The Customer-Developer Divide

I’ve had a frustrating time over the last few months because I lost access to the Behaviour & Information Technology journal (BIT).  I have two equivalent email addresses ( and and the professional body I pay my online access subscription to passed the other email address over to the Publishers. The result – I lost access to the journal – but confusingly some articles are free to all so it didn’t seem like I had lost total access…. It’s all sorted now – but I’m still finding it tortuously time consuming to manage the steady flow of new versions of articles as they pass through the review and refinement process. So much so, that I’ve decided to stop making temporary entries in my filing index. I shall just mark articles I’m interested in as ‘favourites’ in the Taylor & Francis (T&F) mobile app; and only make an entry in my index when the final published journal comes through. I guess only time will tell whether this makes things easier or not

I’ve made a number of attempts to pass on my suggestion of providing functionality for users to manage articles as they flow through the process, but with no success to date. It seems that there is a huge divide between T&F customers and the developers of their mobile app. However, during my recent access difficulties I established contact with a second level support person called Vamshi Tulasi who said he would pass my suggestions on to the appropriate people. So, today I have sent Vamshi the following points and await with interest to see if I do eventually manage to have a dialogue with the  developers.

1. Management of articles that alerts are provided for. A single article appears several times – once for each stage in the process. However, I only want to have to deal with it once. Having decided I’m not interested in an article I don’t want to waste my time rediscovering that fact each time I am alerted to it as it goes through each separate stage. Likewise with articles I HAVE decided I’m interested in: I don’t want to have to keep looking at them at every stage – I want to look at the articles I AM interested in when they are actually published. However, there is no functionality to mark articles so every article has to be checked every time. I think this is probably an issue which most users are experiencing. Did you consider this when designing the application? Do you have any plans for individuals to mark items as they come through so that they know which articles they are or are not interested in?

2. Search function for journal list: When setting up the mobile app it is necessary to navigate to the Journal you have subscribed to. The journal “Behaviour & Information Technology” (BIT) is in a most illogical position and it took me about 15 minutes to find it – very annoying! Try finding it yourself before looking at the end of this message to see where it actually is. Unfortunately there is no search facility for journals – only for articles – so there is no option but to keep trying various categories until you find it. Are you planning to introduce a search function for the journal list? [answer to location of BIT: computer science – computer engineering]

Interestingly, I just got a very quick response from Vamshi saying “We are coming up with the new version LFM 3.1 , which will be going to release soon. In this version hope your all issues will be resolved.”. We shall see.

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