vWorker - Web Site Design, Features, Interfaces and Ease of Use
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Web site design and usability are not really vWorker’s strong suits. The company supports all of the account management, profile and related functions you will need as a contractor, and it gets positive marks from me for its lack of unnecessary flash. However, the site is hard to use in many respects, its help system is not the best, and it’s pretty slow. On the whole, I think the company could benefit from redesigning its site to give it a more professional feel, and to place better emphasis on simplicity and speed.
Like all sites, vWorker has an RSS feed capability, but I think there’s significant room for improvement here in a few areas.
For starters, it’s hard to even locate it: for some reason, vWorker doesn’t use standard RSS feed icons on its site, instead just having a short text link under the scrolling project display in the right hand column. There isn’t even any mention of RSS in the site’s FAQ, which is an omission that should be rectified.
Another issue is that the RSS feed is not formatted properly so that it can be easily viewed in a browser. I’m not an RSS expert, so I am not sure what the real issue is here, but with other sites I can view RSS feeds in a way that is easy to read without having to use special RSS software. In contrast, with vWorker I get a message saying “This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below.”, followed by an ugly XML display.
The RSS feed only updates once every ten minutes. This is pretty slow, and it can actually matter for those competing on time-sensitive projects.
The RSS feed can be customized, but vWorker doesn’t do a good job of explaining how this is done. I do like some of their custom gizmos, though, such as a utility that will collect and display new project listings right from a computer desktop.
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Last Site Update: October 21, 2011
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