Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Top Ten Feature Requests for Voices.com

By David Ciccarelli

July 14, 2006

Comments (41)

As the imminent launch of Voices.com approaches, we thought we'd share the top 10 feature requests received in recent months. What's good, what's terrible? Let us know.

* These features are listed in the logical order of activities when using Voices.com, not by most important.

Here's Your Top 10 List of Voices.com Features

1. Profile: A single check box will let you show or hide your online communication options, including Skype, Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger, AOL Messenger and Google Talk. You will also be able to list specific skills on your 'Profile' in addition to voice-over.

Your account information will be separate in your 'Profile'. Account information includes your registration date, renewal date, phone number and billing address.


2. Your 'Preferences' will govern email notifications and viewable jobs. For example, if are an English speaking male talent, you’ll never see jobs for the ladies or languages that don’t match your 'Profile'.


3. Helpful suggestions and ideas will be included in a pop up window for clients so that they can better communicate what they are looking for. This may include ideas such as: Have you considered the attitude that you are looking for? Age range? The type of voice, whether deep, or light?


4. Email notifications will include full details so that you can make an instant decision regarding whether or not you are suited for the job, saving you time and energy.


5. Only jobs that meet your 'Preferences' will be visible to you on the jobs board, i.e. no male jobs showing up for a female talent, etc.


6. You soon will have the option to 'Select All' and delete jobs you are not interested in quickly. There will also be an option to undo deleted jobs.


7. You will have a review page to confirm that the proper demo is associated with the audition and that a quote / proposal with all necessary information is present before submitting an audition.

Responses can be previewed giving you the option to ‘Edit’ or 'Submit’ your audition. Preview, edit, then send when everything looks and sounds good. The 'Submit' button will be more obvious. If you are in the middle of auditioning, the 'Reply' button will not be visible.


8. 'Next Job' and 'Back' tools will appear on the confirmation page once an audition has been submitted simplifying the navigation and letting you move on to your next audition quickly. At the same time, jobs that you have auditioned for will be automatically moved to the 'Answered Jobs' folder.


9. You'll be pleased to know that when a job hits its deadline it is 'Closed' and moved to the 'Deleted Jobs' folder.


10. Feedback: Rating and Review. A rating will be different from a review. You will be able to moderate the reviews but not the ratings. You will be able to 'Accept' or 'Deny' reviews.


We are currently working on a list of over 150 features for Voices.com. If you have any suggestions, now is the time to let us know what is most important to you!

Cheers,

David and the Voices.com Team

P.S. Here's the new talent web page design!

voices.com-webpage.gif

Related Topics: Google


Comments


    When writing back to a client, make the form respect paragraphs, spaces, extra lines, and any other punctuation. When I review my comments, I notice the client is seeing a big block of text with no punctuation, etc. Hard to read and understand. Not real helpful. Same should hold true in our template area.

    Thanks!

    Posted by:

      Looks great. Can't wait to see these improvements! Always hated when I hit ENTER after filling out all the audition info instead of submit, it would refresh the page and all my info would be gone and I'd have to re-do.

      Thanks,

      Kim

      Posted by:

        Notice from one of my clients that they hear static when I send my recorded voice to them for use, via internet. A wonderful service might be for clients to check off a box when they hear demos whether or not the product was "clear" "not clear" "static on the line" "please redo". Then send that back to the talent and he can either rest assured that what was sent was okay, or make changes needed for transfer over the net.

        Thanks

        Aze Fellner

        Posted by:
        • Aze Fellner
        • July 14, 2006 9:53 AM

          Another suggestion I have for the "Features List" is that we be able to list the geographic regions we'd like to be associated with and have those show up on our pages and in searches. The region(s) listed may be the same as the address we provide when signing up for an account, but may be different, too.

          For example, my mailing address is Flowery Branch, GA, which is a suburb of Atlanta. I'd like to have accurate information listed with Voices.com, but I'd also like to show up in an Atlanta search. As a matter of fact, I'm within 2 hours of Greenville, SC and could potentially list myself in that region, too, since I could get to studios there with very little difficulty.

          This change would allow me to show up on location-specific searches without being limited to my physical address.

          Thanks,

          Rich Roszel

          Posted by:

            I think it would be good to know how many talents have auditioned for a job while I'm reviewing the posting. That way I know what I'm up against as far as competition and feasibility of the client actually listening to my demo. It's pretty common for a client to only listen to auditions long enough until they find the voice they're looking for. That could be anywhere from 25-50 auditions. If there have already been 200+ auditions submitted for a job, I can decide if it's even worth my time to submit. Even if the job is still "open", I'll know it's a long-shot that the client will even get to my audition if I submit at that point. But if the number is smaller, I know the chances of my audition being heard is higher, thereby, increasing my chances for booking the job.

            Posted by:

              Hi Aze,

              Quick note on your comment about the quality of sound for files uploaded to our webservice.

              At Voices.com, we don't diminish the quality of the file you upload to our site. In this industry, there are other sites that significantly decrease the quality of uploaded files - I'm assuring you that we're not one of them :)

              Your audio file will sound the same on Voices.com as it does after you have produced it at your studio.

              Is it possible that the issue is on the clients end, i.e. their sound card, speakers, etc.?

              Stephanie

              Posted by:

                Number 2 and number 5 seem to be about the same thing - and should be Number One: so that I don't have to look a jobs that don't remotely match what my profile is, whether in e-mail or on the board; on this board, this might be better done with a filter button ("Filter By Profile").

                Less important... but why should I be looking at Pending jobs in the list since I can't reply to them; it is just a waste of space, they should be in the deleted / expired group, or again give me a filter button ("Open Jobs Only")?

                Thanks for the opportunity to give input!

                Jeff

                Posted by:
                • Jeff Carroll
                • July 14, 2006 10:08 AM

                  My main gripe is that when I reply to a job posting I still have to delete it from the list of jobs. If I forget to do this I might not recall if I have auditioned for the job and attempt to do so again later.

                  So, when a job is auditioned please remove it from the list automatically. Thanks!

                  Posted by:

                    In filling out my profile, unless I'm doing something entirely wrong, I am unable to form paragraphs, lists or line spacing. Everything is in a single block of text. I've tried using HTML, but still get a single block of text. I think this makes reading tedious for potential clients. Can this be corrected or are there protocols of which I'm unaware?

                    Posted by:

                      1) I agree on the need for the text to respect paragraphs. Best would be if it accepted html so we could put headings on...ie. RATES: Studio: etc.

                      2) I would like it if you made the job page have boxes on left where we could click off jobs--in Explorer. It used to work that way and now doesn't.

                      3) I have a problem with people who we've never worked with having the right to rate or review me. That, like on ebay, should be reserved for those who have actually worked with us and have had experiences with us. And we should be able to rate them (ie. late pay)

                      4) I would like to see any job that requires a custom audition of us...be required to respect our time by remaining open until the posted deadline. It's quite frustrating to do a custom demo and find out the job has closed!

                      Posted by:

                        Great suggestions so far everyone!

                        I'd like to clarify that after you have auditioned for a job, it will be automatically deleted from view and listed in your "Answered Jobs" folder. Wayne, thank you for pointing this out :)

                        Also, the top ten list is just a list of the 10 most significant changes that will be made in sequential order, not as in a David Letterman style Top Ten with the greatest being the first.

                        Thanks,

                        Stephanie

                        Posted by:

                          Thanks for this opportunity to toss in our 2 cents.

                          #2. Yes it would be nice to receive gender appropriate auditions only.

                          #3. Even seasoned ad agency creatives sometimes have trouble articulating what they want, let alone a client. Helping with suggestions dealing with pace, attitude etc would be terrific!

                          (Of course they'll still all want James Earl Jones).

                          # 10. Feedback? Wow...any feedback opportunities would be exceptionally helpful.

                          Thanks,

                          Bob Green

                          Posted by:

                            One thing I would really like to see which hasn't been mentioned is a counter of how many other voice talents have answered that particular lead.

                            It would help me to decide which leads I have a better chance in answering. If a lead has 350 answers, I can pass on it in search of a lead with fewer answers. That way I know my voice will be heard in the process.

                            And, I agree with Johnny George about the way our replies are seen, as one large text block. I would find that very hard to wade through if I were a client.

                            Thanks!

                            Moe

                            Posted by:
                            • Maureen Egan
                            • July 14, 2006 10:32 AM

                              I agree with most of what I have read and really appreciate the excellent service you provide at Interactive Voices!!

                              One thing I would suggest at this point is that you enable us to prioritize the order of our demonstration files, and shift them around real easy if we want and need to. Very frustrating to have them placed in alphabetical order, not allowing for priority based on styles of read. I do some things better than others and want those to be sampled first without having to create some fancy name in order to make it rank at the top or bottom order of my voice demonstrations!

                              I also agree with the comment about allowing better formatting on responses, which look all jumbled up in the end, after you have gone through all of the trouble of punctuating and spacing words appropriately.

                              Thanks for listening and acting as you are able!! I think you do a GREAT job overall and provide excellent resources, information and assistance!

                              Posted by:

                                Make the client feedback (written by talent) viewable by state, and by client name, as well as by comment category--i.e., negative, positive. In that way, we can learn from our associates mistakes/successes.

                                Posted by:

                                  Everything sounds great, plus I agree with the additional feedback from fellow voice artists, especially: The counter idea- helps me to determine if I want to respond to a job that's already been answered by 200 before me, so I can quickly move on to the next project.

                                  Also to have a "check off", or remove or move to the separate folder those leads that I have already auditioned for. I am looking forward to the already planned changes. Thank you so much for listening to us!

                                  Bobbin Beam

                                  Posted by:

                                    These improvements are welcomed by many of us who are full-time voice talents and are listed on other sites as well.

                                    It is tempting, when listed on other sites, to make comparisons between one site and another. Some of the "worst" voice talent sites - the "cattle call" sites, still have some very good features. One is the ability to "preview" your demo B4 sending it. One makes a big issue about having changed from 32K/bps to 64K/bps for uploaded demos, but then I still find that some of my demos for that site, although all recorded at EXACTLY the same bitrate, format and quality, return varied responses from clients who wish to hire my company.

                                    If the talent has great software and the hardware to back it up, the uploaded demo can be saved at signal specific rates and can be "tweaked" to enhance audio quality B4 uploading it - even for demos. Then if the service forwards that demo without “tweaking” it themselves, the talent and client can be assured of a quality demo. That does not include those who are just starting out and have the $39.00 software for editing and maybe a tiny little chat mic that came with the computer.

                                    I don't buy into this idea that the potential client doesn't care about the quality of the demo. Most clients today are not in the business of audio production and know nothing about the difference between a "demo" for an audio project and how a finished project will actually sound. Thus, on the cattle call sites, it is not uncommon to see a posting today and in a few days a repeat of the same posting because the need for immediate gratification has leaked into a business where digital sound quality can be masked - UNTIL it's time to put-up or shut-up.

                                    When a potential client posts a listing and they are INUNDATED within the first hour with hundreds of replies, a lot of which have nothing to do with what was requested, it is easy to understand their frustration and "knee-jerk" reaction by hiring something that "sounds good" at first glance and later is discovered to have very little actual production capability. I also completely agree with Johnny George that a written reply that looks like a second grader wrote it fails to make that all important “first impression” – you know, the one none of us get a second chance to make.

                                    I read a blog recently where a novice voice talent made a big issue about "why expensive mics and software were not necessary" by actually recording a short demo on her chat mic and another on a studio mic apparently with better software and she declared that she could not hear the difference... HELLO... Put those same sound tracts in a real audio studio on studio monitors at about 80 to 100 Db, which is what some "auditorium" work requires, and then she'll see the difference. It's like spending $3,000.00 on a nice sound system and then buying $25.00 speakers. What you will get - is $25.00 sound...

                                    I'm very glad to see Voices.com going from a great site to a much greater site. Already the "standard" for the industry as far as this 43 -year veteran of commercial broadcasting is concerned; Voices.com is about to set the bar much higher. I hope other sites are paying attention here - they'll need to if they want to remain competitive.

                                    Ken
                                    KJVP

                                    Posted by:

                                      I don't know if it's possible, but it'd be helpful if there was a way for the talent to know that the demo submitted to a client was actually reviewed. Perhaps if the client listens to the demo it sends a message to the talent indicating that the demo was reviewed. This way the talent at least knows that his/her submission was considered by the client.

                                      Taking it a step further, maybe a star rating that the client can use to sort all responses in a hierarchal reference could also then be relayed back to the talent to give them an idea of how the client perceived the submission.

                                      I understand that the client probably doesn't have the inclination to formally respond to all talent submissions but having a simple and unobtrusive way to give feedback to the talent would be helpful.

                                      Posted by:
                                      • Arthur Gerunda
                                      • July 14, 2006 11:55 AM

                                        Thanks for the upgrades. Just to bullet some of the things we are seeing in the comments:

                                        - Talent would like to see how many others have answered jobs.

                                        - Talent-specific leads (i.e., middle-aged female) should go in our Inbox for Leads, not all of them

                                        - Would like client to have to post WHO was chosen for spot or other narrative, WHEN v.o. was completed and DATE TALENT WAS PAID. Many clients are now posting the same job to more than one voice talent site, which means they are probably getting hundreds of replies. We somehow need to discourage that practice.

                                        - What's fair for the goose...we need to offer our own feedback about jobs we've done as well as clients posting feedback for us...

                                        - Would like to be able to hear demo before submitting.

                                        - Auto-delete posting after answering.

                                        - Auto-watermark demos so it is the same for all?

                                        Thanks,

                                        Robin

                                        Posted by:
                                        • Robin Rowan
                                        • July 14, 2006 12:06 PM

                                          Arthur:

                                          You've read our minds! That is one of the 150 features that are in the works.

                                          Glad we're on the same wave length :)

                                          Robin: thank you for identifying the items in point form.

                                          On another note, we used to have a page on the website that announced the winners of voice-over work at the website.

                                          It was too hard to keep track of all the information. Talent had to 'report' their winnings in order to be listed, many of whom liked the idea but the vast majority of talent preferred to be anonymous or did not submit their work.

                                          We followed up with clients to confirm the identities of awarded talent too.

                                          This page was also manually updated. A lot of work!

                                          This is why we went to the Feedback system to replace the Winners page.

                                          Hope that helps :)

                                          Stephanie

                                          Posted by:

                                            The suggestion from Timothy about being able to sort the order of our demos is an excellent one. I second that motion.

                                            And I agree with the requests for providing some kind of formatting to our replies, so they don't come out as a single block of text. (We just need something like what we can do in these comment boxes.)

                                            Be well,
                                            Bob

                                            Posted by:

                                              Hi there,

                                              Quick insight:

                                              The ordering of the demos is alpha-numeric.

                                              That is to say that you don't need to name them alphabetically to assert the order that you want... you can place a number in front of the file name too.

                                              Here's an example:

                                              1. IVR and On-hold Messaging
                                              2. Animation Demo
                                              3. Commercials
                                              4. Narration

                                              Placing a number before the title is easier and you don't have to spend time thinking of creative alphabetized titles for your demos.

                                              A few of the comments we've seen today on this post have solutions in our FAQ database ( http://www.interactivevoices.com/faq.htm ) such as ordering the demos.

                                              Granted it would be easier if the HTML worked intuitively as Johnny, Ken and many of you have agreed.

                                              Great progress everyone!

                                              If you haven't commented yet, we'd be happy to have you join in the conversation.

                                              Best,

                                              Stephanie

                                              Posted by:

                                                Stephanie,

                                                I just finished numbering and re-uploading all of my demos following the suggestion in the FAQ and yet they remain in alphabetical order on my page.

                                                Hmmm.

                                                Be well,
                                                Bob

                                                Posted by:

                                                  Hi Bob,

                                                  Just looked into your demos on the page.

                                                  When you are in your studio, the numbering is referring to the "Title" of the demo, not the file name. The number should appear on your web page, not in the file name.

                                                  This could be a point of confusion for some, and I want to be sure that you know that you don't have to re-upload your audio to make the changes in your Studio.

                                                  Here's an example:

                                                  Demo title: Bob's Commercials

                                                  File name: bob_commercials.mp3

                                                  I'll fix that for you, no problem :)

                                                  Take care Bob,

                                                  Stephanie

                                                  Posted by:

                                                    Hi Bob et al,

                                                    Here is a link to Bob Souer's website at InteractiveVoices.com:

                                                    http://bobsouer.interactivevoices.com/

                                                    In the field that says "New File Title" I placed numbers before the type of demo, for instance, Bob's first demo was renamed: 1. Main demo.

                                                    I then saved the changes for each of the five demos accordingly.

                                                    Cheers,

                                                    Stephanie

                                                    Posted by:

                                                      Another nice to have would be a marker of some sort, that potential clients can see, that talent can check when they will be out of town or unavailable.

                                                      Many of us also do on-camera work that requires us to be on set for days in a row. And, there are times when I don't want to check for personal leads when I am on vacation.

                                                      On those occasions of unavailability I would prefer that a potential client immediately see that I am not available to respond. Rather than having them think that I am ignoring them or a lazy lunk who doesn't respond in a professional, timely fashion.

                                                      Thank you for all of your efforts. The planned changes look fantastic.

                                                      Posted by:
                                                      • Catherine Sheehan
                                                      • July 14, 2006 2:42 PM

                                                        I'm in the learning phase of using the Internet for voiceovers so I'd like to thank you all for your contributions.

                                                        My one question is this:

                                                        How attractive to the American markets are English voices based in Spain?

                                                        Posted by:

                                                          It would be very helpful to know how many responses the client has received so far. And, if you don't want to give an exact number to us, then give us a range, like it's done for the budget. That way, we could know that the client has received between 1-20 responses so far, or 20-50 responses so far, or over 50 responses so far, etc. IDEALLY, I'D LIKE TO KNOW THE EXACT NUMBER SO THAT I CAN DETERMINE IF I'M WASTING MY TIME AND ENERGY ANSWERING THE LEAD, however, if Voices.com has a policy where they don't want to do that, then this could be a good compromise and respectful of the talent's time and efforts. Thanks so much for considering it.

                                                          Posted by:
                                                          • Deborah Marlowe
                                                          • July 14, 2006 4:29 PM

                                                            Looks like lots of good improvements are in the works. Here's another suggestion: How about a box right under "Experience" for "Training"? And, how about allowing us to check mark boxes with no information, so they won't display and unnecessarily lengthen what looks like a long web page.

                                                            Thanks.

                                                            Posted by:

                                                              I actually don't think knowing how many others have responded is helpful.... Steph wrote about competition a few weeks ago here.

                                                              Can we please delineate accents a little more .... when I see English, I imagine British.... I know the American cousins sometimes find it difficult to imagine that there is anywhere else, but something like English - US; UK; Aust; Sth Africa etc may speed up the decision process........ biggest gripe ?

                                                              I concur with text formatting on our home pages and in the responses........ also would like to have a text response option for the Quote field

                                                              (again, does this always assume $USD ??)

                                                              Thanks

                                                              Posted by:
                                                              • Martyn
                                                              • July 14, 2006 5:32 PM

                                                                Very simple UI flow feature: When viewing a job and clicking "Delete Job," please bring us directly to the next one in the list, rather than back to the list page.

                                                                On knowing how many other people have auditioned: I always find that kind of information discouraging. I'd honestly rather not know. If you're right for the job, you're right whether you're 1 in 5 or 1 in 500.

                                                                Posted by:

                                                                  I agree with the changes and with most (if not all) of the comments. Personally, I would love to have some indicator as to whether or not the client has actually listened to the demo. That way I'd know if my response has actually made it to the eyes of the client.

                                                                  Posted by:

                                                                    You all have really impressed me. I don't get to audition as much as I'd like to (being in a full-time studio/ministry, but I do have one suggestion to add to "helping the client describe their needs": ask them to write out the way certain things should sound -- especially names/titles that may not "sound" the way they "look". This will only help us to look and sound more professional. It also shows the client that we care.

                                                                    Blessings to everyone!

                                                                    Posted by:

                                                                      Yes Sherri !!
                                                                      Nearly let that one slip by.

                                                                      Pronunciation help for the weird and unfamiliar is an absolute must have. The web is great as an encyclopaedic resource, but not for the spoken word..... if only they had taught us all more phoenetic alphabeture when we were younger (and could absorb unwittingly !!) ... we'd all be able to write as we speak, when we need to "translate" the spoken to the written.

                                                                      Posted by:
                                                                      • Martyn
                                                                      • July 15, 2006 5:09 PM

                                                                        I agree with Martyn's comment relating to more description on acceptance of accents. Do any American, Canadian or British companies need 'clear' Australasian accents. I find there is a lot of research and preparation of demos only to find that they wouldn't even consider an Australian/NZ accent. I would like to have a category or Australiasian the same as say French, Spanish etc.

                                                                        Thank you.

                                                                        Posted by:
                                                                        • Angela
                                                                        • July 16, 2006 3:24 AM

                                                                          Seems like a great idea. Was wondering if jobs could be listed country wise.

                                                                          Posted by:
                                                                          • seema
                                                                          • July 16, 2006 3:52 AM

                                                                            I agree with Martyn's post regarding the delineation of accents. I would love to be able to focus more specifically on what style and accent the client might be looking for. At the moment I'm flying blind and having to guess at location.
                                                                            Thanks

                                                                            Posted by:
                                                                            • Abbe Holmes
                                                                            • July 16, 2006 6:59 AM

                                                                              I agree with Tom Guyette on his comment about not knowing how many others have auditioned for a particular job. It IS discouraging to see that 350 people have auditioned. I'd rather not know. If I feel I'm right for a job, I should be able to audition for it without feeling like I'm wasting my time.

                                                                              Posted by:
                                                                              • Allen
                                                                              • July 17, 2006 10:33 AM

                                                                                I agree with a number of previous comments.
                                                                                Namely:

                                                                                I agree with Chris Fries, I'd like to see how many other submissions are in - to help decide if I want to jump in on auditioning for that job. If it's a long shot or a smaller pool of talent that they are choosing from.

                                                                                I'd like the option of seeing "job's for me" and also then all jobs posted.

                                                                                Thanks for a great website and blogs.

                                                                                Posted by:

                                                                                  Sorry folks, when it comes to knowing how many have already auditioned, I find it VERY useful! Clearly, the truth is that agency producers have the same enthusiasm for listening to voice demos as they do for having a root canal. It's a shame, but it is so. If we were photographers pushing our wares, and sent out our latest shot of the models frolicking in the kumquats...even if the recipient tosses it in the can..THE IMPRESSION has been made. With audio, it takes a concerted EFFORT to LISTEN... and I think when 200 people have already auditioned, your chances of being heard are... reallllly!

                                                                                  Posted by:

                                                                                    I have a simple request: I just want "remember me" to work on the login page. I'm tired of having to go to the login page and the My Account page just to get to the Jobs page every time I want to check for new leads.

                                                                                    And for what it's worth, I do want to know how many other people have auditioned for a job. While I agree in theory that "the right voice is the right voice," if I'm going to spend the time creating a custom demo, I'd like to know if there's any chance the client's actually going to listen to it and find OUT that I'm the right voice--and that's not likely if I'm demo number 350.

                                                                                    Posted by:

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