HelloFax.com Dev Blog

Why you should always do usability testing

June 3rd, 2012

A few weeks ago, we went out and tested HelloFax with some users. Most of the testing went really well. But, there was one issue that we kept seeing.

When people were adding signers, they’d click on “Signer” and “CC” on the left. They thought they were buttons!  Some members of the team kept telling me that they looked like buttons. But, there’s nothing like a confused user clicking on something to make a point.

Plus, people were also confused about where to enter in the signer’s name. We only required the email address, not the signer’s name. It wasn’t just a feature request, but a major point of confusion.  They expected it to be there.

Version 1:

Version 2:

Before you fill it in

After you fill it in

You’ll notice that we removed the “signer” / “cc” icons altogether. Turns out they weren’t helpful. We now use the default text fields to describe what they need to do:  i.e., “Signer’s Name” and “email@address.com”. That was the easiest major improvement we ever made.

There are some themes here:

- People may expect a features. The absence of the feature can be a usability problem.
- Unnecessary icons often detract from clarity. On a clean page, simple text can be powerful.
- Talk to your users all the time. There’s nothing like a confused user to push product decisions.

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New Feature: Assign signer order

June 3rd, 2012

When you sign a contract, sometimes there’s a specific order of signers that needs to be observed.

For example:
- You need to sign first
- I need to sign second

We built a tool to accommodate that scenario. Here’s how it goes:

1. On the Request Signature tab, add 2 signers

2. After you add the second signer, “Assign signer order” will appear. Click on it. You’ll notice that numbers will appear next to each signer. You can make that signer first or second by clicking on the arrows.

This is great for sales, where the client has to sign the document first.

Contact us if you have any feature requests. You request it, we build it!

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Readability, Your Kindle & Going Paperless

June 3rd, 2012

When I’m reading for pleasure, the last thing I want to do is read on my computer. Smartphons have the same backlight, so that doesn’t work either. I could put it on my Kindle, but with the number of steps involved, it’s a hassle. Some people just print out the article (you know how I feel about that!).

I just discovered an amazing combo (thanks Joel):

1. Install Readability into your browser. It’ll place a small book icon on the top left of your browser.

2. Click on the Kindle icon.

3. Follow the instructions to whitelist readability and put in your Kindle email address.

This tool has changed my reading life. Enjoy!

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DevOps Borat, consider this a job offer to work at HelloFax

June 1st, 2012

Dear DevOps Borat :

We need a DevOps Backend Engineer and we want you. Consider this a job offer to work at HelloFax. Because you have never applied for this position and you live all the way in Kazakhstan and you sometimes like to make sexy time with the memcache server, this may come as a little bit of a surprise. But you have known for awhile that we have been really impressed with your work.

You’re the child of a goat herder and a prostitute, but you’ve already scaled several sites for the Bureau of Intestinal Affairs. You’ve taught yourself to admin systems, and you built an ad hoc server rack from the bladder of a goat. And you have that rare gift of making the red and green lights go blinkety-blink. AND, your prowess on the Twitters that reach lesser known DevOps peeps in the other “Stans”  are eloquent and well thought out. It would be an honor to have you join us here at HelloFax.

Here is your job description: You will not fuck up the back end code. You will keep the site running and let our CTO sleep at night (if he chooses to).

If you ever decide you want to go back to working on your own startup, we will most certainly not revoke your work visa and send you back to your country. In fact, we will hold your Passport for “safe-keeping” because America (and SF in particular) can be wild and dangerous for DevOps.

You won’t have to pay a penny when drinking with the rest of the team at Toronado. You will be allowed to wander the streets around our office in the lower Haight breathing in the inspiration. We’ll even give you a computer and internet access. Want an external monitor, keyboard and mouse? We will spare no expense (so long as you don’t use up the remaining $83 on our Staples gift card.)

This offer has no expiration and, regardless of whether you decide to work with us, we hope you will teach us how to make a bolo tie from sheep entrails just like yours.

Oh and bring some of your designer and mobile engineer friends.

Stay Faxy,
The HelloFax Team

Inspired by our friends at 42 Floors.

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50K+ Google Drive Installs in two weeks!

May 10th, 2012

About two weeks ago we announced that we were integrating with Google Drive, and since then we’ve seen tremendous interest in HelloFax from Google Drive users. In two short weeks we had 51,926 users install the Google Drive app. Alongside our previous Dropbox and Box integrations, we’re now seeing a lot of our users faxing and signing documents from cloud services.

From the day that Google approached us about Google Drive, we have been very excited about working with the Google Drive platform. We feel that we add a lot of value to any cloud storage service, so naturally we jumped at the opportunity. We were also excited to be included as Google Drive launch partners with other great products such as AutoCAD, Aviary, Balsamiq, and SlideRocket . What we didn’t expect was that we would be the most installed app.

So, thanks to all our great users, from those who have been using us for the last two years to those who signed their first digital document. HelloFax is very happy to be providing a service that has generated so much interest. We are continually trying to make the product better, so if you have any suggestions for us, leave a comment or send us an email: support@hellofax.com.

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HelloFax integrates with Google Drive! Win 1 TB of Google Drive Storage

April 24th, 2012

As you probably heard, Google Drive launched today and we are pleased to announce that were invited to be a Google Drive launch partner. We’ve been hard at work this last month, building out an awesome integration with this great cloud service.

Now there’s no excuse to have a fax machine. There’s no reason to ever print, sign & scan documents.

Impatient to get started? Download the HelloFax App in the Google Drive Store for free>

Here’s what HelloFax App does:

1. Send faxes directly from Google Drive

  • Don’t go to your local copy store. Don’t race to work. Wherever you have Google Drive, you can send a fax.

2. Receive faxes directly in Google Drive.

  • You get a HelloFax folder in Google Drive, where all your inbound faxes are automatically stored.

3. You can sign documents directly from Google Drive

  • Never print, sign and scan documents ever again. With this integration, you can fill out and sign documents, all in your browser.

4. All your documents get stored in Google Drive

  • Never lose an important document again. Every document you send through HelloFax will be stored in your HelloFax Folder in Google Drive.

A few incentives to integrate:

1.You get 50 outgoing fax pages / month, until the end of the year.

2.You get unlimited online signatures, until the end of the year. We’re talking business grade online signatures. Some services charge $15-$25 / month for this. We just made it completely free.

3.We’ll enter you to win 1 TB of Google Drive Storage

4. We’ll enter you to win a MacBook

Scope it out and let us know what you think!  Integrate and enter to win a MacBook Air and 1TB storage.

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Feature Update: Making document signing easier

March 29th, 2012

We’re always looking to make HelloFax easier to use. Last week we released two changes as a result of customer feedback. These changes to our document signing process should address two of the bigger pain points we heard from those requesting signatures.

Non-required form fields

When you send out a document to be signed, you can now insert additional form fields to be completed that don’t need to be filled out. For example, you can now include an “Address 2″ form field so people can fill out apartment numbers and the like. You can also include a non-required checkbox to allow yes/no responses and other multi-answer fields.

Signature option for signees

We’ve also updated the signature options for people sent a signature resquest. Now, when someone gets a signature request they can still use the mouse to sign, but they can also upload an existing signature file that they have on their computer, or they can upload a signature by taking a picture and emailing it to us.

We hope that these changes help make requesting signatures an even easier and more enjoyable process for both you and the signee. If you have any suggestions about other product improvements, as always, send us an email: support@hellofax,com

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HelloFax in the Financial Post!

March 26th, 2012

Here’s a snippet of the mention:

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If only government websites looked like Dropbox

January 27th, 2012

Government places an incredible role in society. It funds our police, our roads, and schools.

It also produces websites (and regulations) like the City of SF Business Registration Office, which takes an accountant to figure out. Instead of building the registration process like TurboTax and funneling you to the right answers, it lists a lot requirements and fines if you if you make a mistake.

Why does this happen? Because conversion doesn’t matter. We can’t walk away and try an easier signup process.  100% of the businesses in SF has to do this. 100%.  It could be 10x worse and we’d still have to comply. Until there’s an incentive to be easier, these agencies will simply not get better.

Until then, I’ll be dreaming of a government website that looks like this:

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CC people on your signature requests

January 27th, 2012

Sometimes, there are multiple people involved in a signed document. But, not everyone has to sign. Some people just need a copy of the document after everyone has signed. In that case, that person need to be cc’d.

What are common scenarios?

- You had your client sign a sales contract. After she’s signed, you CC a copy to your supervisor
- You had someone sign a NDA. After she’s signed, you can CC the legal team.
- You sold someone a home. You CC your manager.

How’s it work?

1. Click on the “Request signature” tab

2. Click “+ CC”

3. CC the people who should receive a copy, after everyone has signed
**In this case, I cc’d Ted and accounting

That’s it! After John has signed this document, Ted & Accounting will get a copy of it.

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