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APC UPS Selector - Feedback Needed

APC UPS for Home and Office Forum

Schneider Electric support forum for our APC offers including Home Office UPS, Surge Protectors, UTS, software and services and associated products designed to share knowledge, installation, and configuration.

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rsmith_apc
Ensign
Ensign
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11
659

APC UPS Selector - Feedback Needed

This was originally posted on APC forums on 3/28/2008


I work for APC and own the content of the UPS Selector below. I am looking for feedback from anyone (customers, partners, APC employees) to help me further improve this tool. If you have never used it before, please take a look and let me know what you think. If you have used it, I would appreciate any feedback regarding the interface, recommendations provided, and/or content. I will be using this data to drive content and user ability changes within this tool.

http://apcc.com/tools/ups_selector/index.cfm


Accepted Solutions
magore_apc
Crewman
Crewman
0 Likes
0
659

Re: APC UPS Selector - Feedback Needed

This was originally posted on APC forums on 12/10/2008


Why not make a feature matrix for each product and allow comparisons ?
Let the knowledgeable end user enter the wattage and run time
Let the knowledgeable end user pick the product series
Show ALL UPS matches the meet or exceed the needed specs sorted by price, run time, features ... etc
Perhaps break the tool into two parts - one the power usage estimator and two the UPS selector - then all queries are then based on wattage, run time and features.
Try a test of your tool - say we know that the BX1500LCD product exists - can your tool find it ? - ans: NO
In other words for your tool to be useful to you clients and your company it should be able to find most of the APC UPS products - it does not do this


Thanks for asking

See Answer In Context

11 Replies 11
rsmith_apc
Ensign
Ensign
0 Likes
0
659

APC UPS Selector - Feedback Needed

This was originally posted on APC forums on 3/28/2008


I work for APC and own the content of the UPS Selector below. I am looking for feedback from anyone (customers, partners, APC employees) to help me further improve this tool. If you have never used it before, please take a look and let me know what you think. If you have used it, I would appreciate any feedback regarding the interface, recommendations provided, and/or content. I will be using this data to drive content and user ability changes within this tool.

http://apcc.com/tools/ups_selector/index.cfm

johnruffing_apc
Ensign
Ensign
0 Likes
0
659

Re: APC UPS Selector - Feedback Needed

This was originally posted on APC forums on 6/11/2008


I have found that we do not always get consistent results from the configurator tool:

* At times it has significantly oversized the UPS units.

* It is sometimes unclear what it is doing and why.


In terms of features, the following would be helpful:

* Being able to specify power outlet type and quantity (i.e.: L6-20 x 3, L6-30x2). Having the ability to select various output plates automatically, or at least automatically selecting the UPS that can support the requested outlets would be helpful.

* A report on the available outlets (i.e: There is no feedback on the fact that if your unit has a step-down transformer, then one of the L6-30 outlets will be unavailble to you.)

* The required power connection(s) required for the UPS. (i.e.: What the electrician needs to provide).
Please note that for a number of APC UPS models, the main web page for each model on the APC site may specify a twistloc connector for UPS input, but if you drill down into the product manuals, you may need to hard wire certain models in order to get full power of the unit). This information needs to be clearly stated on the website itself to ensure that the wiring feeding the UPS is correct (and prevents dropping the load later on).

rsmith_apc
Ensign
Ensign
0 Likes
0
659

Re: APC UPS Selector - Feedback Needed

This was originally posted on APC forums on 6/16/2008


Thank you for the feedback. I understand that the recommendations may vary; this is being addressed by a fix in the algorithm that runs the program. I cannot comment on the issue you point out with the product pages, but please send me a few examples and I will forward them along to product management.

dynaglide04_at_bellsouth.net_apc
Crewman
Crewman
0 Likes
0
659

Re: APC UPS Selector - Feedback Needed

This was originally posted on APC forums on 3/28/2008


Don'k know about the rest but your configitor is a great tool ..Perhaps in it you should add in the power supply in the towers....i/e : 350W 450W 750W 1000W etc....

rsmith_apc
Ensign
Ensign
0 Likes
0
659

Re: APC UPS Selector - Feedback Needed

This was originally posted on APC forums on 3/28/2008


Thanks for that feedback. We could look into it; however when I determine the wattage of a device it is based on the average wattage consumed rather than the power supply wattage itself. We do this so that our UPS units are not being oversized for your load when making are recommendation. I am afraid that creating the ability to selector your own power supply will result in oversized solutions because a device will never consume more than 80% of what the power supply can supply. I will certainly keep your feedback and see if there is a way to work this into our solutions in the future.

jplatania_apc
Cadet
0 Likes
0
659

Re: APC UPS Selector - Feedback Needed

This was originally posted on APC forums on 3/28/2008


No complaints here!

dynaglide04_at_bellsouth.net_apc
Crewman
Crewman
0 Likes
0
659

Re: APC UPS Selector - Feedback Needed

This was originally posted on APC forums on 3/28/2008


Maybe so...But this baby sucks my meter up past half way all by itself..Let alone no extras like monitors,hubs,and the like..So you saying this is good? If so then the configuator is perfect as it is.....




Digital Storm Desktop

Windows OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium (64-Bit Edition) (For Enthusiasts)
Case: Digital Storm 850Si
Power Supply: 750W Corsair HX (Dual SLI Compatible) (Silent Edition)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz (1066MHz FSB) (8MB Cache)(overclocked) 3.1GHz
Motherboard: nVidia 780i Core 2 Quad (By: eVGA) (nForce 780i SLI)
Memory: 4GB DDR2 Corsair at 1066MHz Dominator (Dual Channel) (Extreme-Performance)
Hard Drive 1: 150GB Western Digital Raptor (10K RPM) (16MB Cache) (SATA) (Extreme Speed)
Hard Drive 2: 250GB Western Digital (16MB Cache) (7200 RPM) (SATA)
Video Card: 2x SLI Dual (nVidia GeForce 8800GTS 512MB (By: eVGA) (PCI-Express)
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi FPS Fatal1ty Champion (Includes Front I/O Unit)
Cooling: Air Cooled Stage 3 WindTunnel (Copper Heatpipe Heatsink & Zalman Case Fans)

voidstar_apc
Janeway
Janeway
0 Likes
0
659

Re: APC UPS Selector - Feedback Needed

This was originally posted on APC forums on 3/29/2008


When I configured a "PC or Workstation", it gave me three options with a list of features for each. Allow me to nitpick:

- I don't know what features like "Cold start capable" does or what problems I have that "intelligent battery management" solves. Perhaps a small description tooltip that hovers near the mouse on mouseover?
- I initially thought the grayed out features were categories until I noticed the same features matching across rows. I would adjust the appearance of features a product doesn't have so they don't look like categories and lightly shade the background of the row on mouseover to emphasize matching across rows.
- Some "features" don't help me evaluate the product, such as "Safety-agency approved". I expect every UPS sold to consumers is safety-agency approved, and certainly any that APC sells. I believe many consumers simply wouldn't care. Unless there are many consumers that don't know APC is safety-agency approved and are looking for that, it lowers the information density of the page.

Otherwise, very straightforward. Nice job.

rsmith_apc
Ensign
Ensign
0 Likes
0
659

Re: APC UPS Selector - Feedback Needed

This was originally posted on APC forums on 4/1/2008


* I don't know what features like "Cold start capable" does or what problems I have that "intelligent battery management" solves. Perhaps a small description tooltip that hovers near the mouse on mouseover?
* I initially thought the grayed out features were categories until I noticed the same features matching across rows. I would adjust the appearance of features a product doesn't have so they don't look like categories and lightly shade the background of the row on mouseover to emphasize matching across rows.
* Some "features" don't help me evaluate the product, such as "Safety-agency approved". I expect every UPS sold to consumers is safety-agency approved, and certainly any that APC sells. I believe many consumers simply wouldn't care. Unless there are many consumers that don't know APC is safety-agency approved and are looking for that, it lowers the information density of the page.
Otherwise, very straightforward. Nice job.
Great Feedback, keep it coming.

As far as the points you have, let me respond.



1) I agree that our features may not be completely clear and a mouse over feature would help. We could even provide a hyperlink to a more detailed explanation box if that would help.
2) The grayed out features mean that they do not apply to that particular product. I can look into this as well and see if only the features that apply can be visible. Does it help anyone to see what features are not included with this device?
3) To be honest, our product managers create these features for listing on our site, so I am not familiar with all of them and the reasons why we choose to specify agency approved devices. Our devices do meet standards worldwide, but I suppose there are some countries with loose or no standards. I can look into this as well.

I cannot guarantee these will be changed soon; I am only gathering data and feedback so that I can begin working within the company to make such changes. All feedback is being collected in a spreadsheet and will be considered once I have the opportunity. Thank you again and feel free to post any additional feedback.

rsmith_apc
Ensign
Ensign
0 Likes
0
659

Re: APC UPS Selector - Feedback Needed

This was originally posted on APC forums on 7/1/2008


DonH - I completely understand your frustration. I did not originally build this tool so I am working the best I can with what I got. I am planning several changes over the next quarter.

To answer a few of your questions:

Computer Type: Our tool is used for a variety of different levels of support, so the case helps us determine if we need to recommend a rack mount UPS depending on if you have a rack mount device. It does actually have an impact on power consumption as well – different types of computers use and consume power differently so that is very important.

Predominant Hard Drive Type: The default is High RPM Hard Drive, which to us is a generic hard drive. Again, I did not create this tool, but am working to improve it, I will take a better look to determine if this is still necessary. Predominant Hard Drive basically means your internal hard drives and again, only use High RPM Hard Drive as a generic if you don't know what you have or it's not in the list. When we say hard drive, we mean the physical device, not C, D, F, etc... which are logical drives that can all exist on one physical hard drive.

Currently when I size a device, I include memory in the calculation but do not supply the user with the option to specify memory - this was not built into the tool when I took it over about a year ago but I do intend to work on adding it. Same goes with graphics cards.


Thank you for the feedback regarding a UPS model comparison and displaying benefits, I will mention this to product management so they can take a look.

magore_apc
Crewman
Crewman
0 Likes
0
660

Re: APC UPS Selector - Feedback Needed

This was originally posted on APC forums on 12/10/2008


Why not make a feature matrix for each product and allow comparisons ?
Let the knowledgeable end user enter the wattage and run time
Let the knowledgeable end user pick the product series
Show ALL UPS matches the meet or exceed the needed specs sorted by price, run time, features ... etc
Perhaps break the tool into two parts - one the power usage estimator and two the UPS selector - then all queries are then based on wattage, run time and features.
Try a test of your tool - say we know that the BX1500LCD product exists - can your tool find it ? - ans: NO
In other words for your tool to be useful to you clients and your company it should be able to find most of the APC UPS products - it does not do this


Thanks for asking