[LINK] Forms (was RE:Putting "no spam" warnings on websites)
nospam at crm911.com
Fri Apr 23 01:34:04 EST 2004
> > If you are ever at the business end of these forms (I mean
> >business=commerce) and you have to deal with tens of thousands of
> >records, you will swear by forms.
> OK, I'll bite. First, a disclaimer: I would prefer my site
> didn't use forms but I'm not in charge of policy or design...
Your site, my site, Microsoft's site, Roger's site all have different objectives,
so one size does not fit all.
> Now, Ash, look at the question from a different angle. What
> you're saying is that the system owner is more important than
> the system user. I have a website, therefore I design it for me.
I meant you design a site for a purpose and for its owner. The "owner" is usually
a company or a government agency, not the "webmaster" (a rather vague term I
prefer to avoid but is convenient).
If you want freeform comments, an email link is OK, but you have to know the risk
If you are collecting data records, e.g. details of those who download a white
paper, software, or need a quotation, then a form enables you to put it in a
> IMO that defines what's *wrong* with Websites. The owner
> places its own requirements ahead of the users'. Well, I
> suppose that can be defended in terms of "rights" (ie, I will
> design it how I like, it's my bloody website!) but not in
> terms of good customer service.
I "owned" Macromedia's customer data for most of APAC (but had no say over web
site content or design). On any given day I was overseeing an email blast
(jargon) somewhere in one of six languages, with some runs in the xx,000s. The
usual objectives were a new product announcement or a seminar. I needed to point
the subscribers to a web form where we could collect their details. A mailto:
link would not be appropriate.
You have to note that Macromedia's lists are nearly all made from product
registrations and trial download data. Those people "love" the products with the
zeal you see at Mac events. There was usually a 50% no-show of seminar
registrants, so we overbooked and usually a few dozen would be turned away. You
could not have managed such events with a mailto.
Customer service? In the software world, you'd know that it is centered around
CRM and call centres - no product registration = no tech support. Where do
mailtos fit this scenario?
> Yesterday, for eg, I wanted to look up the FTA (must have a
> high threshold of boredom); and found the DFAT Website
> redesigned. That's their right, they're the owners; but in IE
> 6, screen 800x600 on a 17" monitor, set to normal size fonts
> - the navigation bar type is too small to render.
No argument there. When I was at Macromedia, I attended some "web awards"
ceremonies that were full of the beautiful, groovy, cool people who build such
sites. Most haven't a clue about accessibility, usability, HTML standards,
validation, search engine visibility, etc etc. The trouble is that their
customers are also to blame because they ask for electronic brochures and feel
doubly pleased when the site wins an award.
Sadly, some of the sites of people we know in this list have some of those
problems, but some won't be told. They defend their sites...
> Site owners can defend their rights, but saying "I have the
> right to design usability out of my Website" is a little
The "owner" there is too far removed from the web design, but if this got into
Question Time, it might get his attention. As I will keep saying, most of those
sites can't be found in Google by people who don't know what to search for, or who
don't know they need a govt. site. :-)
I did say that depending on my site, I use mailtos, forms, contact details, ABN
Now, what are your views on site owners whose pages will NOT be found in a
typical, unsophisticated search? What do usability and accessibility do for them,
other than enrich a different bunch of consultants?
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