Hey friends, today we’re going to kick off a series we like to call Support Chronicles, where we pass along tips, tricks, tools, tactics, and other alliterative terms that help us in providing the best service we can to our users.
Today’s topic is the keyboard, so let’s talk shortcuts.
Many of you know the shortcuts I’m going to list below; they aren’t hidden in the annals of your browser documentation by any means. But how many of you use them religiously, especially when you can do the same tasks with a click of a mouse?
However, as much as I love shortcuts like the above list, they aren't going to be saving me large swaths of time over the course of my day. Especially if decades of mouse-work have made me a click junkie.
If you're like me, you're constantly performing different searches throughout the day, and not all of them run through Google. For those spots where you find yourself clicking a bookmark, then going to the search bar to type, you can skip straight to that point with just a couple letters. The steps to set-up are a bit different depending on your browser of choice, so here's some links to help you on your way:
The secret sauce here is assigning a keyword to those shortcuts for quick access(sorry IE lovers, no keywords for you). Let's take a look at a real-life example that I'm faced with a dozen times a day: I have a user's email address, and I need to view their account details.
This involves checking one table to get their username, and another to click through to those account details. I could have bookmarks to those tables that I can easily click to and search from. Using that process, it took me 25 seconds to get to the point I wanted to.
Instead, I added a custom search engine for those two tables since I'm always searching them, assigning a two letter keyword for each. So what happens when I repeat that process? It takes me 14 seconds to get to the page I'm looking for.
I don't know about you, but those 10 seconds can make a huge difference in the level of support I can give, especially if I'm juggling multiple users in live chat or trying to get to get my inbox to zero as fast as possible.
That's all for this installment of Support Chronicles. Have your own keyboard tricks that help you deliver dynamite service? Let us know in the comments.
At Zapier we're always looking to add little touches that make working with web based software a little less painful: call it a rounding of the edges. All those minor little setbacks and annoyances introduce artificial barriers that turn off users. If you let them accumulate, you end up with a frustrating product even if your users can't articulate why.
We've done our best to remove them, while the list goes on and on forever, here are five of our favorites:
This one is an easy win. Utilizing some off the shelf tools in most web frameworks (Django in our case), we're able to rewrite every zapier.com URL in emails that when clicked will auto-login users. Be very careful about this, as it could be an attack vector if you do it wrong. We limit it to recently generated links, familiar IP addresses and use a prebuilt signing library like itsdangerous to sign login links. Best not to roll your own.
We do email confirmation asynchronous because some people use bogus emails to trial software and we're okay with that. You can bet that I'm guilty of this as well. If you like the product, you'll update your email and confirm it sometime later, but that's no reason to keep you from using our product.
If you want to use "abcd" as your password, fine. Obviously, we'd like you to use secure passwords everywhere but we're not the password police. On the flip side, you can use a 256 character random unicode string, that works too (its all hashed in the end, so what is the point of character restrictions?).
At the very top of every Zapier email is a link: "Stop sending these emails." We know that it is CANSPAM law that you provide a link somewhere, but we've gone out of our way to put it up top, make it obvious, and do it with one click (no confirmation needed). Plus, you'd be surprised at how many companies just break this law.
In Zapier, if you click the "help" button, you'll get a help sidebar which looks like any other help sidebar, but the content it pulls up is algorithmically selected to reflect where in the UI you asked for help. For example, if you click "help" on the plans/pricing page, you'll get information on how pricing and billing works. It's a little touch that helps alot.
We've taken a stand against letting annoyances accumulate in our software, will you? It's easy to overlook one or two, but when the user experiences many in a single session, it can easily frustrate them just enough to "try again later". Most of them never try again.
Do you have your own tips and tricks for cicumventing SaaS pet peeves? Leave them in the comments.
Twas five nights before Christmas, and all through the house, not a light was still blinking, except for my mouse.
Power outages rarely wait for opportune times to strike, and that held true this holiday season, as I found myself without power for hours in the middle of the last workweek before the holidays. I even had two chat sessions rudely interrupted by the outage(to those users: sorry!). So what do you do when you find yourself with no power for an indeterminate amount of time? Here's a few discoveries I had to make the hard way:
Fortunately for me, our power did come back on after a few hours and I wasn't stranded by the weather. Had that not happened, even my best-laid plans would have eventually left me unable to work after a while. But a few bits of prevention kept me productive during this particular outage, and serve as a great reminder to make sure to be prepared for future emergencies. How do you stay productive even when the lights or internet unexpectedly go out? Any favorite things to get done when you're offline? Tell us in the comments below.
Got a quick bit of good news today. If you've been around Zapier long enough you know how hard it can be to stay up to date with new services, triggers and actions or updates to existing services, triggers and actions.
So today we've launched the Zapier updates blog.
Any time a new service is launched or an update to an existing one is made you can find out about it on the updates blog.
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