Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Winter 2011 Release With New Features

By David Ciccarelli

February 17, 2011

Comments (21)

Winter 2011 Release at Voices.com

We've been working hard to develop some amazing new features that encourage better communication between clients and talents as well as some nifty project management tools for clients.

Today, we'll explore the new "Like" button, Action Menu, Notes, Ask a Question and Send Thank You features. Plus, I'll introduce the Enterprise Edition, a new account type for large businesses who require legal documents to be signed when hiring a voice talent at Voices.com.

New Responses Page

Winter 2011 Responses Page Layout

This new layout for the responses page is more intuitive and focuses the client on listening, reviewing and taking action on the responses they receive for their job posting. We've already received some positive feedback and our tests have shown that an increased number of voice talent are getting hired online because of these improvements. Let's look each feature in more detail.

Proposals

New Proposals Layout on Voices.com

The proposals are better formatted and give the client a consistent experience when reviewing proposals from each voice talent. If the proposal is long (more than 4-5 sentences) then a scroll bar appears. Knowing this, we recommend keeping your proposals short and to the point.


Notes

note-with-text.jpg

There's no longer a need for a pen and paper when reviewing responses at Voices.com. Just type in your comments as you listen directly into the yellow Notes section. Plus, notes that are typed in are automatically saved so they will be there the next time you login. Wondering which responses have notes? Notice we've even added a sticky-tab on the side of the responses. The stickies indicate you've typed in a note, which makes it easy to see why you liked a particular voice talent.


Like Button

like-button.jpgFacebook has made the "Like" button almost universal. It's a commonly understood tool to indicate you feel positively about a status update, picture or article. At Voices.com, we've implemented a Like Button on the responses page that will replace the audition favorites and serve as a shortlisting feature. This is much more intuitive and serves as a simple one-click option for clients to shortlist their top picks for their job.


Action Menu

action-menu.jpgBeside the Like button is a down arrow which when clicked provides further actions, specifically, the ability to Ask a Question, Send a Thank You or Download Demo. Remember to name your demo files appropriately so if a client downloads your demo, they see it on their desktop named "Your Name - Job Title.mp3" or "Your Name - Client's Name.mp3". If they like your audition, then you want to make sure you're the one getting the job!


Ask a Question or Send a Thank You

We understand that there needs to be a simple way to communicate online. That's why email is so great! Even easier is for clients to simply Ask a Question directly through Voices.com. This keeps the conversation in a thread that references the Job ID so you can always refresh yourself with the specific job details. Additionally, many clients have asked for a quick and easy way to compliment voice talent on their audition or say "thanks" for the time and effort of some amazing demos. The new Send a Thank You option provides just that.


Introducing The Enterprise Edition

Enterprise Edition

Voices.com's Enterprise Edition is our top-of-the-line service designed for the sophisticated needs of large businesses. The Enterprise Edition is available to companies who require signed agreements or who request invoices and will be paying by check.

Key Features of the Enterprise Edition

๏ Ability to manage legal documentation such as NDAs, talent release forms or other items. Legal documentation requirements can occur prior to job posting or upon awarding the job.
๏ Ability to pay by invoice on Net 30 Terms, rather than our standard options of PayPal or credit card. Invoices are sent monthly along with a statement of account.

If you're interested in the Enterprise Edition, please contact us for more information.


Better Performance with 100% Up Time

Pingdom Uptime

According to Pingdom, Voices.com has achieved an incredible feat; 100% up time. For the uninitiated, Pingdom is a web site monitoring service that checks infrastructure for you and instantly let you know when anything goes wrong. It allows businesses such as Microsoft, AOL and Amazon.com measure uptime and downtime. You can check up on us anytime using Pingdom.

What Do You Think?

As always, we welcome your feedback. The best way to share your ideas or make suggestions is to use the Contact Us form. Or, if you'd like to share a success story, we'd love to hear from you.

David

Related Topics: Amazon, clients, features, hired, Microsoft, new, release, voice casting, Voices.com


Comments


    As a voice talent on Voices.com I like these new changes. Although, I don't obviously deal with the clients project management tools... it seems like a good idea to have the clients be able to contact us with questions or to make comments. I think this might also benefit to a client who hears a voice they like...but not particularly for their current project - and they want to shoot a quick message to that talent.

    Keep it up!
    Tom Conklin

    Posted by:

      Hey! I like it!!! Nice going.

      With the addition of the "Like" feature, does that mean that the Favorites Page is going away (I hope)?

      Anyway...a great upgrade!!!

      Posted by:

        I think the changes are a solid move in the right direction, and a nice addition to your already user friendly interface.

        Posted by:
        • John McCann
        • February 18, 2011 3:49 PM

          It looks like these are positive changes, although I'd really like to see a feature in the My Audition tab that would show the voice talent some feedback, other than just "yes, you've been reviewed" or "no, you haven't been reviewed"... a rating system, so we can have some idea as to whether or not the voice seeker liked what they heard.

          Thanks,
          Sheri

          Posted by:
          • Sheri Donovan
          • February 18, 2011 4:01 PM

            I so appreciate All you do, to optimize this site and make it an even bigger blessing to voice talent such as myself, and the clients who need us.

            Posted by:
            • Matilda Novak
            • February 18, 2011 4:28 PM

              Thank you for showing us what the client sees and what tools are available to him or her. It is helpful to us as we participate in the audition process. All of the new features seem very positive, and likely to make the voice seeker's job easier, which in turn, is very good for the voice talent!

              I love Voices.com, and appreciate the many upgrades that you have done throughout my years with the site.

              Thank you!!!
              Diane Bean

              Posted by:

                Hi Sheri,

                Thank you for your reply and comment. We are working on a way that could tie in the client "likes" with your auditions so that you can see which auditions were "liked." Thank you again for sharing your thoughts!

                Best wishes,

                Stephanie

                Posted by:

                  Hi Dan,

                  Thanks for commenting and for your question!

                  To clarify, "Liking" an audition is not the same thing as adding someone to your "Favorites" list. A Like isn't replacing the Heart we've come to know and love.

                  Favorites is a system wide feature and Likes are on a per audition basis used to shortlist talent and help clients identify talent they are considering for a given opportunity.

                  I hope that helps!

                  Best wishes,

                  Stephanie

                  Posted by:

                    Dear Stephanie..
                    Thanks for the information letter, I do like the new changes.

                    { Like button is a down arrow which when clicked provides further actions, specifically, the ability to Ask a Question, Send a Thank You or Download Demo. }

                    In Reference to the LIKE button feature, will this enable voice talents to ask as question as well? In preparing for an audition, you (voice talents) may have a question as well. Is this feature designed for us as well?

                    Tarryn Lyda

                    Posted by:
                    • Tarryn Lyda
                    • February 18, 2011 7:41 PM

                      Dear Tarryn,

                      Thank you for your comments and question. The feature you're referring to that allows clients to ask a question has not been developed for voice talent but I will bring your suggestion up for discussion.

                      Thanks for your support!

                      Best wishes,

                      Stephanie

                      Posted by:

                        This is a step in the right direction. I am glad to see you improving the site. Another featue I would like to see implemented would be to hear the read of the person who got the job I audition for so I can compare it to me and see how I need to improve for the next audition

                        Thanks for the improvements

                        Posted by:
                        • Tim Bankes
                        • February 18, 2011 11:00 PM

                          Hi Tim,

                          Thank you for sharing your idea. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

                          What you've suggested has come up a number of times from talent (a very popular request). There are a few practical reasons as to why this feature request hasn't been implemented and over time we've come up with a couple of ways to tackle this from different angles that could work.

                          One idea is to ask both clients and talent if they are okay with being a case study and allowing us to do an interview and hear the read that booked. This would take consent from those who are able to give it. To a degree, this is already happening on the Voices.com Buzz blog in the Client Case Studies. The client talks about what they liked about the service, reveals who they hired and why they chose to work with that person.

                          http://blogs.voices.com/buzz/case_studies/

                          Another thought is that we could hold mock auditions via webinars and do a live casting session where each audition is given feedback and a "winner" is selected with reasons given for why their read would have been awarded. These webinars would need to be limited in number of participants however they could prove rather interesting.

                          Let me know what you think of those ideas.

                          Best wishes,

                          Stephanie

                          Posted by:

                            I like the new features. The like button and "you have been reviewed" info help take the black hole feeling out of the audition process. However, it would also be great to know if the job has been rewarded instead of just knowing you have been heard.
                            I must admit that despite my success with this site, I have been sending in fewer auditions because it feels like such a shot in the dark. These new features inspire me to step up to the Voices.com mike more often.

                            Posted by:

                              A couple of questions on items that weren't covered above...

                              - The "rating" column with the stars -- What do the stars mean, how are they assigned, and what's the criteria on which they're assigned?

                              - In what order are auditions presented to clients?

                              Thanks,
                              Fred Pagano

                              Posted by:

                                There are several features I’d like to see added for voice actors. Add, vote and comment on features you’d like to see at http://www.google.com/moderator/#15/e=4e1b7&t=4e1b7.40

                                Posted by:

                                  Hi Jill,

                                  Thank you for your comment and for sharing your thoughts. I'm glad that you like the new features. You'll also be pleased to hear that in the future we will be reinstating a means for you to know if a job has been awarded! Many good things are coming down the pipe and I appreciate your support.

                                  Best wishes,

                                  Stephanie

                                  Posted by:

                                    Hi Fred,

                                    Thank you for commenting and for your questions.

                                    The stars that you see alongside talent auditions represent their star ratings as given by their client when a job is completed at Voices.com. When work is completed on the site, both members have the opportunity to leave a written review and a star rating about their experience working together. Feedback is transaction based at Voices.com.

                                    To answer your second question, auditions are presented in a first come first served order. This is why it is important to audition regularly and as soon as you are able to. I hope that helps!

                                    Best wishes,

                                    Stephanie

                                    Posted by:

                                      Hi Donald,

                                      Thank you for adding your voice to the conversation. Both David and I have looked at the page you linked to.

                                      Just to clarify, the way the first feature request is presented makes it appear as though the talent makes 90% and Voices.com keeps 10% on a fixed budget price. Voices.com's SurePay is in place as a service fee for clients that covers processing of their transactions and guaranteed satisfaction. In your example, the client would have a budget of $500 to complete their project. That $500 would be inclusive of anything they spent on acquiring a voice over and having the audio produced. In that way, talent can see a fixed budget range as it really is... what the client is prepared to pay for using Voices.com and hiring a talent, not what they are prepared to pay the talent only.

                                      Thanks for joining in!

                                      Best wishes,

                                      Stephanie

                                      Posted by:

                                        A simple rating or feedback system would be to show talent what percentage of their auditions received a "Like", relative to the average Likes-per-Audition ratio for Voices.com as a whole.

                                        Posted by:

                                          Compliments, Stephanie, on your upgrades.

                                          Interesting comments from the outstanding talents that use your quality service.

                                          I'd like to ask, that because I'm very late in responding to many auditions and realize that this is an important determining factor in the selection process, would it be possible for you to post what audition number was awarded for a specific job?

                                          Some "high" award numbers would certainly serve to encourage us later auditioners.

                                          Thanks, again.
                                          John

                                          Posted by:
                                          • John Sipple
                                          • February 24, 2011 4:24 PM

                                            Hi,

                                            The changes are positive and hence beneficial to both client and talent. Another suggestion for talents like me who is based in the Philippines but have enormous talent is that clients should have a telephone audition so as to have the "raw" and untampered version of a talents voice. Not that I have anything against recorded auditions but it just may be a viable option in clients discovery of truly talented individuals.

                                            Posted by:
                                            • Carlos dela Rama
                                            • April 9, 2011 3:03 AM

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