In the previous two “Envoy Updates” articles – Building a “Better” Soft Phone, Part One and Building a “Better” Soft Phone, Part Two – the technical feature set of the Envoy Soft Phone (ESP) was listed and explained. Before continuing in the technical arena, in this third article, let’s instead take a look at some of the features of the user interface; after all a picture is worth a thousand words. I wanted to show the completely customizable nature of the user interface which includes skinning, resizable windows, configurable user controls, and complete “memory” (window size, screen position) of how the application was last presented.
Look and Feel – ESP expanded to display call data fields; note that the “Office 2007 Blue” skin is in use:
Dynamic Call Data Display – ESP with a different “skin” (look and feel) and the window has been sized smaller. Note the call data fields are not the same as the above screen shot; all call data fields are dynamic in nature so fields can be added or removed without any programming changes required to the ESP application.
Data Type Aware Data Fields – ESP with a call data field being edited – the “data type aware” capabilities of the call data fields causes a calendar to be displayed when editing occurs on this field because the field is a date. The popup data editor approach is not only intuitive to the user, but also can ensure proper input of data (i.e. an invalid date entry cannot be inserted). Having data limits and constraints on user input controls on the front end can drastically reduce the possibility of invalid data entry so the data in your backend systems is more accurate and reliable. Data constraints can be assigned to any call data field; a different editor can be displayed for different field data types.
Call Control / Session Information – The user interface of ESP is informative yet uncomplicated. All the call control buttons are grouped together on a tool bar. One location dedicated to “Session Information” gives the user a view of the current call state, agent state, and all important timers. A single location is used to set the agent mode as well as AUX codes. AUX code, agent mode, and logout codes can all be centrally configured to have custom labels on per agent or agent group level. An optional IVR reinsertion list is available to make more efficient use of agent time and lower the average talk time which equates to real dollar savings.
Friendly User Controls – All controls that get displayed are intuitive; the concept of “least number of clicks” was a big part of every design consideration as well. Speed dial lists (personal, group, and global) can be centrally managed and are shown when the agent needs to dial to allow one click access to numbers in order to save keystrokes. For instance, the “Make Call” control allows the numeric keypad from the keyboard to be used or it can be manipulated with the mouse – using the speed dial list or an interactive DTMF keypad.
We will continue to explore the features and functionality of ESP in the next VEXIS Voice “Envoy Updates” article. Hang on to your seats for Part 4 of this article!
Richard Wolff, Director of Software R&D