How to Build a Quality Self-Service Guide for End Users

Following a user self-service guide can be either a good or bad experience. There are many factors that come with a proper guide for the end user. Everyone has had some sort of bad experience when it comes to poor instruction manuals. When making a manual for an end user think about the bad experiences you have had and create a positive user friendly one. Trying to follow a choppy non-descriptive instruction can lead to the user giving up. Here is how to build a quality self-service guide for end users. First thing to do before you start is understand the project. Think about the ins and outs of what needs to be described to the end user. You need to expect that the end user doesn’t know much about the procedure. Think about all the information that needs to go into a manual for someone that is not used to dealing with such activities. Organization is a big factor with service guides. A messy hard to follow self-service guide is never a fun way to deal with whatever you are working on. This can lead to frustration for the end user and bring poor reputation for yourself. Think about the logical steps that come along and the level of difficulty for each step. If a difficult hard to explain step comes along break it into smaller parts and include as much information as possible. An important part of building a self-service guide is to include small details even if you think it might not help. You need to remember that your end users think differently than you and...

7 Gmail Productivity Plugins

Managing email can be tough to handle when they are flooding your inbox throughout the week. Forgetting about certain emails and important messages can be common problem with the way email is handled. Luckily there are certain tools that have been made to help Gmail improve with these types of problems and tools that you would not even think of to benefit from. Here are 7 Gmail productivity plugins to help you handle email more efficiently. Bananatag Waiting for a reply to an email can be frustrating especially because you do not know it the recipient read the message. Bananatag solves this problem with email tracking which shows you if the email you sent was opened and by how many people. This saves time since there would be no need to send follow up emails making sure people read or have seen your email. The tracking can also detect if the recipient clicked on the links inside your email. This tool helps improve email engagements and lets you see what contacts are really reading your emails. Bananatag includes other features such as scheduling emails, scheduling recurring emails, and email templates. SecureGmail Security is essential for any information that is shared online including email. SecureGmail encrypts and decrypts all emails sent through Gmail using symmetric encryption. The email gets sent straight to the recipient and doesn’t go through Googles servers. This tool is opensource which means everyone can see exactly how the app works and can confirm that it is safe to use. Boomerang This tool can help you schedule emails for a later date and helps you remember those...

7 Gmail Plugins for Productivity

Unroll.me – Unroll.me is designed to prevent emails revived from annoying promotions, social media updates, deals from filling up your inbox. It works by scanning your inbox and allowing you to choose which emails that you want to block, and it will block emails from those specific senders to appear in your inbox. This may help create a more focused and less distracting inbox that may be easier to manage. Signals (Chrome) – Signals allows you to see: if the recipient of your email has opened it, when they opened it, how often they opened it, what links they clicked on, and more. This plugin does not alert the recipient that the email being tracked. Signals also allows for you to schedule emails to send at a specific time. Cloud Attach for Gmail (Chrome) – Cloud Attach for Gmail allows for you to attached files to an email directly out of your cloud storage provider. It supports many different platforms such as: Google Drive, Drop Box, One Drive, Box, GitHub, and more. Files are directly attached without leaving the Gmail web page. This plugin is extremely useful for those who do not wish to download files from their cloud provider and then attach them, it completely eliminates that step altogether. MxHero (Chrome) – MxHero sends an email that will destroy itself after a period of time. It informs you if the email was opened and shows you additional tacking information like what links were clicked or what attachments were accessed. This is good for people who want to make sure that their email won’t be seen by anyone other...

How to Root an Android Phone

Rooting an android phone can allow you to open your phone to endless possibilities and gives you full control of your device. Rooting allows you to change key elements of your phone that the stock operating system would not allow you to do. Rooting can allow you to improve battery life, customize the look of your phone, and use services to improve the usability of your device. Rooting today is safe just if you don’t allow every third-party app to allow root access on to your phone. Allowing every app to gain access to full control of your device is not safe but the rooting option we will use will prevent this. Rooting could also cause problems with payment apps not allowing you to use these services. The rooting method we will be using solves this problem. The rooting method that I suggest is Magisk Manager. Magisk is the safest most hassle-free root method available and solves the problems that comes to rooting. Magisk Manager allows you to “hide root” from applications on your device so they work properly. Magisk also prompts you before using an application if you would like to give the app access to root permissions. This is good because then you are in control of what apps can gain root access. Make sure to check online if your device can be rooted before proceeding. Rooting your device will void its warranty, so root at your own risk! I am not responsible for any issues that you may have caused. Here are the steps to rooting your android device: On your device go to Settings>System>About phone....

How to Troubleshoot Battery Life Issues on Mobile Devices

One issue that is universal with all mobile devices is battery life. No matter how new the device is users always ask the same question, “How can I improve my battery life?”. Battery life is mostly dependent on how well the software can handle all the processes that the device can do but the user can always help with aiding the system to save battery. First thing that users can do is turn off unnecessary features. Things like Bluetooth and NFC should be turned off if they are not in use. GPS can be a big factor in battery life. Leaving GPS on high accuracy mode will use unnecessary resources especially if you do not need GPS on. This can come into effect with applications that use location for it’s service. If your device is connected to WIFI the GPS does not need to be used since it can predict your location through the WIFI signal. If you allow applications to access the GPS all the time it will continue to update more frequently which in return will use up more battery. Your phone screen brightness is also a big contributing factor. Keeping your phone brightness on auto will cause battery drain. The phone uses sensors to detect the amount of light in your area to control your phone brightness which will result battery drain so turn this feature off. Power hungry apps are pesky can cause majority of battery issues on mobile devices. Going into your battery settings should show what apps are draining your battery the most. Check to see if these apps have alternative applications in...

7 Essential Tools for Smartphone or Tablet Repair

When working on smartphone or tablet repair it is important to take steps before hand to make sure the procedure goes smoothly. Look up repair procedure online to get a good idea of what to expect when taking apart your device. YouTube is a great resource to check out before a repair to see hands on video of the process that a written manual might miss. Before the repair you should have 7 important tools by your side. The first important tool is a magnetic project mat. Setting up your work area in an organized manner is essential to the repair. The procedure should be done on a smooth surface with the magnetic mat resting on the surface with the device laying on it. The purpose of the magnetic mat is to catch the tiny screws that may fall out of the device and allowing you to safely hold the screws in place, so they do not get lost. The magnetic mat will allow you to be more organized throughout the repair, so no screws end up missing. The next important tool is something that many people already have, a camera. Utilize your camera to document the process to look back to incase you get stuck through the procedure. The 3rd tool is a spudger. A spudger is a thin plastic or metal tool to pry open the sides of smartphone and tablet devices. It can also be used to pry/disconnect small component cables in the device that our fingers would have trouble doing. For screen replacements the 2 important tools to use are a heat gun and suction...

New features of IOS 11

The latest major revision of IOS has brought many new substantial features to the platform, which have made a positive impact on user experience whether they realize it or not. Photos and Videos now use the newer HEVC (h.265) compression Higher quality at much lower file sizes and bit rates This will allow users to store many more new photos and videos with much less of noticeable impact on device storage space (about twice as many) Integrated QR Code scanner built into the camera app No longer necessary to download third party QR Code scanner apps The IOS Control Center has gotten a new look and now allows the user to customize and rearrange some of the functions of within it Not all Control Center functions are customizable e.g. music, volume, brightness Some of the cus tomizable functions include: Low Power Mode, Flashlight, and Apple Wallet Customize the intensity of the flashlight with 3D Touch Hackers and jailbreakers have been adding this feature on their own ever since the original Control Center was introduced so it’s no surprise that apple finally included it Notifications are now simplified All notifications, recent and missed, are all sorted in the same area for easy accessibility Do Not Disturb While Driving mode added While active, the phone will stay silent and automatically reply to texts with a message that replies with an alert that you are currently driving Timers, alarms, and emergency alerts will still be shown Lock screen navigation still shows if active The volume indicator has been modified to be less intrusive while watching video File Manager app added Google Drive,...

How to install Windows 10 using VMware

First, we must choose the ‘Create a New Virtual Machine’ option, either from the home screen or the ‘File’ drop down menu.   Choose the ‘Typical’ installation option unless you find it necessary to change the specific settings listed in the description of the ‘Custom’ option. Some of these options include: Compatibility settings, SCSI controller type, virtual disk type, and pre-allocate disk space. There are other settings included in the custom installation as well, but we can change those later. Here, we make sure we have our installation media present, either an ISO file or an installation disk. Browse for and select the appropriate installation media; choose the ‘Installer Disk:’ option if using a disk for installation. Notice that VMware alerts us that it will be using Easy Install. This means that VMware will help automate the installation process by asking some questions before the installation begins. Input your Username, Password, Edition, and Product key for ‘Easy Install’ to use during installation. The product key may be submitted after installation; however, it is important to know what edition of windows 10 that you need (not all keys will work with any edition). You may also choose to log on automatically at this point if you desire. Next, choose a name for the virtual machine; I will be naming mine ITSUP198-WIN10, so I know exactly what the purpose of it is. Choose a location for the virtual machine if the default location is not where you intend to store it. Choose the size of the virtual machine to fit your needs. In this case, the default of 60 GB is...