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How to make sure that file has been read.

Manoj Kumar Jain
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Joined: Aug 22, 2008
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Hi All,

Earlier I was working with a project that is having workflow, its kind of automation in which each step a user/s involved and activity is defined.
As soon as an activity is completed the user at that step will click on "Submit" button to acknowledge that he is done with his work and now flow can move forward to next activity, so mail will go to the next user in the flow.

|1st Activity/Responsible|------>|2nd Activity/Responsible|------>|3rd Activity/Responsible|------>|4th Activity/Responsible|------>|Completed|

One of the activity in the workflow was "Verify the document uploaded at previous activity has valid content", but what was happening that the user responsible was not reading the document and just clicking on the Submit button saying yes document consist valid data. which was not ok.

So the requirement was that the Submit button should only enabled once responsible person has read the document (this is not that use will just open the file, requirement was quite specific that user must read the document).

So I have one question is that possible by any chance to track this ?


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fred rosenberger
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  16

How can you force anyone to read something? High school teachers have been trying to figure that out for decades and have never had any luck.


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Bear Bibeault
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  66

fred rosenberger wrote:How can you force anyone to read something?




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Maneesh Godbole
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    8

Admittedly this is not foolproof but \
1) insert some random text like "Snoopy" in the document
2) Display the document along with the line numbers
3) Ask the user what line number snoopy was on or 7 word before/after snoopy
4) Let him proceed only on giving the correct answer


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Manoj Kumar Jain
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Yes Maneesh, you suggestion is good but it also doesn't force user to read other then the snoopy

I also thought to put a puzzle in the file and let user proceed once he solved the puzzle..

However can't force user to solve the puzzle correctly.. what if he is unable to solve the puzzle..
Bear Bibeault
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  66

So, I take it one of your requirements is written as follows:

  • Thoroughly annoy your users.
  • Saurabh Pillai
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    Joined: Sep 12, 2008
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    One of the activity in the workflow was "Verify the document uploaded at previous activity has valid content", but what was happening that the user responsible was not reading the document and just clicking on the Submit button saying yes document consist valid data. which was not ok.

    When it happened first time ask the user why she did not validate the document?

    So the requirement was that the Submit button should only enabled once responsible person has read the document (this is not that use will just open the file, requirement was quite specific that user must read the document).

    Define read? I will open the document and once the submit is enabled I will submit. This does not mean I validated the data. Issue not resolved.

    You have to hold user liable when she says data has been validated.
    Manoj Kumar Jain
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    Joined: Aug 22, 2008
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    Bear Bibeault wrote:So, I take it one of your requirements is written as follows:

  • Thoroughly annoy your users.


  • LOL...
    No, this was the requirement from users itself (Manager want to enforce his worker to read document)
    We didn't know that should we need to fix some camera in user's retina for the image processing.
    fred rosenberger
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      16

    I can tell you from first hand experience that just because my retinas are pointing at a specific book/screen/whatever it does not mean I am actually reading/comprehending/paying any attention to it.
    Manoj Kumar Jain
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    fred rosenberger wrote:I can tell you from first hand experience that just because my retinas are pointing at a specific book/screen/whatever it does not mean I am actually reading/comprehending/paying any attention to it.

    Oh my god..
    then in case i have to do brain mapping as well....
    It seems to be very tedious task then.
    Bear Bibeault
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      66

    Perhaps the document can be injected directly into the user's brain?

    Manoj Kumar Jain
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    Bear Bibeault wrote:Perhaps the document can be injected directly into the user's brain?



    it seems to be an operation theater rather than a office...
    John Jai
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    Name the document as "Your Salary Hike Document"
    Pat Farrell
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        5

    John Jai wrote:Name the document as "Your Salary Hike Document"


    There is a real way to do this, based somewhat on John's idea. Its common in serious imaging/workflow applications.

    You have a stream of documents that you want the worker to read and process. If all they do is click "OK, next" you are doomed. So change it. Make it more interesting.

    Have two or three buttons for processing.
    + OK, next step
    + this is fake
    + I can't tell if its fake or not.

    Then in your process of queueing up the documents to process, salt in some fake ones. Teach the user that you will only pay them if they select the proper of the three buttons.
    If they don't recognize the fake ones, dock their pay. If they fail too many real ones, dock their pay. If they never say "I can't tell" dock their pay.

    This converts it to an engineering question. Standard Operations Research will tell you the number of test cases you have to have, for each level of expected errors. This is how you can do things like test lightbulbs destructively. You test only a sample.

    So the solution is to pay them based on making real decisions that require that they read and process the data.

    Randall Twede
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        2

    ok i am going to give a serious answer. two possibilities, depending on how much you want to annoy the users. the most annoying is to have a quiz before they can proceed. the other is to just make sure they scrolled the entire document. i think there is probably a way to do that.


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    Henry Wong
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      40

    Randall Twede wrote:ok i am going to give a serious answer. two possibilities, depending on how much you want to annoy the users. the most annoying is to have a quiz before they can proceed. the other is to just make sure they scrolled the entire document. i think there is probably a way to do that.


    The second technique won't work. The user will just scroll the document -- and presumably check the box on the bottom of it -- and move on. The first technique will work -- if you force the user to take a test, then you can be relatively assured that he/she has the knowledge to pass it. Of course, this brings upon two issues.

    1. You now have to take care of possible cheating, which is a big can of worms.
    2. You now have to deal with the business, as it can actually escalate to a bigger problem. For example, you could be going from, "you are not sure if you users are reading the docs" to "where have all the users gone?" or "how come the users are not using the services anymore?"

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    Akhilesh Trivedi
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    Well, I just read this thread fully.


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    Manoj Kumar Jain
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    2. You now have to deal with the business, as it can actually escalate to a bigger problem. For example, you could be going from, "you are not sure if you users are reading the docs" to "where have all the users gone?" or "how come the users are not using the services anymore?"


    Yes, this may happen that we annoyed too much to user that he left from his job to some peaceful place. And we left with no one to run our business..

    we are just too much working with file reading that we have forgotten about our real business.

    More we force someone to do something more he will try to find the loophole and passed through it..
    Frank Silbermann
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    Manoj Kumar Jain wrote:
    2. You now have to deal with the business, as it can actually escalate to a bigger problem. For example, you could be going from, "you are not sure if you users are reading the docs" to "where have all the users gone?" or "how come the users are not using the services anymore?"


    Yes, this may happen that we annoyed too much to user that he left from his job to some peaceful place. And we left with no one to run our business..

    we are just too much working with file reading that we have forgotten about our real business.

    More we force someone to do something more he will try to find the loophole and passed through it..
    Maybe you could provide a text box into which they are required to paraphase the document in their own words. Their manager can read their submission after the fact, and he can base their raises, etc. on his perception of their ability to restate the material.

    This has the added advantage of building employees' communication skills.
    Randall Twede
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        2

    The user will just scroll the document -- and presumably check the box on the bottom of it -- and move on.


    true, but in a legal sense you could now "prove" the person read it
    Manoj Kumar Jain
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    Randall Twede wrote:
    The user will just scroll the document -- and presumably check the box on the bottom of it -- and move on.


    true, but in a legal sense you could now "prove" the person read it


    yes the problem is that the person must read the file..
    Paul Clapham
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        8

    Saurabh Pillai wrote:You have to hold user liable when she says data has been validated.


    Indeed. So just make sure the last line of the document says "When I say this document is valid I agree that my salary will be reduced by 10%".
    Manoj Kumar Jain
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    Paul Clapham wrote:
    Saurabh Pillai wrote:You have to hold user liable when she says data has been validated.


    Indeed. So just make sure the last line of the document says "When I say this document is valid I agree that my salary will be reduced by 10%".


    Lol.... once a user has processed files just more than 10 he will be running out of salary...
    Saurabh Pillai
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    Paul Clapham wrote:
    Saurabh Pillai wrote:You have to hold user liable when she says data has been validated.


    Indeed. So just make sure the last line of the document says "When I say this document is valid I agree that my salary will be reduced by 10%".


    When I replied seriously in that post, at that time I thought OP IS also serious about question though he has posted in MD.

    And may be I did not word it properly there. But somebody has to take the responsibility. and trying to go for the above suggested ways (if serious at all) is like XY problem.
    Manoj Kumar Jain
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    Yes Saurabh, I was serious about this problem in the first stage but however this is impossible to force someone to read something and as someone mentioned in the post already that "if I am looking at something that doesn't mean that I am reading that".

    If user don't want to use your automated system because they feel it like overhead or they are not aware very much of computer or they are very much habitual to their old practice don't want to accept changes, they pretend that the system is not worth working. and will try to make the system fail by making some excuses or with some intentional malpractice(like they want that the system will ensure file has been read).

    we can put some validation check but they are as limited as we are putting some validation on the web page to ensure that the user is human not spam but cant ensure all the time. you can force user to read the file but cant ensure he is getting/validating it.



    Paul Clapham
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        8

    (Puts serious hat on for a moment) If you have a document which can't be validated by computer processing, then it has to be validated by people. And sometimes people don't do a good job for a variety of reasons. This is a people problem, not a computer problem, so trying to solve it by computer programming may or may not work. If there's a problem that people are careless or lazy and validate documents which they should have rejected, then you need a people solution -- maybe one where a second person checks the first person's work from time to time.
    Jesper de Jong
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      18

    How to make sure somebody has read something:

    - Tell the user that he has to read the document out loud.
    - Let the computer record with a microphone what the user is saying.
    - Do speech-to-text recognition and check that what the user is saying is indeed the content of the document.

    Ofcourse there are some practical problems with this, but the idea looks good in principle...


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