What’s in a name? When it comes to technology, having a good product is obviously more important than what it’s called. However, choosing the right name is important so that clients know what they are getting.
Turning Technologies chose the name ResponseWare to describe the technology that allows participants to respond to interactive questions using their own cell phones, tablets or computers. This worked well enough, but caused confusion over the years.
Today, what was once called ResponseWare is now the TurningPoint app. This has proven to be a much better, more easily understood label for the product.
Still, long-time clients sometimes ask us why we made the change. If you are interested in learning more, here is the full story.
The story of ResponseWare
Turning Technologies introduced ResponseWare in 2008. Back then, we were one of the first among our competitors to introduce mobile responding. With the rapid adoption of mobile devices, it was clear to us that it would only be a matter of time before this capability was not only a desired feature, but an essential one.
The main advantage of our “virtual clicker solution” was that it offered participants the ability to respond using their own web-enabled devices – including cell phones, computers and tablets – through either an app or an internet browser. However, the advantages of ResponseWare went well beyond convenience.
The new technology gave participants access to all of the response options and polling environments offered by TurningPoint at that time, including the ability to respond to all question types as well as questions asked using PowerPoint, anywhere and self-paced polling. This was equivalent to the functionality of our most top-of-the-line clickers.
Another significant advantage was price. A TurningPoint subscription includes mobile responding, which meant that participants could use ResponseWare at no additional cost. This gave clients with budget limitations and schools focused on affordability an option to consider that did not include the added cost of a hardware clicker.
Sometimes, even instructors were not aware of the name difference between the software and the app.
Instructor and participant confusion
Client feedback was the main reason we decided to change the name of our mobile responding option. We heard too often that students could not find our app or, if they did find it, they weren’t completely sure that it was what they needed. Sometimes, even instructors were not aware of the name difference between the software and the app. While this confusion could be cleared up with a quick web search or call to Turning Technologies, we wanted to make sure that every aspect of TurningPoint was intuitive enough to not require extra assistance or special knowledge to use.
In addition, our mobile app is evolving beyond a simple response tool, which makes ResponseWare a somewhat misleading label. No longer just for answering questions, the app now allows participants to see their scores for individual sessions, preview upcoming scheduled surveys and answer interactive questions even outside of class time. Moving forward, our roadmap anticipates the incorporation of GPS attendance and interactive multi-media as well.
Branding may seem like just a marketing concern, but it also ensures that users have a consistent experience with a product. The fact that the ResponseWare name was not firmly connected to the TurningPoint brand only contributed to client confusion. It also made it difficult within the company to communicate what TurningPoint had to offer and to make the user experience constant across all platforms.
Becoming the TurningPoint app
In 2016, ResponseWare officially became the TurningPoint app. In practical terms, this did not change the product or our future plans for it. The TurningPoint app still provides an easy-to-use mobile response solution with a full range of features and capabilities.
In addressing all of the reasons detailed above, however, the new name has been a resounding success. Gone is the confusion over which app TurningPoint users need to download. Today, the eponymous app is clearly meant to be used with our TurningPoint software, no explanation required.