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Unity Unity Live Help - now in Beta!

Discussion in 'Editor & General Support' started by UnityMaru, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. UnityMaru

    UnityMaru

    Community Manager Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2016
    Posts:
    209
    Hey folks,

    I wanted to share with you all a new platform that we have released which may be of use to some of you. This is not intended to replace any of the existing support portals we offer such as the Forums and Answer pages, but rather lives alongside those platforms.

    ---



    With a qualified expert to assist you, Unity Live Help makes learning easy
    We’re excited to announce Unity Live Help (Beta), our new platform for one-on-one lessons. Read on to learn how Unity Live Help can help you find solutions for your toughest development questions.


    Enabling the success of creators like you is important to us. Unity Answers, forums, and other resources in our vast library are helpful to address your questions on certain Unity topics. However, many of you have asked for an additional solution-- one that can address your specific questions in real-time.


    With your requests in mind, we are excited to launch Live Help (beta), a platform that connects Unity creators to community experts for one-on-one lessons on any Unity topic of your choice.


    With screen sharing, video, and text chat capabilities, you can schedule a time to sit down with an expert to discuss a topic you’d like to cover. Live Help also allows you do pair programming, exchange code files, and share screenshots all during your live session.


    We have a wide range of experts on the platform, including programmers, artists, and designers with a variety of experience.

    Get started with Unity Live Help

    How does Live Help work?


    1. Creators come to Unity Live Help to get expert-led lessons on a Unity topic of their choice.





    If you have a technical question about Unity or want to learn more about game development, Unity Live Help is a paid platform where you can connect with a skilled expert to get the guidance you need to make your learning journey easier.


    2. You schedule your session with your preferred community expert based on your needs and their areas of expertise.




    To begin, you'll simply select whether you are interested in lessons or troubleshooting. You’ll then share a description of the topic you’d like to learn more about with relevant tags (i.e. Android, Animation, Scripting, etc). We recommend that you provide as much detail as possible so we can match you with the right expert. After submitting your request, you'll be matched to an expert in minutes.


    3. Start collaborating in a virtual workspace.





    Once matched, you and your expert will enter a virtual workspace with voice chat, text chat, screen sharing, and a visual code editor to ensure smooth collaboration. All sessions begin with a 5-minute grace period to evaluate whether your expert is the right one for the job. You can post code snippets, collaborate on code together or even share your screen to show your expert exactly what your project looks like in the Unity Editor.


    If you decide your expert can help, your session will convert to a paid session. If you end the session within the 5-minute grace period, you will leave the virtual workspace and will not be charged.


    4. Leave a review for your expert and get feedback.





    After your session, you will be asked to review the quality of your expert and your session overall. You'll be charged for the duration of your session based on the price you set during your search. If your session is under five minutes, it’s free.


    5. Review your session transcript.




    Once your session has been completed, you have the ability to read through your session chat transcripts, as well as view any attachments shared during your session. This is a great way to review everything you have learned.


    6. Schedule another session.





    If you enjoyed your session with your expert, you can book another meeting with that expert instantly or at a later time that is convenient for you. You can also click "Connect with an expert" on the homepage to match with another expert on the platform who is available and knowledgeable in that subject area.

    Learn more about Unity Live Help


    Unity Live Help (beta) is now available. To learn more, take a look at our web page. If you’re interested in becoming a community expert, please fill out an application and you will be considered for the waitlist.

    Get started with Unity Live Help
     
  2. awesomedata

    awesomedata

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2014
    Posts:
    811
    This seems like a really great idea! -- There are two potential issues though...


    1. I wonder a lot about that big, fat, "Refund" button...

      It could be really tempting to some users...
      In the end it depends upon how likely a person is to take a cheap shot at someone who helped them... but...
      Dangling that button in a certain kind of person's face definitely seems like a recipe for disaster...

      Maybe bury that option a bit more?


      My argument is this --

      The expert likely won't even _see_ that button enough to scare them into providing better help, but if they're not capable from the start of providing better help anyway, no amount of scaring them will make them more capable... so it's all a lose-lose situation.
      On the other side of the equation, if users who receive good help often spit in the face of very capable experts with the confidence and control provided to them through the temptation of pressing that button... The expert's quality of help would _definitely_ either vastly diminish, or the expert might quit the platform altogether!



    2. The other issue I see is a Language barrier --
      Some users use Unity solely with google translate. It might be a good idea to mention (during the scheduling) that they're using a Google Translate to speak English.
      Also, let the expert decide whether or not he wants to provide help to these kinds of customers (or if he's willing to do it at a higher rate). No offense intended, but if they're speaking English through a translator, it is highly possible they won't understand the help provided and would ask for a refund because the English help is not immediately useful to them. This should not fall back on the expert (normally) because the expert thought he was speaking to an English-speaking native.

    Please handle these concerns with care. The expert is who will bring value to your platform for customers, so it's best to keep him happy. And as long as people need help with Unity, there will always be customers.


    Ultimately, this could be a great opportunity for helping many users who wouldn't find help otherwise! :)
     
  3. APSchmidt

    APSchmidt

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Posts:
    2,426
    It's definitely a good idea... for the professional developers using Unity. The prices are prohibitive.
     
  4. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts:
    4,267
    I love this idea. Especially because Asset Store developers now can move their support on this platform and when they have to spend time with beginners in order to make their asset work, they can make a buck or two while they're spending their time on this instead of developing their assets.
     
    fwalker likes this.
  5. UnityMaru

    UnityMaru

    Community Manager Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2016
    Posts:
    209
    Thanks for the feedback folks. Honestly, it's super apprecicated. I'm making sure the decision holders of this see what you're saying as it's all really useful.
     
  6. Baste

    Baste

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Posts:
    4,219
    I was not going to say anything, but, well okay then.

    Some of these take 5 USD a minute?

    What the what?

    That gives an hourly cost of 300 USD. If I were to hire a consultant from a consultancy firm to program, I'd expect that to cost anywhere from 100-250 USD an hour. So some of these people are taking more to teach beginners than what it'd cost to have my game made by a senior programmer being rented hourly. So this is bonkers.

    1 USD a minute - the lowest cost on display - still means that one hour is worth about ~2.5 months of Unity Plus.

    So I don't understand who this is for. A studio with that kind of cash to spend would just get a consultant or premium Unity support. If you're getting this as a private individual, you need to already be employed to afford it. So this is meant for... very wealthy hobbyists? Like hobbyist whales?

    I'm assuming that this is for basic tutoring, as you're presenting this as "makes learning easy". So the prices just doesn't make any sense.

    Like, I'm all for an official tutoring service. Having the service handle the payment, and the "check if this actually works" buffer are all great ideas. So I'd happily sign up as an expert!
    But only if it was a service that I'd be comfortable using as a student. That would - at a bare minimum - require fixed prices per hour (or at minimum half an hour) so the time-based stress wouldn't be an issue - if I were to pay to learn something, I would never be able to relax enough to actually learn something if there was a F***ing taxi meter ticking away. There would also have to be rates that make sense. Currently they don't.
    Note that I live in Norway. We have some of the highest prices and wages in the world. Is everyone involved in this living in the Bay area?


    Also, I'm reading though this and:

    that explains everything. Yeah, if you want the experts to just be on standby to be able to help someone within minutes, you need to have the prices high enough to also pay them decently when they're not helping.

    So by setting this up as a "instant help" thing instead of something you schedule in advance, you've priced it out of the range of people who would be interested. I don't think this will do well at all with the current format.
     
    fwalker, a436t4ataf and awesomedata like this.
  7. awesomedata

    awesomedata

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    Oct 8, 2014
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    I think you're on to something here.
    Considering the audiences who might consider this, the pricing structure is definitely very limited.


    In general, the cost of hiring a consultant is beyond most people's reach.

    In this case, I _think_ I see where Unity is coming from. Just like people somehow manage to squeeze out $50+ to purchase assets, I'm sure those same people could squeeze out 10 or 15 bucks to get support on integrating them (and at the same time, answering general questions about Unity, which is what many asset providers apparently tend to do.)

    That being said, there is a very real difference between consultation and getting answers to questions that nobody seems to have an answer to. That latter part, probably, is the selling point. However, the problem I see with this is that there are tons of 'experts' out there who will provide a half-ass "answer", which will mandate a longer session with them. And then there will definitely be problems with users who expect instant answers to fixing their whole project at a moment's notice.



    There are very real problems with this setup, but by knowing your audience (and by specifying it explicitly in both the price _and_ description of your services), experts can help tone down issues like these, and users can always fall back on the rating system when so-called 'experts' (who just barely know what they're talking about) half-ass their answers to extend their session.


    Some people thrive on this, but I'm not one, and I don't know many. So I agree.


    Users who want to get the most value out of an extended session (in my opinion) should be able to search for expert consultation rates. Experts could request, a guaranteed, say, $20 for a 20 min session (paying only after a 5 minute initial trial, which would be integrated into the 20 mins). This would both alleviate the stressors of the taxi-timer, and allow each participant to gauge how well the session will go down (for both sides), and with the user agreeing to pay the mini-consultation price, they get a better "bang" for their buck and the expert gets to be "guaranteed" a certain amount (rather than sweating if every user is going to cancel their session during the first 5 minutes only to find out they just wasted their time being on standby -- which helps noone.)

    Also, typing can be slow and error-prone for the fastest typist. And what about google translator users? -- Typing + errors + translation time + clarification + time to understand the response could be extensive for each exchange. Perhaps consultation rates could be higher for these users?

    For everyone else -- voice-chat would be a great option for making sessions faster where both users are fluent in the same language. Maybe make use of some Unity Connect voice-chat technology for this?



    TL;DR

    @Baste makes some great points -- The pricing model definitely needs to be diversified for different audiences and their financial capabilities. Hopefully my suggestions are helpful in this. On top of this, the taxi-timer-centric focus is definitely a drag on both users and experts alike. I don't think ditching the 5 minute "calibration" phase or the minute to minute pricing is the answer (code copy/paste for beginners is a good use-case for this, and the price is cheaper than the consultation fee overall), but I do think that for users who expect a longer session (for less money) should have an option like the "mini-consultation" fee I suggest above to handle the sorts of scenarios @Baste was probably thinking about when he mentioned pricing being too high. Honestly, I think these sorts of customers are going to be much more common than the quick copy/paste code-exchange scenarios you guys clearly have in mind.

    So what say you, @UnityMaru? -- What kinds of scenarios/audiences do you all at Unity have in mind?
     
    Baste likes this.
  8. allc1865

    allc1865

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2017
    Posts:
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    The UI elements in 3.0 are buggy, anyone else have this same problem?
     
  9. SoftwareGeezers

    SoftwareGeezers

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Posts:
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    When I opened this thread, I thought it was for a solid troubleshooter service more than tutorials. It's very rare that my issues are answered on the forum which mainly covers entry-level discussions. Being able to spend $15 for 15 minutes of shader expertise or $30 to get a networking issue solved would be good value versus banging one's head trying to find answers across the internet over several days. But there is of course no time-limit and it could cost goodness knows how much to get the help you actually need, computers being what they are. That 15 minute call may run into an hour and leave you out of pocket and without an actual answer. Paid solutions on the likes of Stack Exchange seems better value as you pay for the complete answer and not however much can be achieved in x minutes.

    As a learning platform, it's a potentially terrible idea. It'd be easy to have someone tell you what to program instead of learning from them, and you'd be better off with a far cheaper course.