Open to Export Store launches

November has seen the launch of the Store in Open to export. The store is designed to help exporters find the professional services and products that need to help their business succeed overseas. There is already a staggeringly very wide range of businesses services listed in the store from research agencies to shipping companies, translators to currency exchange.

Visit: http://opentoexport.com/store

Open to Export - Store home page

Open to Export – Store home page

Exporters can search or browse by category and find the services they need. Full contact details and opening hours and background information is provided by all the merchants and there is even an appointment request service or purchase some products online.

For merchants the store is fantastic an opportunity to directly promote their business services to a highly target audience of UK exporters. Each business gets their own store page and can list as many products and services as they want.

Open to Export Store - Merchant store page

Open to Export Store – Merchant store page

If you are a provider of professional services or products and wish to promote your businesses to exporters in the Open to Export store, please call 02890 305 203 or email admin@opentoexport.com

As ever, I hope these changes and improvements are well received, but would love to hear any feedback, so please don’t hesitate to comment here or contact me directly.

David Lowe – Product Manager for Open to Export

Improved content filtering to improve content relevance

Improved content filtering and sorting

The last release (13th Sept 2012) saw 3 significant changes in the way we present export content on the site via the key hub pages.

Firstly we have now enabled content tabs to help exporters find the type on content that is more relevant for them (featured, articles, questions etc).

Secondly we have redesigned the content listings to make them easier to digest and scan.

Thirdly we have introduced a means to set content filters which will be saved (via a cookie, but without the need to login) to help surface the most relevant export content across the site. These settings will also be remembered for your next site visit.  In the screen below you can see how we now highlight the content tags and sort the content based on the filters set by the user.

screen shot of the improved hubpage design on Open to export

screen shot of the improved hubpage design on Open to export

Advanced question filtering for service providers

In response to feedback from a number of service providers we have improved the filtering of the submitted questions that are sent via notifications. Users can now login and set more advanced filters to ensure they receive the most relevant questions from exporters. These filters allow for a much more targeted set of questions based on topics, countries and sectors with a simple AND/OR filtering mechanism. We have also included the facility to only receive notification based on the location of the user who posts the question.

question filtering for service providers on Open to Export

question filtering for service providers on Open to Export

As ever, I hope these changes and improvements are well received, but would love to hear any feedback, so please don’t hesitate to comment here or contact me directly.

David Lowe – Product Manager for Open to Export

User Advisory Group – 26th Sept 2012

A big thank you to everyone who got involved in the first of our user advisory groups last month. We got a lot of great insight and feedback that is feeding directly into the development team. Getting input from users in this way has proved very useful and we plan to repeat this every couple of months. The next planned session is on the 26th Set, so don’t hesitate to let us know if you would like to be involved.

User Advisory Group

We are currently establishing a user advisory group to help get direct feedback and advice on future site developments and plans for the Open to Export service. We are looking for a good cross section of user:

  • New to exporter
  • Existing exporters
  • Experienced exporters
  • Export Content providers  & expert advisors
  • Business service providers (promoting and selling to exporters)

If you are interested in getting involved and can spare a few hours to contribute and help shape the service, please contact Michelle Malone-Harris at UKTI (michelle.maloneharris@ukti.gsi.gov.uk)

David Lowe – Open to Export Product Manager

Content ratings launched

This week we have released content ratings on all site articles and answers in the Q&A service. Users can add a simple star rating between 1-5, to indicate how their views on the site content and especially the quality of the responses to questions.

My hope is that this will start to highlight the most reliable contributors and the most informative and useful content to other site users. Future developments will enable us to use these ratings to surface the best Open to Export has to offer across the site.

Image

We have also made some further simplifications to the registration process following feedback from user outside the UK and improvements to the company profile pages, so it is easy to find the registered users within each organisation.

Image

In the next release we are looking to further improve the user profiles so users can easily find all the content posted they have posted.

As ever, I hope these changes and improvements are well received, but would love to hear any feedback, so please don’t hesitate to comment here or contact me directly.

David Lowe – Product Manager for Open to Export

Making it easier to find ‘questions and answers’.

Our development process is currently running on a 2 week release cycle, so I hope to be able to post updates on changes to the site after each release. This week saw the release on Thursday 21st June which included a few key improvements that are in direct response to feedback from our Beta testers.

We have focused on providing much greater visibility of the ‘questions and answers’ being posted by users on the site. You can now access all the questions and responses that have been posted, via the ‘questions’ link in the main navigation. We have also surfaced the most recent activity and the unanswered questions and made it easier to find your own questions.

We hope to further enhance this in due course to improve the filtering and search of the questions to help surface the most relevant information to users.

The team have also managed to fix a number of bugs in this release; most notably users who post questions should now receive notifications of any responses from the community.

Behind the scenes this week we have also been looking into improving the registration process after a few users have experienced some issues and introducing ratings of content and answers.  Watch this space for further updates.

David Lowe – Product Manager for Open to Export