We’re still finessing concepts with the help of the Community Advisory Team and the Moderators, but we do have some basic concepts defined. We believe providing a more flexible interface for the introductory period of a conversation and allowing the transition for providing help to be initiated by either the consultant or client will deliver more effective interactions. For paid conversations, we’d like to place the time selection into the consultant’s hands since they know best what they will need to help the client. We’ll also look at the design of the timer and how it looks/responds when a session is nearing—or has reached—the end of its purchased time. Finally, we’ll expand the consultant compensation system to switch between earning points or cash and add a state where they can earn both. While in this state, conversations with members with Premium access will be point-based for the first 15 minutes of help time. After that, consultants can transition to cash payments if they choose.

I realize most of you are not 100% familiar with the current workflow of Live, and recommend reading the consultant support article if you have any general questions about how the product functions. If you’d like clarification on anything else, please let me know! For anyone who does participate in Live, I’d love to hear about your experiences and what you’d like to see in these projects based on their goals.

Thanks in advance for your time,

- Sina
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Rank: Genius

Expert Comment

Andrew Leniart2017-07-20 03:13 PMID: 2037938
As far as the questions, my point was that with the new "who's viewing", if everyone sits there and keeps hitting refresh

I tend to leave a lot of tabs open so I guess I'm sometimes guilty of that, but it's not because I'm sitting there hitting refresh. More so, because I'll be working in another browser tab and just leave that one open because I have a particular interest in the question. It's usually not until I get a system notification that I'll go back to that tab and refresh to see what's been added.

If I really want to solve someone's problem one on one, then I'm going to:
a. Get on the phone with them.
b. Screen share.

This I agree with whole-hardheartedly. I much prefer to screen share if the option is there. By far the most efficient way to quickly solve any problem.
Rank: Prodigy

Expert Comment

PortletPaul2017-07-20 04:06 PMID: 2037955
I tend to leave a lot of tabs open so I guess I'm sometimes guilty of that, but it's not because I'm sitting there hitting refresh. More so, because I'll be working in another browser tab and just leave that one open

"what he said"^^

Plus, I could have tabs open on my laptop or phone or tablet (or any combination) depending where I am and what device is available/convenient.

But I have to say that since the "who's looking" was introduced I tend to close tabs more frequently than I used to.  I do find "who's looking" useful for amending a comment. If someone else is looking I add rather than edit.

Sorry, the relevance to the topic is, does Live consider actual site activity when deciding who is available?
Also, in the very few times I have been contacted for Live assistance I wasn't available and email notification is imperfect for this.
Rank: Prodigy

Expert Comment

Jim Dettman (EE MVE)2017-07-21 04:09 AMID: 2038059
While I'm sure there are many that just sit on a page, the take away here is that questions can function like a chat if you want it to, and it's not limited to one on one.

 I think the "who's viewing" feature for this and other reasons (which are more important), was a bad choice.

Rank: Ace

Expert Comment

Kyle Abrahams2017-07-28 01:37 PMID: 2040028
+1 for the screen share.  My two (successful) live sessions have 0 chat transcripts in them with over an hour each of "dead air".    Moved right to skype with screen share and mic support.

It would be nice to terminate the introductory period early.  EG: yes, I can help you with that - now let's get on to the paid section.

Author Comment

Sina May2017-07-28 02:09 PMID: 2040039
"It would be nice to terminate the introductory period early."

I think you'll be happy to see some of the changes we're working on when they make it out into the wild.

Author Comment

Sina May2017-08-28 03:49 PMID: 2053521
Good news, everyone!

ProfessorThe team has completed an MVP version of the Live point functionality which was released today.  The feature is currently considered in beta and we'll continue to iterate based on feedback over the next few releases.

A more detailed discussion of this release is available here: https://www.experts-exchange.com/discussions/219502/