We recently tested a new version of the FedSmith.com daily e-mail newsletter and asked readers several questions about the program to learn their preferences.
As with TV sets and newspapers, most people prefer color to black and white. The overwhelming majority of readers said they prefer the newer format that contains color and graphics along with a display of the daily TSP returns.
There is some confusion about the new e-mail newsletter. Some readers apparently confused the daily newsletter sent out each business day with the home page at www.fedsmith.com. FedSmith.com is not eliminating the home page. The home page will remain as it has been. The only difference readers will see is that the e-mail sent out each business day will be in a format that looks more like the home page.
Here is what we mean. Several readers commented that they preferred the old version of the daily newsletter because they preferred to have the posting date listed with each article. In reality, the text only version of the newsletter did not contain a posting date for each article (that was on the home page only). In response to this comment, we have added the posting date for each new headline to the daily e-mail we will be sending out.
Some readers have an e-mail program that can only read text and will not accept features such as color and graphics. If that is the case, the new version of the daily newsletter will come to your desktop as a text version instead of the version with color (the html version). You will only receive one version with the vast majority of readers receiving the version with a more sophisticated layout and color.
84% if readers responding to the survey indicated they preferred the new format. 9% told us they did not have a preference and 7% preferred the text only format.
We will be making adjustments to the format as problems crop up and we welcome your comments and suggestions.
Here are some of the comments from readers.
A statistician from OPM said: “This format is very pleasing to the eye. I love it.”
A consumer safety inspector with USDA in Oregon wrote: “Much better than the text format .”
An HR specialist with the VA in Los Angeles commented: “The new format opens more quickly and is simpler. I prefer the new format. Good show!”
An EPA employee in Washington, DC told us: “The new format is outstanding and it is easy to get in to. Keep up the good job that you are doing. Thanks for your fine publication”
An assistant director with the Dept. of Labor in Texas wrote: “The new format is much easier to look over.”
An electronics technician from Tobyhanna, PA had this to say: “I like the new format, especially the separation of the current and past articles.”
As we noted above, 7% of those responding preferred the text only format and a few people had trouble adjusting the font size.
A pharmacy supervisor with the VA in Perry Point, MD wrote: “prefer text format as file size is smaller.”
A forest technician from Bend, Oregon said: “The color is good, but it seemed like the page wasn’t set just right.”
A secretary with the Corps of Engineers in Wilmington, DE commented: “I was just used to the old format but will soon get used to this one.”
Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47