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User
Thread poster: Jon Peck
Updating Availability and adding Productivity to Profile

Jon Peck  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:52
English
May 11, 2007

Dear members,

I've been working on updating the functionality of the Availability settings. Some features include:

- Ability to optionally specify your average productivity and burst rate for short-term projects in Words Per Day (WPD)
- Additional granularity to availability (0% - Not available, 25% - Barely available, 50% - Partly available, 75% - Mostly available, 100% - Available) with appropriate colors
- Cleaned up interface and layout to eliminate edit / view confusion
- Added instructions and descriptions

The average and burst productivity rates will eventually become optional criteria in an updated version of the job search. The burst rate will be only used when the project duration is one day and the LSP's availability is set at 100% for that day.

Currently, your productivity rate is not publicly visible to others. I will create permissions to control who can view your productivity data before adding it to the public profile.

If you're not as available, then you can just adjust your availability for the day and it'll adjust using a calculation on your WPD. For example, if your average WPD is 4000 and you've set only half availability, it'll show 2000 for that day.

I have some additional features and suggestions to work on, including actions to clear all availability and to set all weekdays and weekends, adding availability to the Quick Profile updater, and creating optional reminders to keep your availability up to date. Other options being explored include using a range instead of an average and setting your profile to be permanently unavailable.

If you have a moment, I would appreciate feedback, bug reports and suggestions. You can view the updated features at:

My ProZ.com -> My settings -> Availability

Thanks,
Jon Peck
ProZ.com Staff


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Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 06:52
Member (2002)
English to Russian
Availability & Productivity - Comments May 11, 2007

Jon, congratulations on the good job done!

(1) I find the newly introduced changes and additions quite useful. Wider variety of availability options is a definite plus.

(2) Everything seems to work as expected (no bugs to report yet).

Thanks again,
Vladimir


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:52
English to Dutch
+ ...
Seen it, like it May 11, 2007

Hi Jon,

I've seen the new feature and I like it. Very colourful!
I'm just a bit worried that clients will try to push me to work to my burst productivity when they see I'm 100% available on a particular day.

Maybe you could try and set this 'burst-number' in such a way that it is only visible for long-term clients, or for instance, those that have entered an WWA?

Thank you for your efforts in making the site even more useful!

Best wishes,
Margreet


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Percy Balemans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:52
Member (2006)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Availablity improvements are great, don't like productivity options May 11, 2007

I really like the improvements to the availability calendar. Thanks!

I don't like the productivity option though. I've noticed I can switch it off, but that doesn't alter the fact that the option will be available on the site. To me, translation is a lot more than just mass producing words and I don't really like the fact that it is represented as such on a professional site such as ProZ. What about "educating our clients" that translators are more than just machines generating a certain number of words per hour/day?


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:52
Member
English to German
+ ...
Educating your clients instead of mechanizing the art of translation May 12, 2007

I absolutely agree with Percy.

First of all, thanks to the Proz staff for providing this additional tool as it might be useful to a lot of colleagues. However, first thing I did was opting out of the productivity rate.

The use of CAT tools has mechanized our profession to a degree that makes me shake my head. If we let this happen to ourselves - oh well... (Client: "Hey, let's give this project to the 80% word generator, formerly called translator or linguist!") My output per day is determined by the degree of difficulty of a particular text, its quality and the level of creativity involved and can't be measured in whatever percentages.

The tool might prove useful for colleagues with clients within the same or at least a similar time zone. Personally, I prefer direct communication over being considered a machine with such and such output at the push of a button. Furthermore: what good does a productivity rate of X words for a given date do, if overseas clients (time zone minus 9 hours) send a request when I am about to go to bed?

[Edited at 2007-05-12 08:41]


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Jon Peck  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:52
English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the feedback... May 14, 2007

Hello,

Thanks for all your feedback! To address your concerns, many members use the metric of words per day to measure productivity in their profile and some outsourcers have requested a way to search. I understand the need to be considered as a human, not a machine; getting measured in lines of code isn't an optimal measurement of productivity as it ignores quality, but it is an industry standard. By providing an optional feature to add convenience and structure to an existing practice, members are given the choice whether or not to describe their services in particular way.

Currently, only you are able to see the WPD that you enter into your profile. Even before I develop any mechanism for searching, I will create permissions that will allow you to restrict the visibility to anyone, outsourcers only, or to yourself. Any site features that utilize WPD in any shape or form will respect these permissions.

Timezones and availability - I will be honest; I have not considered this yet, as the ability to set your availability was developed before I started at ProZ.com. I'll investigate how, if at all, it's compensated for. Thanks for pointing it out!

Best regards,
Jon


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:52
German to English
+ ...
Not working for me: "Err updating visibility settings." May 15, 2007

Hi Jon,

I'm having problems getting the WPD function to work. I enter the following:

Average sustainable WPD: XXXX

Burst WPD for short projects: XXXX

Show these rates to:
Anyone Outsourcers Myself: Outsourcers

It then says:
OK.
Your calendar has been saved.

Error.
Err updating visibility settings.

And then I can't enter % availabilities on my calendar.

Sorry if this problem has been brought up before, I didn't see it in the forums yet. I'll go ahead and email this to you via your profile.

Thanks,
Michele

Whoops, is it because of this:

Currently, only you are able to see the WPD that you enter into your profile. Even before I develop any mechanism for searching, I will create permissions that will allow you to restrict the visibility to anyone, outsourcers only, or to yourself. Any site features that utilize WPD in any shape or form will respect these permissions.

[Edited at 2007-05-15 14:45]


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Jon Peck  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:52
English
TOPIC STARTER
Bug fixed, thanks! May 15, 2007


Michele Johnson wrote:

Hi Jon,

I'm having problems getting the WPD function to work.
Thanks for the catch! I tracked down the issue. Let me know if you have any other problems.

Thanks,
Jon


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:52
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Cannot update calendar May 31, 2007

Hi Jon,

Most of the time when I click on the calendar to update it, evrything goes crazy and not all the calendar displays and there is no button to click on to submit the new info. Could you have an look at it for me please? Thanks.

Nikki


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Jon Peck  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:52
English
TOPIC STARTER
More information needed May 31, 2007


Nikki Graham wrote:

Hi Jon,

Most of the time when I click on the calendar to update it, evrything goes crazy and not all the calendar displays and there is no button to click on to submit the new info. Could you have an look at it for me please? Thanks.

Nikki
Nikki,

Thanks for letting me know. Could you give me some more details so I can troubleshoot it? What operating system and browser do you use?

Thanks,
Jon


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:52
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Replies to questions May 31, 2007

Hi again,

I use Microsoft Windows XP and Internet Explorer.


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Jon Peck  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:52
English
TOPIC STARTER
Issue reported as resolved May 31, 2007

Please let me know if it returns or if you have any other questions or concerns.

Thanks,
Jon


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:52
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Wish List Jun 27, 2007

Hi again Jon,

would it be at all possible to have a button/buttons which sets/set:

a) the whole month to green or red

b) the week to green and the weekends to red

c) all of a certain week to red (to indicate a holiday week, for example)

It would just make the whole task of filling in the availability calendar a little easier, as I usually start every month off the same: weekends never available, weeks free and have just filled some weeks in as red as I will be on holiday.

Thanks

Nikki


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Jon Peck  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:52
English
TOPIC STARTER
Developer To-Do list Jun 27, 2007


Nikki Graham wrote:

Hi again Jon,

would it be at all possible to have a button/buttons which sets/set:

a) the whole month to green or red

b) the week to green and the weekends to red

c) all of a certain week to red (to indicate a holiday week, for example)

It would just make the whole task of filling in the availability calendar a little easier, as I usually start every month off the same: weekends never available, weeks free and have just filled some weeks in as red as I will be on holiday.

Thanks

Nikki
Nikki,

Thanks for the suggestions, I appreciate it! I'm working on another project at the moment, but I'm compiling to-dos for the Calendar system to be completed in the near future. I actually had something very similar planned - a macro where you select a day of the week or a particular week and it sets them all to whatever you select. Another request is to set availability permanently unavailable (some members aren't looking for new jobs). I'm glad to hear that other people are interested in these proposed features as well.

All the best,
Jon


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 22:52
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I second Nikki's new suggestion. Jun 27, 2007

Just so you'll know, Jon, that Nikki's not the only one! I don't know what is technically feasible, and I'm sure many will object if there are a gazillion different buttons, but the one-day-at-a-time availability setting can be very tedious.

Maybe buttons could be:

Select month
Select week
Select day of week
Select all M-F
Select all weekends

Once selected, I could choose any of the 5 colors.

In my case, during the school year I'm not available on Mondays and Tuesdays. I could make the entire month yellow except for those days, which would be red, with only 6 keystrokes:

1) Select month
2) Select yellow
3) Place cursor on Monday and select day of week
4) Select red
5) Place cursor on Tuesday and select day of week
6) Select red

How would that work?

Thanks for being part of one of the most user-suggestion responsive websites I've ever seen!


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Updating Availability and adding Productivity to Profile






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