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Sign-in Linking and lots of bugs with appointments


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#1 vangildertm

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 11:07 AM

What I would like to see for AccuTrack 9 is two different items. First I customized AccuTrack for an advising center. They needed the students to be able to sign-in themselves and to make appointments with advisors. Most students got through the sign-in screen just fine. Once the students signed in AccuTrack goes straight back to the original sign-in screen. This is very bad mapping because the students get lost, think they are done and do not pay attention to the appointments button that appears on the bottom left of the screen.

Now what I would like to see, preferably in an update and not in a new version, is the ability to link which options you want people to access once they sign-in. Basically the student signs-in and the appointments screen will automatically come up as if itís apart of the sign-in screen. This way the user will not become lost in the process between signing in and setting an appointment.

Now for the second thing I would like to see changed is the way students set appointments. Students where also getting confused in the appointment screen in three ways. First when the students where selecting there advisor and reason for the appointment there is a fourth screen here listing the days for the appointments. All of these buttons are already checked for you. Now I really do not understand why this screen is even necessary if by default all days available are selected. Either take this screen away or allow for the user to check which days they want to see appointment dates for.

Second when they had to set a time for an appointment, they would try clicking on the schedule that appears at the bottom of the screen that showed available times. Now this problem could be fixed in one of two ways, either allow the student to set appointments by clicking on this screen or by removing this screen completely and only listing the available appointment times.

The third part of the appointments that students would become confused with is after they had finally with through the tedious process of selecting an appointment time, they had to hit a small button in the bottom right hand of the screen that says ďsetĒ. First of all this button is way too small and is really far away from where the time is actually listed, this is bad mapping. If the student managed to click on the set button without being told, no conformation screen would appear. However this was not the worse part of the whole process, instead of going back to the sign-in screen the program returns to the beginning of setting an appointment. This is not very logical for most people. So the student then has to hit the close form button in order to not allow other people to set new appointments under there student id number. This is very bad because if the student does not figure out that they have to close out this screen in order to keep other people from interfering with there information. What I suggest is a simple fix, just auto close the appointment screen after the student sets there appointment.

I am sorry to be so picky about this software but after eight other primary versions I would have though a lot of this bad mapping and problems would be worked out of the system. I would like these problems fixed because I have a university licenses to this software which can barley be used. I was not aware of how bad the mapping was until after the program was customized and I tried testing it on several students. Then I realized exactly how confusing this software really is.

#2 Mon

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 07:58 PM

Thanks for your feedback.

Basically the student signs-in and the appointments screen will automatically come up as if itís apart of the sign-in screen.

I am not sure why you would want to have the appointments and sign-in process integrated. For most centers, students schedule the appointments in advance (over the phone, online, or at the center). When they show up for the appointment, they would then sign in to record their visit.

For many centers, walk-ins are also accepted. In this case, students would simply sign in without having a standing appointment.

Other centers only work with walk-in only and do not schedule appointments at all.

With the above in mind, it does not make much sense to pop up the appointments screen at each student sign in.

Now I really do not understand why this screen is even necessary if by default all days available are selected.

The reason we give users the ability to select the day or days of the appointment is to make it easier for users to find an open slot. For example, if an advisor is available Monday through Friday, and the student is only able to meet the advisor on Thursday, it's much simpler to allow the student to select Thursday and only show availability for that day of the week.

Second when they had to set a time for an appointment, they would try clicking on the schedule that appears at the bottom of the screen

Yes I could see this being confusing for some users. The labeling and layout of the controls have been enhanced in version 9, and I believe it's not as as confusing now. The advisor's schedule is displayed to remind the student of the available slots. I think it's better to have that reminder than forcing the student to go back and fourth between the screens.

First of all this button is way too small and is really far away from where the time is actually listed

I like the idea of having the "Set" button at the top. Currently it's placed at the lower right of the screen because that's where this button appears in the rest of the scheduling screens.

instead of going back to the sign-in screen the program returns to the beginning of setting an appointment.

The user is returned to the appointment screen after scheduling the appointment because the user might want to schedule another appointment. if we take the user out of the appointment scheduler, they have to sign back in to the appointments screen, which is more work than clicking on the "Close" button in the appointment screen.

Note that version 9 adds new features useful for advising centers such as a waiting list feature and automatic notification to advisors when students sign in to see them.

I am sorry to hear it's not currently working smoothly for you. I think any new system might seem difficult at the beginning until you get used to it. In the mean while, we do appreciate hearing back from you on how the software could be enhanced for your center.
Mon Nasser
AccuTrack Manager
mon@accutrack.org
(888)249-7227
http://www.accutrack.org

#3 vangildertm

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 03:54 PM

Basically the student signs-in and the appointments screen will automatically come up as if itís apart of the sign-in screen.


What I was asking for here is for the option to arrange a sequence order when a sign-in occurs. Like if you wanted this to come up in our case we do. If no linking order is arranged in the options then the default screen should come up. It makes no sense to me to have the appointments button on the sign-in screen when tutors and any administrator already have other ways to access the appointment on other screens that are not avaliable to the common user. The button on the main screen could be assumed then to only be there for anybody not already familiar with your system. A regular non tutor or adiminstrator gets very lost by this sequence.


The reason we give users the ability to select the day or days of the appointment is to make it easier for users to find an open slot.  For example, if an advisor is available Monday through Friday, and the student is only able to meet the advisor on Thursday, it's much simpler to allow the student to select Thursday and only show availability for that day of the week.


I was wanting all the days not to be pre-selected. When you enter appointments Monday-Sunday are already checked. Most people click on the boxes thinking they are checking which appointment days they are wanting to set. However the opposite is occuring and they are deselecting the days they want since by default all the days are checked. So hince I don't think this screen is necessary unless all the days are unchecked when you first enter this screen.

Second when they had to set a time for an appointment, they would try clicking on the schedule that appears at the bottom of the screen


Yes I could see this being confusing for some users.  The labeling and layout of the controls have been enhanced in version 9, and I believe it's not as as confusing now.  The advisor's schedule is displayed to remind the student of the available slots.  I think it's better to have that reminder than forcing the student to go back and fourth between the screens.


I only had about two students out of about forty to make it through this screen without any confusion. So I do beleive something should be done even if it is less confusing than the previous version and yes the additional features are nice.


instead of going back to the sign-in screen the program returns to the beginning of setting an appointment.


The user is returned to the appointment screen after scheduling the appointment because the user might want to schedule another appointment.  if we take the user out of the appointment scheduler, they have to sign back in to the appointments screen, which is more work than clicking on the "Close" button in the appointment screen.


Can you at least put in a pop up advisor that says would you like to set another appointment Yes? No?. If yes then go back to the appointment screen and if no then return to the sign-in screen. Please just do not assume that most people want to make one or multiple appointments. I could see it being very confusing assuming both ways, unless some sort of pop-up asking wether you want to set another appointment or not is shown.

#4 Mon

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 10:05 PM

What I was asking for here is for the option to arrange a sequence order when a sign-in occurs.

I am still not clear on what sequece you are after. As I mentioned, the sign-in process is an independent and separate process from appointment scheduling.

Most people click on the boxes thinking they are checking which appointment days they are wanting to set. However the opposite is occuring and they are deselecting the days they want since by default all the days are checked. So hince I don't think this screen is necessary unless all the days are unchecked when you first enter this screen.

I see. Yes it might be better that way. Apparently we were wrong to assume people would recognize that a checked box next to the day means that day is selected.

Can you at least put in a pop up advisor that says would you like to set another appointment Yes? No?

That's a wonderful idea. We'll put it on the to-do list of AccuTrack 9 (we only add new features to the latest version of the software).
Mon Nasser
AccuTrack Manager
mon@accutrack.org
(888)249-7227
http://www.accutrack.org




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