vWorker - Web Site Design, Features, Interfaces and Ease of Use
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Profile and Portfolio
vWorker uses an integrated account system, so every user can function as both a client (“employer”) and contractor (“worker”). When you are logged in, there are text links in the top right corner of every page that allow you to access your Employer profile and your Worker profile.
The Worker profile defaults to showing key summary information about a contractor. This is a useful display, showing the contractor’s name, overall feedback score, number of projects completed, ranking in the “All Worker Competition” and much more. There are tabs to allow you to look at work history or the contractor’s portfolio.
The basics of the contractor’s resume are also shown on the summary page. These can be modified by clicking “Edit my resume”, a small text link next to the contractor’s name. Resume information includes the following items:
This is all fairly rudimentary stuff: nothing flashy, but it works.
There is support for entering portfolio items, such as past work samples. This is accessed via the Portfolio tab on the Worker profile. Again, this is functional but not fancy, much like the rest of the site.
One complaint I have in this area is that for some reason, the feature in Firefox that normally fills in usernames and passwords in login forms doesn’t work on vWorker.com. I am not sure if this is a Firefox issue or something related to this site’s design, but it’s a minor nuisance.
I am not terribly impressed with how vWorker handles setting up and editing account details. These are accessed via a separate set of pages which are listed under the “My account ” menu at the top of the page. The overall design here is unintuitive and clunky, in my opinion, with too many layers of nested menus, and a poorly considered requirement to scroll through unrelated information to get to items you want to change. This is most noticeable in the “My general info” section that contains overall account details, but is present in other areas as well. For example, suppose you want to change the thresholds that vWorker uses to trigger its semi-monthly payments. To do this you have to hover over “My account ”, then hover on “My registration/settings ”, then click “My payment options”, and then click “Next” without changing your payment settings. This won’t be winning any user interface awards.
Other areas in account management are pretty similar: everything is in there, but it really takes some getting used to how vWorker has arranged it. Much as I am not a big fan of frequent site redesigns, it seems to me that vWorker could really use an overhaul with a focus on clarity and ease of use; at the moment, the site gives the impression of something that’s been built up piecemeal in too many stages by too many web designers.
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Last Site Update: May 18, 2011
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