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Why interfaces need to be transparent and adaptable to their users?

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Module 3 Assignment Why interfaces need to be transparent and adaptable to their users? * Replacing human contacts with digital interfaces, not only reduces transaction costs, but helps companies capture new information about the customer and proliferate its value to better meet customer needs. Replacing human interfaces with so-called cold and inflexible digital interfaces, doesn't mean downsizing or turning away from dealing directly with a customer. It means improving many transactions, in which the operator doesn't really act like a human being but rather reads the information from the computer screen. * The new, digital interfaces created with the Internet's open standards are almost never rude, but could, for example, speak several languages, handle voice recognition and much more. Furthermore, these interfaces can adapt automatically to users' levels of skills, advancing as users become more familiar and ready to use such interfaces. Unlike human beings, these interfaces can record their transactions with customers and learn from them in order to be adapted for future interactions. Over time, these interfaces will learn and adapt to customers' preferences, and further reduce transaction costs. * Many companies are using electronic interfaces to help themselves rather than customers, creating additional confusion among them. Most organizations develop such interfaces that represent an attempt to overcome their own internal barriers and institutional infirmities. This results in an organization's inability to manage customer continuity and develop a customer-centric site that will engage them in the process of buying, selling or whatever they are trying to accomplish with the site. ...read more.


Lyon, vice president of business services at Staples.com. Revamping the site for its May relaunch took about seven to eight months and involved about 100 internal Staples.com employees and outsourced staff at various times, Ragunas says. Although the site did not need a lot of infrastructure changes, there was plenty to do in terms of software engineering. "We had two different efforts going on: One was the visual design and interface work, and the other was the underlying code work," Ragunas says. "We used object-oriented design and development techniques to separate out the look and feel from the underlying logic, so we were able to develop the different objects that did the different pieces of work for us." Staples.com ramped up customer involvement to the point where the customers, in effect, became co-developers, Ragunas says. Feedback is collected through internal customer service, e-mails, usability studies, focus groups, and from BizRate, a partner company that garners users' opinions on topics such as site performance and usability. The company also does site-traffic analysis. Site improvements are first tested by customer groups, he adds. "We observe how they do it, where they get stuck. We do rounds of that until we get to a point where we know that it's intuitive and customers can find it and use it properly." Staples.com added enhanced user tools, including "Feature Finder," a context-sensitive sales and search assistant; a "Favorite Items" shopping-list function; and revamped small-business services such as payroll and Web hosting. ...read more.


In contrast, VoP over the ATM-based network offers distinct advantages directly to service providers and are still much more prevalent today. To read the article: http://www.nwfusion.com/columnists/2001/0507bradner.html Cisco case study Cisco has managed to effectively adapt to the Internet, including their partners, resellers, customers and suppliers. Cisco has highly developed an online infrastructure that reduced online orders from a seven-to-eight week order cycle to one-to-three weeks. Cisco has reduced its inventory by 45 percent, part of the $175 million savings in annual operating costs from its e-volution. Cisco is also using the Web to integrate workspace strategies and practices. CRE, for example, provides online tools for service requests, space planning, leasing abstracts, incident and hazard reporting, purchasing, package tracking, and catering requests. Using the Internet to build better relationships with customers isn't just a priority at Cisco-it's a passion. The company regularly launches new online programs and services for customers, partners, and resellers to help them help themselves. For instance, the Cisco Resource Network makes product, best-practice, reseller, and partner information available online for small- and medium-sized businesses. This same network also provides a way for resellers to partner with strategic software and hardware vendors. It enables them to offer bundled solutions to customers, turning networking technologies into company solutions. Another example of online relationship building and services, created by the Cisco Strategic Alliance group's EcoFoundation program, is the Alliance Solution Coverage Tool. With this online tool, Cisco's sales force can access a broad range of enterprise solutions from strategic partners. One such partner, KPMG offers solutions from supply chain to finance. ...read more.

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