TGFC: Thank Goodness For Collaboration

Not too long ago I worked with a client in the cultural exchange industry, more specifically, a company that offers an au pair matching service. Their business model created a situation where clicking a primary call-to-action prompted three things to happen:

  1. An au pair candidate is notified that a host family is interested in them,
  2. The host family receives the au pair candidate’s contact information so they may interview the candidate, and
  3. The au pair candidate is pulled out of the matching pool.

So what the heck do you call a button like that? After dozens of failed ideas I turned to my colleagues – I posted the question to Yammer. Here are some key excerpts from that conversation:

Alright Blinkers, I have a joke for you (kind of). A button walks into a bar. When you click on the button three things happen: 1. you have the ability to contact an au pair candidate, 2. you pull that au pair out of the matching pool so that you can communicate with them exclusively, and 3. the au pair receives information about you. What do you call the button? (NOTE: existing punchlines include “Put on Hold” “Connect” and “Contact”)

Seems like it’s also similar to “poking” on Facebook, or “winking” on (I think that’s what they called it). A digital handshake to suggest interest in further interaction. “Handshake” or “Meet & Greet”? Maybe not those labels, but perhaps this is closer to the sentiment.

Queue? Cons: Unfamiliar term to some, vague. Pros: different, vague in potentially good way, “international”.

The fact that they are removed from the pool once selected seems important. Put on Hold & Contact covers the two things that happen when you click. Can you address the put on hold piece in another way? A message on hover that explains they will be removed from the pool, or is that too much?

At this point I am voting for “connect”. It seems more human than the other options. Since it takes the au pair out of the pool then a confirmation is probably necessary to communicate that.


Au… Pair me! (You asked for a punch line…)

I know I’m coming into this late, but what about just “Contact”? The user doesn’t need to know steps 2 and 3, really. They just need to know that they’re about to contact them.

This may be misleading since the user can’t actually contact the au pair candidate through the site. The user gets access to the candidate’s contact information.

They are also taking the au pair out of the pool, others won’t be able to see their profile.

Clearly the button should be labeled “Do all of the things.”

Twenty-nine comments, 11 contributors, and 29 suggestions later, the winning idea did not surface during this conversation. In the end, after extensive thesaurus searches and trial word combinations, we went with “Hold for Interview” because it both communicates what clicking the button will do and why the user would want to click the button.

In collaborating with my colleagues, I was able to identify why this problem was so difficult to solve. It is too difficult to communicate and comprehend that three events would occur after clicking a single button. As a result, I tried to communicate the two most important events (that the au pair is put on hold and that you will get his/her contact information), and find another way to message the third event (that the au pair receives information about the host family).

This wasn’t the first time my colleagues helped me out of a tight jam, and it won’t be the last. When trying to solve problems large or small, collaboration fuels creativity, which in turn improves design, the client experience, and the user experience. Yammer is my method of choice for collecting insight from many people in a short amount of time.