Another day, another case of wasted hours dedicated to hand-editing WebEx Event Center reports after a webinar to try to get them to the point where they had value for analysis.
This isn't because of bugs. It's because of lousy software design that has been well-known for years. The refusal of the WebEx product development team to improve functionality for their users by now is simply insulting. Because I am feeling particularly angry, I'll try publicly shaming them once again in a futile attempt to prompt action.
Let's start with the fact that registration pages for events (webinars) are terrible by design. Some specifics:
1) The generated link for attendees is the WebEx join-event page. They have to click a second button or text link to register.
2) I have no control over page title, instruction text, or submit button size, position, color, or text.
3) I can't change labels of required "First Name" and "Last Name" fields to make it unambiguous for Asian cultures.
4) The standard registration field "Title" is ambiguous. My report is filled with people who enter "Mrs." or "Doctor." Make it "Job Title."
5) Label/Field positioning is haphazard. On a narrow browser window, right-column labels are closer to the left-column entry fields than the left-column labels.
On a wide browser window, the fields and labels are separated so far as to lose relationship with each other.
6) Tab order breaks up Email and Confirm Email.
7) City and State fields are narrower than other standard fields so they do not align.
8) There is no drop-down selector for US/Canadian states and provinces. I have to manually correct misspelled entries and make them consistent in my report. If the USA or Canada is selected, add the appropriate selector. Otherwise leave this out.
9) The default value for Country is sometimes improperly assigned to United States. The software is supposed to figure out from the user's IP address where they are and pre-populate the country selector. But if it can't figure it out, it selects the USA. So my report is peppered with registrants from London, USA and Toronto, USA. Just leave the default value blank and force a selection. If you want to be really fancy, re-order the drop-down list to put the country you think is correct as the first choice.
After the webinar completes, I have to deal with the WebEx event reports:
A) Reports contain columns for all standard WebEx registration fields, even if you did not include them on your registration form.
B) Number of employees is not quoted as text data in the report, so the standard selection value of "1-99" gets interpreted in Excel as January 1999.
C) Registration report and Attendance report each contain unique information. Creating a single master report of registration and attendance information requires copying information between reports and trying to match records.
D) Attendance report shows multiple records for individuals who reconnect during the session. There is no way to get a "unique attendees" summary that shows one record for each attendee with earliest entry, latest exit, and total time in session. This must be done manually and extra records deleted.
E) It is common to see numerous attendees reported as logged in twice during the entire session, with overlapping entry/exit times. I still don't understand why this is!
F) There is no summary report for surveys showing cumulative vote counts and text entries. I have to manually create pivot tables and collect comment fields.
Any one or two of these items on their own would be happenstance and a minor inconvenience. But when I have to deal with all of them over and over in every single webinar, hand-sorting and collating hundreds of registration and attendance records, it goes beyond minor inconvenience and becomes a significant addition to my workload and an impediment to recognizing value from my investment in the product. And when they have been called out and reported over the past 15 years without any attempt from the vendor to modernize or improve them, it becomes a case of willful negligence.
Hey Cisco. I noted that you just made a minor cosmetic change to the "View all attendees" window inside a session. Zero impact, zero benefit. That's what you thought was a more important application of development resources than being able to properly analyze my registrants and attendees? You're wrong.