Can I use a shared user as an author on my ScreenSteps account?
Some customers want to save costs by creating a "shared" author on their ScreenSteps account. This allows multiple people to login under the same username and password. Since ScreenSteps is billed based on the number of authors on their account this can help them decrease costs.
In this article we will explain why you shouldn't do this and what other options you have.
Shared author accounts are not allowed
ScreenSteps tracks the author activity for each user on your account. Authors have the ability to delete and edit content. If you have multiple authors using the same login then you will not have an accurate record of what has happened on your account.
We have had cases where customers have called in complaining that some of their content was changed, assuring us that they didn't do anything. But the ScreenSteps activity record showed that they had removed the content. After further investigation the customer found out that someone else at their company was using their same login and had changed the information without telling them.
A better option: Disable inactive users on your account
ScreenSteps gives you the option to disable users on your account. Disabled users are not deleted from your account, but they don't count against your billing total. So, you can have 8 authors on your account, but will only be billed for 5 if three of them are deactivated.
When you need to bring those authors in, deactivate some other authors on your account and reactivate the deactivated authors.
If you have a particularly busy month, then pay for some extra author slots on your account for a month or two and then reduce you plan after you are done.
What will happen if you use a shared author account
We don't try to monitor whether or not you are using a shared author on your account. The only problem will be if you need technical support. If you contact support and it is clear that you are using a shared author account then we will not be able to offer any support.
We always do our best to offer the best support possible. But if you are using a shared login it oftentimes becomes too cumbersome to track down exactly what is going on with your account. If you contact support in this situation then we will ask you to set up additional users on your account and not use a shared login.
We understand that many companies are in the situation where they have infrequent contributors to their ScreenSteps account and don't want to pay the full cost for those users. That is why we have put in place the ability to activate and deactivate users. Please use this approach as it offers the best mix of controlling costs for you as the customer and allowing us to offer you top notch technical support.