Bar Association Conference controversy…more concerned about constitutional challenge caseFollowing his threats of salary cuts and warnings, Attorney General (AG) and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams was dismissive when questioned about his staff being disallowed from attending a two-day Oil and Gas Law Conference, organised by the Guyana Bar Association (GBA).It was late last week that judges, magistrates and lawyers from across the country gathered for discussions aimed at exploring the legal framework of the oil and gas sector.However, legal practitioners attached to the AG’s Chambers and Legal Affairs Ministry were warned not to attend the event.Guyana Times contacted the Minister to garner the reasoning behind his decision to implement such a policy, especially when he was overseas, but the AG, in the brief interview, avoided the questions, having observed that he was more focused on preparations for the constitutional challenge case at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).“I wasn’t in the country…right now I’m preparing for the CCJ, so I can’t get distracted. Right now, you can’t ask me that, I am looking after CCJ and the third term,” Williams told this newspaper. After this brief disclosure, he discontinued the conversation.The conference was the brainchild of acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards. However, in a memorandum dated March 8, 2018 that was placed in the office, staffers were barred from attending the Conference without the permission of the AG and Legal Affairs Minister.The notice, which was seen by this newspaper, stated, “Please be informed that ‘no staff’ is permitted to attend the Guyana Oil and Gas Law Training Development Conference event hosted by the Guyana Bar Association on Friday 9th March, 2018 without the permission of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister.” The memo, which was in the name of acting Permanent Secretary Tamika Barkoye, had further warned staffers that their salaries would be cut if they did not adhere to the order.“Please note that absence from work will result in salary deduction,” the memo added.Guyana Times had made efforts to contact the Legal Affairs Ministry’s PS for a comment and further clarification on the matter, but she was “unavailable”.This publication reported that the Minister’s move might have been because the organisers of the Conference did not facilitate his schedule when hosting the event. The GBA is headed by Attorney-at-Law Kamal Ramkarran.Several of Minister Williams’ Cabinet colleagues, who are also legal practitioners, attended the opening of the Conference: Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman; acting Prime Minister and Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.Minister Trotman had delivered a detailed presentation on the oil and gas sector, touching on the ExxonMobil contract, oil discoveries and the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy.
Product and Development Tips: Optimize your product trial processToday, it is almost the norm for any potential user to try out a ‘trial’ version of any given software before buying it. It is particularly true in the web-based SaaS application sector, where software can be readily delivered online via a web browser, and a trial instance can be given away to almost any prospect.This is exhilarating for marketers and management teams, who have always complained about the difficulty of translating the product experience into marketing collateral. Now, to support their marketing content, they can offer up the actual product at little cost. There is already a lot of research and analysis on improving the conversion from visitor to trial sign-ups. However, much of the development in managing self-service user trials have been in the provisioning and controlling of the trial process itself, while not taking into account of the trial “experience” and how it might affect the conversion rate from trial users to paying users.The typical user experience in a trial is mostly identical to the experience of a user (a payer customer). However, I would argue that this should not be so. The usability and user experience principles in designing a product can be used as reference for the trial user experience, but the trial has to go further and serve a very particular set of goals, for a particular set of “users”.Firstly, the trial needs to provide an easy-to-use, back-to-basics experience with the product.Secondly, the trial needs to be practically purposed, so that the user can see immediate value in using the product.Thirdly, the trial experience needs to expose the key “interaction” modes between the user and the product, so that the user, having completed the trial, is comfortable with the interaction metaphor, the user interface, and have a satisfactory user experience.The reason for these particular goals is that the right types of “users” who would like to trial the product, are likely looking for answers to the following:How does the product work (first goal)?Does the product do what it promises? (second goal)?Is the product usable (third goal)?(here we are discounting trial prospects who are just checking out a software with no concrete goal or purpose. These will not turn into a potential opportunity in any near time frame anyway)From a recent user experience research conducted with a portfolio company, we found that there is a number of quick fixes in the product management process that can enhance the trialing experience, and address the three goals above quite effectively. They are:Immediate Provisioning to sustain user’s interests and seamlessly transition them from the “interested web visitor” stage to “active trial user” stage.Using Template Data to allow user to see how the product works immediatelyProminently featuring set up wizards to ease the setting up processFollowing up and checking in with emails and personal touches to help usersMaking the Trial End Date very clear so that there is a true sense of urgency in using and experiencing the productThese are the lessons we culled from the best software vendors in the world, such as Salesforce.com, Atlassian and the likes. These ideas are practical enough to help software vendors enhance their product trial process and win many more customers through their trial program, thus creating a unique competitive advantage that ultimately contributes to growth, profitability and competitive positioning.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis