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Online Communication Tool for Couples

With more than 30 years of experience in leadership and organizational development to guide people into becoming better communicators and leaders, Roxi will tell you very frankly that "it's all about relationships, and then it's all about relationships, and finally, it's all about relationships."

How many of us take our dreams seriously? Roxi Bahar Hewertson does, and now she has turned a dream into reality, with One Bad Ant's help. Roxi is an independent leadership and change consultant, author, and president of Highland Consulting Group Inc., a service-oriented business she founded in 1996 to assist administrators, managers, and staff create positive change within the organizations they lead or work in. About three years ago she woke from a dream, which eventually became the kernel of an idea that evolved into her most recent venture—Ci2i Survey, an online tool to help couples communicate about challenges in their relationships. Passionate about using her more than 30 years of experience in leadership and organizational development to guide people into becoming better communicators and leaders, Roxi will tell you very frankly that "it's all about relationships, and then it's about relationships, and finally, it's about relationships."

Project Goal:

Designing the survey questions was one thing, and this was Roxi's domain. Getting it to work was another. Roxi wanted a site that was easy to navigate and confidential. Couples begin by taking individual surveys, which they may later decide to share, or not to share, with one another. Three original reports are generated, documenting and comparing their responses. Roxi wanted these reports to be strictly nonjudgmental transmissions of data, produced by the computer. No Ci2i Survey staff member would come in contact with the data. This required writing and applying complicated algorithms that could merge data from the two people completing the surveys; mechanisms in place that would prevent either person from seeing the other's data until both agreed to do so; computer compilation of responses to produce the reports; unique and computer-assigned login names and passwords; automatic closing of accounts, logins, and passwords after 30 days; and a secure payment process.

OBA Solution:

After searching extensively to find an online survey company or a software application that would allow her to implement her vision, Roxi turned to One Bad Ant, upon recommendations from several Cornell contacts. "Keith partnered with me while I was thinking through things. He understood me, really got it right as I talked through my vision, the parameters of confidentiality, the "hands off" nature of Ci2i, and so forth."

Features OBA developed for Ci2i Survey include:

  • A fully automated, secure, online registration process, including the ability to pay by credit card or with a PayPal account.
     
  • Unique, computer-generated IDs and passwords for customers to login to the survey.
     
  • Confidential data management. All surveys are confidential but can be shared with one's partner upon request. "Confidentiality for the customer was my greatest concern," says Roxi. "This is very personal information about the way couples are communicating. I wanted multiple checks and balances to make sure that the survey data, feedback to the customer, and payment are well protected so that no one can connect a person to his or her data other than the customers themselves."

    Survey results are saved and can be returned to at any time within a 30-day timeframe. Accounts are automatically closed 30 days after registration. "That's such a cool feature to have unique computer logins and passwords assigned and emailed," says Roxi, "and then make them disappear completely, never to be used again after our designated time period."
     
  • Web-based reports. A series of three reports are generated automatically as the surveys are completed. These reports detail each respondent's answers and are sent to either the individual or the couple, depending on whether or not partners choose to share their results. Scores provide a measure of comparison. PDF versions of the reports are produced by the application and can be accessed by the respondents at any time with the click of a button; these reports are also printable. "Once people have paid for the survey, all these tools are available to them in real time, thanks to the way Keith set it up."

  • Interface with existing website design. Roxi had hired a web designer before contacting One Bad Ant. OBA ensured that the functionality of the survey would interface with the existing website design.

  • Logo design. One Bad Ant designed the Ci2i Survey logo. "Keith asked if I'd like him to think about a logo, and I said, ‘Sure,'" Roxi recalls. "When he told me he had one for me to look at, I was blown away by how perfect it was. We played with colors together, but the logo design was exactly what I wanted without knowing it. Keith understands our work, our audience, and our goals—and the logo he designed shows it. It's simply a work of art and is absolutely fabulous!"

    The simple but strong logo design represents the idea of partnership: the two inner circles suggest two individuals positioned across from one another—either with arms folded in front of themselves or reaching out in an arc to each other.

    "Keith and I went out to lunch to celebrate the logo—actually, he took me to lunch," Roxi says. "And, he presented me with a custom-made set of coffee mugs with the logo printed on them. It made me cry. It's just beautiful."

"I love, absolutely love, working with Keith," continues Roxi. "He's smart and he listens extraordinarily well. I could tell because his proposal to me needed no changes, and it was a complicated proposal for work that would stretch over two years. Keith is such a genuinely kind and caring human being who is incredibly talented, and I feel so lucky to have found him, and that he was willing and able to work on my projects."

"All my projects require high quality and on-time, on-budget results. Keith delivers all of those every single time. In the world of IT, this is so rare. I'm pretty sure I've never seen it before! And, Keith documents his work—and enjoys doing that. So that makes two rare things he brings to the table that most people either don't like to do or don't do well. What a professional!"

The Ci2i Survey went live August 9, 2007, and Roxi is already speculating on future applications such as use by therapists as a breakthrough tool for their clients or by supervisors and their staff to increase awareness and communication.

"Keith is working on a proposal to take this project to the next step," she says. "There is no doubt I'll keep working with him. In fact, he's the only programmer I'll ever use."

See More...

Ci2i Survey (Ci2i): Communications Indicator for 2 Individuals.

Highland Consulting Group Inc.: Creating sustainable collaborative work cultures.