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Usability enhancements for the APC web site

Discussion in General Questions & Suggestions started by Terry , 7/29/2015 9:19 PM
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  • Terry_Kennedy
    Terry
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    Terry 7/29/2015 9:19 PM

    [There doesn't seem to be a forum area here for discussing general APC topics, as opposed to specific products. So, feel free to move or delete this as appropriate.]

    There are a number of things that are at least inconvenient and sometimes rise to the level of annoyances, particularly when I'm researching something to post a helpful reply for someone here. These are just a few off the "top of my head". As I think of more, I'll add them if this topic remains open. This is just for the main APC web site. The forums are another can of worms which I will leave unopened. All of these were confirmed under the latest versions of IE, Firefox and Chrome on Windows 7.

    • It is seemingly impossible to provide a workable link to the HTML version of a knowledgebase article. For example, Angela posted a link in this post which points to http://www.apc.com/support/index?page=content&country=ITB&lang=en&locale=en_US&id=FA156117 However, when you click on that link, you get the knowledgebase article without the frame, and the page auto-refreshes after a few seconds to the general knowledgebase index page. The article number is still in the URL in the address bar, but has no apparent effect on the index page. You can use the PDF link, but not everybody wants to download a PDF for a simple look. If you try to use the link that "bookmark" gives you, it points to a non-routable IP address inside APC and won't give you a usable bookmark, let alone a link.
    • The site needlessly uses Javascript in a manner which breaks basic functionality. For example, go to this page for the NetShelter SX. Try right-clicking on any of the documentation links. You would expect to see a "Open in new tab/window" but you don't, because the page needlessly uses Javascript to do the same thing - link to http://www.apcmedia.com/salestools/JSAI-85CPVG/JSAI-85CPVG_R0_EN.pdf. The complete gobbledygook it uses is javascript:_hbRedirect('PDF%20Downloads','US/User%20Manual','http://www.apcmedia.com/salestools/JSAI-85CPVG/JSAI-85CPVG_R0_EN.pdf','&c1=NetShelter%20Enclosure%2DGrounding%20Instructions|US-en'). The refresh-to-index issue in my first bullet is probably also caused by needless Javascript usage. If you browse to the main APC homepage with Javascript off, you get an unfriendly "Warning: We have detected that your browser may not have JavaScript enabled or is not JavaScript compatible. This application requires that JavaScript be enabled."
    • The software/firmware downloads landing page (here) lets you select a product by either software/firmware (single text entry box) or hardware (two text boxes, one for category and one for model). It has been impossible to select the firmware for UPS management cards from the hardware box for several years now and emails to webmaster@ have not resulted in any changes. Go ahead and try it - pick "UPS Network Management Cards" and now try selecting a model in the second box - all you get is "Select a part number". Now try it with "Switched Rack PDU" and note that the second box has a nice drop-down of possible model numbers. The only way to get there is to use the software/firmware text entry box and select "Firmware Upgrades - UPS Network Management Card".
    • The web site is occasionally slow or generates errors (like a "...  cannot be found, please try again"). As an existing customer, it is an annoyance. For a potential customer, it may be enough to send them elsewhere.
  • ipicKedawinna
    Angela
    =S= Representative
    Angela 7/30/2015 12:18 PM (in response to Terry)

    Hi Terry,

    I will look into the first issue. apc.com knowledge base links were working properly but there are these other formats below for direct URLS that appear to be still working as they should and not re-directing to the landing page after. I happened to notice this today before I read your post actually. 

    http://www.schneider-electric.com/support/index?page=content&country=US&lang=en&locale=en_US&id=FA164769 

    http://www.schneider-electric.us/support/index?page=content&country=US&lang=en&locale=en_US&id=FA164769 

    Tech support shares your annoyance on that one though. I believe we are getting a new apc.com website soon but I'll pass along your other comments to our operations team. Thank you for taking the time and caring enough to put the feedback together.

  • Terry_Kennedy
    Terry
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    Terry 7/30/2015 8:33 PM (in response to Angela)

    By the way, these types of issues are in no way limited to APC. I just bring them up here because there's a good chance they'll get fixed once the right people start looking at it (which Angela already set in motion).

    I could say the same (and worse) about sites like CNN, eBay, etc. but I'd be ranting at the sky because there is no way they'll fix anything.

  • ipicKedawinna
    Angela
    =S= Representative
    Angela 7/31/2015 12:50 PM (in response to Terry)

    Hi Terry,

    Someone put a ticket in about the Software & Firmware downloads page issue you highlighted. We are also looking into the apc.com specific URL for FAQ but in the meantime those other FAQ URL formats I mentioned should still be working if you put the FA ID at the end.

    The rest of the feedback has gone to the project team working on a revamp of apc.com which I understand is due towards the end of this year. That way, we hopefully don't have the same issues on our more modern apc.com release.

  • bbiandov
    Boyan
    Apprentice
    Apprentice
    Boyan 13 days ago (in response to Angela)

    I realize this is an old post but it is also one of the very few mentioning bookmark. How does one bookmark a post in this forum?

    I've read about a faint start appearing next to the poster's name but it isn't there anymore as described in an old article?

    Thanks

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