Users’ Opinion on CIS-Net Usability as a Basis for Future Enhancements


You’ve probably read the term “usability” in all sorts of articles related to the Internet and software programs, but what does it actually mean? Simply put, usability is the measure of how easy an object is to use. When we talk about usability in terms of ‘CIS-Net powered by FastTrack,’ we’re interested in measuring how easily users can perform their tasks using CIS-Net, and how much training is required to use CIS-Net. With these questions in mind, we circulated a survey to a wide sample of CIS-Net users.

We concentrated on three different types of users: new, occasional and experienced. The new users told us which areas of CIS-Net are intuitive to use and which areas require training. Their responses also highlighted areas where experienced users may have learned to compensate for shortcomings in the tool. The occasional users told us how we can improve the tool to increase their usage, while the experienced users provided us with suggestions for enhancements, additional tools and adjustments to screen layouts that may improve their user experience.

One of the interesting results of the survey was how consistent the feedback was from all three groups. Generally, 80% of the users were satisfied with the usability of CIS-Net, and when suggestions for improvement were made, they tended to be raised by all three user groups.

The survey taskforce is now further analyzing the results of the survey with the goal of creating recommendations for enhancements and additional user training.

Ultimately, by focusing on usability, our goal is to ensure that CIS-Net is an integral part of business processes. The results of the survey will help us achieve this through optimization of screen layouts, enhancements to the tool and additional user training.

The results of the survey will be on the agenda of the upcoming CIS Session meetings in Miami (Sept. 26-29). At this meeting, the CIS-Net Business Liaisons will further analyse the survey results with a focus on:

The possibility of optimizing the work details page based on the fields that are most relevant to CIS-Net users, knowing the results of the survey indicate that the most relevant fields are: Interested Party Name, followed closely by Role code, Performing Rights Society, Performing Rights Share Splits and Interested Party number. The less-relevant fields are still being analyzed by the taskforce to determine if they really aren’t relevant, or if additional user training is required to use them.

The need to clarify the meaning of error messages throughout CIS-Net. Most of the current error messages are generic in nature. The CIS-Net Business Liaisons will evaluate these error messages and define any additional error messages or edits to the existing messages by pro viding the business scenarios when the error occurred.
Expanding the existing search parameters. Multiple respondents indicated that they would like the search options expanded by adding a third tier. That would increase the ability to conduct a more focused search.

Enhanced Navigation gathered strong responses from the users with the need to explore alphabetic pagination for searches that return multiple result pages. Also, the need to cosmetically enhance the “back” button and to make it more visible on the page and in a consistent location on all the pages throughout the applications.

Training/Support issues highlighted in the survey will probably be addressed in monthly Tips/FAQ emails to be addressed to all registered users and each issue of the FastTrack News. They could also be available in a tab under each tool that corresponds to that “Tips/FAQ.” Future steps (still to be investigated) may involve using the “Google Search” approach to retrieving help.
ome of the questions in the survey were open-ended, which allowed the respondents to make suggestions or comments. Most comments were related to data content, duplicate entries from a single society, and the lack of performer information, ISWC’s, work contents and duration. The comments related to data content will be a focal point for discussion at the Miami meeting. All other requests will be addressed individually by CISAC and FastTrack in coordination with the Business Liaison representative of the users’ society.

Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by the number of responses we received to this survey. It is clear that CIS-Net users want to be actively involved in the design and improvement of CIS-Net tools. We believe that the Miami meetings will take us one step further in enhancing CIS-Net based on the user’s feedback and needs. In other words, we’ll be making real progress in our efforts to increase CIS-Net usability.

Alice Meisel, BMI Director, International Business Operations,
and Christopher McKenzie, SOCAN Coordinator of International
Initiatives, Spokesperson of the On-Line Survey Taskforce

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