Sep
01
2009
0

Its not you, its me

Dont worry, its not your fault

Don't worry, its not your fault

Yesterday I received an e-mail from a beta tester, Jeff Duarte, who was having trouble with one of my calculators.  He said that he didn’t really understand how to use a particular calculator.  My response was:

The problem is not you, its me.  :)  If I designed my calculator better you wouldn’t have any questions.

Seriously – sorry Jeff, its my bad.  My goal is to make these calculators so easy and intuitive to use that no workers’ compensation professional would have any trouble figuring out how to use them.  If you don’t figure out how to use it just by looking at it, I designed it wrong1 Getting feedback is a very important and instructive process for me.  It lets me figure out what works for people and what doesn’t.

The good news is that Jeff”s suggestions have given me an idea on how to make two calculators easier to use and for two entirely new features!

So, send me an e-mail if you have an idea on how I can make a calculator more intuitive, easier to use, or just plain work better!

The problem is not you, its me.  :)  If I designed my calculator better you wouldn’t have any questions!
  1. Photo courtesy of TreMichLan.  Terrible pun – all me! []
Aug
31
2009
0

What do you use Verify!® for?

Theres nothing silly about Verify!(R)

There's nothing silly about Verify!®

A few weeks ago I launched a Social Security Number verification tool powered by Verify!®.  Since its launch its become a very popular tool.  One of the coolest things about having these calculators is finding out all of the new ways people think of to use them.  These new and unintended uses are almost always far more interesting than the original pedestrian reasons for which a tool was created.

Take Silly Putty for instance.  Silly Putty was originally created as a potential replacement for rubber during World War II.  It didn’t work as a replacement for rubber, scientists were unable to think of a use for it, and it sat in a lab for years before a toy store owner began stuffing it in plastic eggs.1

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Use it to determine whether someone is a U.S. citizen.
  2. Use it to double-check someone’s year of birth.
  3. Use it to determine approximately when someone became a U.S. citizen.2
  4. Use it to determine whether someone is potentially Medicare eligible.3

What other uses can you think of?

  1. Photo courtesy of unloveablesteve []
  2. I thought of this one during a deposition last week when a deponent couldn’t recall when they first came to the United States.  I just fired up the cell phone web browser, went to the calculator page, and asked the follow up question. []
  3. Thanks Chris! []
Aug
21
2009
1

Calling all guinea pigs

This guinea pigs finds PDRater easy to use!

This guinea pigs finds PDRater easy to use!

I have several new calculators in the works and could use a few guinea pigs to help test them.  A few days ago I sent an e-mail to a select few of this website’s users asking them to participate.  As a result of their testing and feedback, I’ve made a few changes to these new calculators.

However, I’d also appreciate the help of anyone interested in testing.  If you are willing to provide feedback and want to try out these new calculators, please send me an e-mail.

Aug
17
2009
0

PDRater, Verify!®, and You

Privacy, please!

Privacy, please!

I recently launched a new social security verification toolOne user raised some very important issues – privacy and security. 1 The commenter pointed out that the Verify!® social security number lookup tool did not appear to utilize a secure connection – and could permit the unintended dissemination of private information.

To this, I make the following statements/suggestions:

  1. This website does not utilize secure connections.  There, I’ve said it.  If this is a concern for you, no one will blame you for not using this tool.
  2. This SSN look up tool does not ask for any other information besides the social security number.  By itself, the social security number probably isn’t particularly useful to anyone.
  3. The commenter’s concerns about keyloggers and viruses are valid.  However, such things would be able to access your information no matter how secure I make this website.
  4. Its generally a good idea to be very careful about what information you send out onto the internet.  If you’re not sure something is safe, it probably is not.
  5. By using this site you’re agreeing to the disclaimers, terms of use, and privacy policy.  If you still have additional questions, you can always try to e-mail me.

Thanks Zeke!

  1. Photo courtesy of hyku []
Aug
14
2009
0

ANOTHER NEW Calculator!

PDRater: Making EAMS more user friendly!

PDRater: Putting a friendly face on EAMS!

I’ve just built  another new workers’ compensation calculator.  Actually, it is a look up tool that will help workers’ compensation professionals file documents with EAMS.1

While I think the recent Verify!® social security number validator may be more intriguing for defense attorneys and claims examiners, I think this new EAMS tool will probably be more useful to Applicant attorneys.

Interested?  Just drop me a line to become a beta tester!

  1. Photo courtesy of Irene on the run []

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