Guru - Web Site Design, Features, Interfaces and Ease of Use
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Account and Profile Management
Guru’s profile and portfolio management system is very full-featured, but can be a bit confusing. Guru is organized around a central account and then multiple profiles for each work area, and this is reflected in its account management setup. I think this tiered design is actually very good, as it avoids duplication of information that is specific to a user, while allowing each work area profile to be tailored to the requirements of that category. However, it can be hard to understand for newcomers who are not aware of how Guru operates.
Guru makes it easy to access your user account, with a conspicuous “My Account” link at the top left of the menu bar. Clicking this takes you to the account overview, where you are given a summary of key information and links for reviewing messages, checking on active projects and proposals, managing payments and invoices, and much more. The section called “Manage Account” has links to let you change billing and contact information. Your profiles are accessed via the aptly named “My Profiles” link, which takes you to a separate area of the site where profiles are managed.
Profiles are very richly detailed, but this part of the site is not as intuitively designed as I feel it could be. First, when you first come to this section you don’t see a simple list of all of your profiles, because Guru has them arranged by membership category: Basic, Guru and Guru Vendor profiles are in different tabs. This might just be a design preference, but I think it’s confusing.
Once you do find your profiles, it is also not immediately obvious what’s involved in editing them. The links to change a profile are on the right hand side under a percentage that evaluates how complete the system believes your profile to be. These links allow you to enter a large amount of information to describe your or your company’s services:
On the whole, Guru’s profile and portfolio management system is the best of the big sites, in my opinion.
This is one place where Guru is still in the dark ages: if you use the site for a while, then go and do something else and come back in an hour or two, you have to log back in. Since it is common for freelancers to access the site only periodically while doing their real work, having to log back in multiple times per day is a major nuisance. Every other site has a “remember me” feature to automatically log you back in to the site when you visit after having not been active.
Fix this, please!
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Last Site Update: October 21, 2011
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