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Fixed rate jobs - usability issue

ivanstrug
Community Leader

Hi, there seems to be a UI usability issue - two clients in a row closed milestones, but not jobs. None of the clients wanted to continue projects, but it seems that they were not presented with a option to close a job. I will probably close jobs myself in order not to bother clients with what seems to be quite user unfriendly interface and suffer from the subsequent decline in JSS. 

14 REPLIES 14
kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Ivan,

 

The client can close the contract on the same page as they approve or add new milestones:

 

Screenshot_3.png

 

Or from the Contract Details page:

 

Screenshot_4.png

~ Valeria
Upwork

I think he means to say it should be visible clearly not hidden in actions.


@Tarpinder S wrote:

I think he means to say it should be visible clearly not hidden in actions.


 It's not hidden.

 

There is also a nice big "End Contract" button right at the top of the Contract Details page.

 

end contract.png

Ivan, if you really want to 'close jobs myself in order not to bother clients with what seems to be quite user unfriendly interface and suffer from the subsequent decline in JSS,' it's your choice but why not first remind the client to close the job & leave feedback & emphasize that it's important that they do so. For me, closing a contract myself is a last resort.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

@John K wrote:

Ivan, if you really want to 'close jobs myself in order not to bother clients with what seems to be quite user unfriendly interface and suffer from the subsequent decline in JSS,' it's your choice but why not first remind the client to close the job & leave feedback & emphasize that it's important that they do so. For me, closing a contract myself is a last resort.


Well, those two clients are one-off Upwork users, they needed to have some very specific work and now they are gone - they do not login to the platform (I know one of them had even difficulty remembering password to Upwork), so reminding them would be completely pointless.


@Petra R wrote:

@Tarpinder S wrote:

I think he means to say it should be visible clearly not hidden in actions.


 It's not hidden.

 

There is also a nice big "End Contract" button right at the top of the Contract Details page.

 

end contract.png


Well, I am just sharing my observations - the clients who do not want to be bothered to learn how to use the platform (as it is the case with my two specific clients) find it difficult to end the contracts. Possibly they do not get to "contract details" page.

I think what should be done in the fixed rate jobs is that if all milestones are completed the client should be presented with just two options - close the contract or to add milestones. After all it just does not make any sense to have an open fixed price jobs with all milestones completed.  


@Ivan S wrote:

 the clients who do not want to be bothered to learn how to use the platform (as it is the case with my two specific clients) find it difficult to end the contracts.


 Is that what the clients told you? That they can't be bothered to learn how to use the platform and find it difficult to end the contracts?

 

Having said that, I do like the idea of a more clear option to end the contract after milestones have been paid. Maybe a pop up after releasing the milestone that says "Add another milestone (button) or End the contract as completed (button)"

 

At the end of the day anything that leads to us being less likely to go without feedback is a good thing, and it's in everyone's interest if contracts that are completed are closed rather than just hanging there like loose ends!


@Petra R wrote:

@Ivan S wrote:

 the clients who do not want to be bothered to learn how to use the platform (as it is the case with my two specific clients) find it difficult to end the contracts.


 Is that what the clients told you? That they can't be bothered to learn how to use the platform and find it difficult to end the contracts?

 

Having said that, I do like the idea of a more clear option to end the contract after milestones have been paid. Maybe a pop up after releasing the milestone that says "Add another milestone (button) or End the contract as completed (button)"

 

At the end of the day anything that leads to us being less likely to go without feedback is a good thing, and it's in everyone's interest if contracts that are completed are closed rather than just hanging there like loose ends!


Petra, I fully agree with you on the usability question.

 

With respect to your comment about the clients I think that CEOs of a SMEs who have a lot on their plates and who turned to Upwork for a very specific one-off job and who most likely would not have any need to use the platform again should clearly not be bothered to learn how to use the platform.

They are a bit like clients  who need external help with CV polishing - once it is done and they get a job, there is no real reason why they should use Upwork ever again and thus they also should not be bothered with learning ins and outs of the system. Particularly if it does not impact the product they receive. 


@Petra R wrote:

@Tarpinder S wrote:

I think he means to say it should be visible clearly not hidden in actions.


 It's not hidden.

 

There is also a nice big "End Contract" button right at the top of the Contract Details page.

 

end contract.png


Yes, Petra, it is hidden.

 

What is a client's motivation to to go an Actions dropdown? To view my profile? To view a contract whose work has been delivered and paid for? Those are the kinds of options Upwork sees fit to tuck in the actions menu ahead of the option whose more obvious presence might solve a multitude of problems that Upwork has created for itself and for us. One of the smartest contractors here, in her role as a client, was flummoxed at how to close, and I don't suppose she was alone.

 

There is no reason to privilege "set a new milestone" over "end contract," and that's exactly what the interface does, and all of us get dinged one way or another for this design flaw.

 

As for clients' not being "bothered to learn how to use the platform" that is exactly what Upwork's CEO spent a great deal of time and energy promoting as one of the platform's virtues.

 

Best,

Michael


@Valeria K wrote:

Hi Ivan,

 

The client can close the contract on the same page as they approve or add new milestones:

 

Screenshot_3.png

 

Or from the Contract Details page:

 

Screenshot_4.png


Valeria, thank you for your posting. I know that there is an option for client to close the contact in the system - I had clients who close the contracts. All I am saying is that for some reason clients were not able to find this option when they approve the final milestone.  I was not watching over their shoulder what exactly they were doing, but I see the outcome. 

Ivan, you wrote, "Well, those two clients are one-off Upwork users, they needed to have some very specific work and now they are gone - they do not login to the platform (I know one of them had even difficulty remembering password to Upwork), so reminding them would be completely pointless."

 

This is where it would be nice if a contract closed by the freelancer with no feedback from the client was neutral, instead of lowering Job Success. We still want to encourage client feedback, so there could be a waiting period, like 6 or 8 weeks before the freelancer can close the contract without a penalty. Another alternative is for Upwork to recognize a client's feedback history, so if it's a client with no history of leaving feedback, then there is no penalty if the freelancer closes the contract after the waiting period.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

@Douglas Michael M wrote:
There is no reason to privilege "set a new milestone" over "end contract," and that's exactly what the interface does, and all of us get dinged one way or another for this design flaw.

 


There is a very good reason, actually the number one reason - and no doubt you know why :).

---- easy like Sunday morning ----
crhysconsulting
Community Guru

If a client is too lazy to learn the platform, then they are not a client to work with again anyway. Eventually it is the freelancer that will pay the consequences of that choice. 

 

Is it really that difficult to look for the drop down menu? Apparently so. 


@cairenn R wrote:

If a client is too lazy to learn the platform, then they are not a client to work with again anyway. Eventually it is the freelancer that will pay the consequences of that choice. 

 

Is it really that difficult to look for the drop down menu? Apparently so. 


OK - So do you fire all your clients who don't leave feedback, or just the "lazy" ones?

 

My criteria for retaining clients are:

  • They offer me good work
  • at decent rates
  • with realistic schedules
  • and clear expectations,
  • and they pay on delivery.

The "consequences" freelancers pay are due to Upwork's choices, not the clients'.

 

To repeat Massing's Axiom:

 

Any time any contractor has to explain to a client: what to do, how to do it, or why to do it, that represents a possible design failure for a contractor-client connection platform. When the explanations are required after the successful completion of a contract, the likelihood of design failure rises to certainty.

 

Best,

Michael

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