« SpinVox Comes to the US | Main | My Trip to Quebec »

January 29, 2007

The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption

iStock_000000265146XSmall.jpg

Here’s a compilation of silly and stupid ways companies are hindering adoption of their products and services. I must admit, some of the companies that I’ve invested in have made these mistakes—in fact, that’s why I know these mistakes are (a) silly; (b) stupid; and (c) hinder adoption.

  1. Enforced immediate registration. Requiring a new user to register and provide a modicum of information is a reasonable request—I just think you should do it after you’ve sucked the person in. Most sites require that registration is the first step, and this puts a barrier in front of adoption. At the very least, companies could ask for name and email address but not require it until a later time.

    A good example of a site that does the right thing is Netvibes. It allows you to do a high level of customization without registering. (Thanks to Glenn Kelman)

  2. The long URL. When you want to send people an URL the site generates an URL that’s seventy characters long—or more! When you copy, paste, and email this URL, a line break is added, so people cannot click on it to go to the intended location.

    Here’s an URL for a billiard table copied and pasted from the CostCo site. Just how many billiard-table models could CostCo be selling?

    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11197553&search=billiard%20table&Sp=S&Mo=8&cm_re=1-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&N=0&whse=BC&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=All&Dr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ne=4000000&D=billiard%20table&Ntt=billiard%20table&No=0&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Nty=1&topnav=&s=1

    The justification often goes like this: “We create a long URL because people with Crays might break our code and see private pages. Seventy characters that can be twenty-six lower case letters, twenty-six upper case letters, or ten numbers ensures that no one can break our code since the possible combinations outnumber the quantity of atoms in the universe.” This is what keeps sites like TinyUrl and SnipURL in business.

    Also, speaking of URLs, it’s good to have an easy naming convention for URLs. MySpace, for example, creates easy-to-remember URLs like http://www.myspace.com/guykawasaki.


  3. Test: Can people communicate your site’s URLs to others over the phone?

    Extra credit: People using Verizon and can do this despite its coverage.


  4. Windows that don’t generate URLs. Have you ever wanted to point people to a page, but the page has no URL? You’ve got a window open that you want to tell someone about, but you’d have to write an essay to explain how to get that window open again. Did someone at the company decide that it didn’t want referrals, links, and additional traffic? This is the best argument I can think of for not using frames.

  5. The unsearchable web site. Some sites that don’t allow people to search. This is okay for simple sites where a site map suffices, but that’s seldom the case. If your site has a site map that goes deeper than one level, it probably needs a search box.

  6. Sites without Digg, del.icio.us, and Fark bookmarks. There’s no logic that I can think of why a company would not want its fans to bookmark its pages. And yet many companies don’t make this possible. When my blog hits the front page of Digg, page views typically increase by a factor of six or seven times. It’s true that the Digg effect wears off quickly, but some new readers stick around and that’s a good thing.

  7. Limiting contact to email. Don’t get me wrong: I love email. I live and die by email, but there are times I want to call the company. Or maybe even snail mail something to it. I’ve found many companies only allow you to send an email via a web form in the “Contact Us” page. Why don’t companies call this page “Don’t Contact Us” and at least be honest?

  8. Lack of feeds and email lists. When people are interested in your company, they will want to receive information about your products and services. This should be as easy as possible—meaning that you provide both email and RSS feeds for content and PR newsletters.

  9. Requirement to re-type email addresses. How about the patent-pending, curve-jumping, VC-funded Web 2.0 company that wants to you to share content but requires you to re-type the email addresses of your friends?

    I have 7,703 email addresses in Entourage. I am not going to re-type them into the piece-of-shiitake, done-as-an-afterthought address book that companies build into their products. If nothing else, companies can use this cool tool from Plaxo or allow text imports into the aforementioned crappy address book. When do you suppose a standard format will emerge for transferring contacts?

  10. User names cannot contain the “@” character. In other words, a user name cannot be your email address. I am a member of hundreds of sites. I can’t remember if my user name is kawasaki, gkawasaki, guykawasaki, or kawasaki3487. I do know what my email address is, so just let me use that as my user name.

  11. Case sensitive user names and passwords. I know: user names and passwords that are case sensitive are more secure, but I’m more likely to type in my user name and password incorrectly. One of the funniest moments of a demo is when a company’s CEO can’t sign into her own account because she didn’t put in the proper case of her user name or password. I’ve seen it happen.

  12. Friction-full commenting. “Moderated comments” is an oxymoron. If your company is trying to be a hip, myth-busting, hypocrisy-outing joint, then it should let anyone comment. Here’s an example of one such policy:

    Q. Who can leave comments on GullyHag

    A. Anyone who has been invited, either by us or by a friend. The invite system works like Gmail. We’ve invited a bunch of our favorite execs, bloggers, and friends to comment, then given them invitations to share with their friends and colleagues. That way, the burden of inclusion, and exclusion, is shared.

    The concept that people have to be invited to post comments is pathetic—if you hold yourself out as a big cojones company, then act like it. Even the concept that one has to register to post a comment is lousy. There have been many times that I started to leave a comment on a blog but stopped when I realized that I’d have to register.

  13. windowsliveid.jpg Yahoo.jpg
  14. Unreadable confirmation codes. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t support spam or robots creating accounts. A visual confirmation graphic system is a good thing, but many are too difficult to read. For example, this is what I got when trying to create a Yahoo! account. Is that an uppercase “X”? Is the last character an “s,” “5,” or “S”? Maybe this only affects old people like me, but it seems that all one merely has to prove is that you’re not a robot so a little bit of fuzziness should be good enough. For example, if the code is “ghj1lK” and someone who enters “ghj11K” is close enough.

  15. Emails without signatures. There have been many times that I wanted to immediately call the sender or send him something, but there’s no signature. Also, when I book an appointment with a person, I like to put in his contact information in case I need to change it. Communication would be so much easier if everyone put a complete signature in their email that contains their name, company, address, phone, and email address.

    On a corporate level, communication would be so much easier if companies stop sending emails with a warning not to respond because the sender’s address is not monitored. I don’t mean they should not include the warning. I mean they should monitor the address.

  16. Supporting only Windows Internet Explorer. Actually, I’m not nearly as vehement about this as you might think. Supporting Macintosh, Safari, and other Windows browsers is a lot of work, so this is your call. If you define your market as only the people who use Windows Internet Explorer, so be it. You may have to really invest some effort into this one, but all the other items in this list are stupidly simple.


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c527353ef00d8342dc61053ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption:

» Buzz Killers - Market Adoption from Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Blog
If you create a lot of buzz, you still have to be able to get people to convert.  They either need to purchase your product or service, or if you are an Internet Company, you need to get them to start using your webiste and its tools. Guy Kawas... [Read More]

» Walking in the Customer's Shoes from Epic Living
Guy Kawasaki has a great post today about The Top Ten Ways to Hinder Market Adaption. I learned a few things for my online pursuits, but I also came away encouraged that someone else in the universe feels my same [Read More]

» Stupid ways to hinder market adoption from OffBeatMammal
I don't usually just link to someone else's post to say "read this" but Guy Kawasaki often hits the nail [Read More]

» Las 10 (14) cosas más estúpidas de los webs (corporativos) from meneame.net
Guy Kawaski lista las catorce peores cosas que se pueden hacer en un web para dificultar su adopción y divulgación. Bastante lógico y razonable. En España –especialmente a administración y bancos– deberían mirar sobre todo la #14, y el Menéame con su l... [Read More]

» Choses à ne pas faire lorsque que l'on conçoit un site internet from Narcissique blog
Voici une liste (en anglais) des choses à ne pas faire lorsque que l'on conçoit un site internet - c'est par ici. L'article souligne des erreurs que l'ont rencontre (trop) souvent. Par exemple : il ne faut pas forcer l'utilisateur à [Read More]

» Conversation @ Work from Conversation Agent
Ever had one of those days in which all conversations seem to lead to the same place? I've been having one of those months. Lately it seems that more and more organizations forget what they've learned in the past and proceed to start over every day -- ... [Read More]

» Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption from Craig's Linked List
Guy Kawasaki is another one of my favorite bloggers (of the ones I dont know personally). Hes a technically-savvy business guy and venture capitalist. To me, he represents the other side (ie: marketing) to a business (versus... [Read More]

» Customer Orientation: Friction-Free Process from PMThink! Project Management Thought Leadership
Guy lists ten mistakes that add friction to the user adoption process, that highlights a lack of customer orientation. We've all been there before. ... [Read More]

» How to kill your e-business from Gibbie's Bioscience World
From Guy Kawasaki. All of these are so true, especially this bit used by Yahoo quite extensively (it's now gotten to the point that if you want to send another yahoo user an email,... [Read More]

» Roxanne There's A Bump(ing)Zee Party In The Works, You Just Gotta Search For Your SuperBowl Tickets! from Search Marketing Gurus | Search Marketing Tips, Advice, Strategies
It seems that my Monday evenings are usually spent catching up on my every increasing RSS subscriptions. So tonight I've got a lengthy list of links in the SMG Link Roundup. From Supebowl tickets and AFC trophies to 15 minutes of fame that is way to lo... [Read More]

» Catching up on the latest Internet Marketing News from Brent Hodgson, Copywriter
Fact: If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest tools, market trends and strategies as an internet marketer, you need to constantly keep your ear to the ground. Read blogs, forums, news feeds - anything which you can get your hands on which can te... [Read More]

» The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption from Stefan Tilkov's Random Stuff
Guy Kawasaki: Heres a compilation of silly and stupid ways companies are hindering adoption of their products and services. Guy actually lists 14 items, among them enforced registration and stupidly long (and unreadable) URLs.... [Read More]

» How to Change the World: The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption from The Smart Entrepreneur
How to Change the World: The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption Guy Kawasaki is already one of my favourtie bloggers. However, this post goes way beyond his usual high standards it should be read by any company that wants to create a ... [Read More]

» ON SEAGATE AND MICROSOFT'S MARKETING DEMANDS from *michael parekh on IT*
TIME SINKS My interest in this new consumer product called DAVE from Seagate was piqued by this sponsored 13 minute video interview done by Robert Scoble of PodTech on behalf of Seagate (see, I linked, I linked). DAVE, which stands for digital audio vi... [Read More]

» The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption from Marketing & Strategy Innovation Blog
by: Guy Kawasaki Heres a compilation of silly and stupid ways companies are hindering adoption of their products and services. I must admit, some of the companies that Ive invested in have made these mistakesin fact, thats w... [Read More]

» The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption from Genius of Love
Here’s a compilation of silly and stupid ways companies are hindering adoption of their products and services. I must admit, some of the companies that I’ve invested in have made these mistakes—in fact, that’s why I know these mistakes are (a) silly;... [Read More]

» Hindering Market Adoption: or ZXGFYS from College Marketing 4.0
College kids are notoriously 'hip' and into trying things early. We aren't extremely early adopters in the internet realm, however (facebook and myspace aside), and a lot of it is due to the effort your site makes us exude in [Read More]

» Promoting Market Adoption from Second Brain - Organize Everything in Your Personal Internet Library
I really enjoy Guy Kawasaki's entrepreneurial spirit and advise. Not long ago, I finished his Art of the Start book, and it is one of the most refreshing books I've read on start-up'ing and everything related to that. His teachings [Read More]

» Cooler Artikel from JoinR - Join the Alpha
Für jeden, der irgendeine Art von Portal oder was weiß ich eröffnen will, ist folgender Artikel von Guy Kawasaki sicher sehr interessant. Ich würd schon fast sagen, ein Must Read! Er beschreibt die 12 gröbsten/nervigsten Fehler in Web Applikatione... [Read More]

» iPhotoMeasure (Quick) Review from welcome to EdHolloway.com!
Yesterday, I saw another great post at JKOnTheRun about a software product called iPhotoMeasure . The [Read More]

» The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption from fsbrainstorm v4.0
Guy Kawasaki gives us a nice post on the top ten stupid ways to hinder market adoption. Granted, there are actually 14, but theyre all very good ones. Two piqued my interest though: Requirement to re-type email addresses. User names cannot con... [Read More]

» Delete The Crap from AdPulp
Venture capitalist and blogger, Guy Kawasaki, schools us on closed system commenting. “Moderated comments” is an oxymoron. If your company is trying to be a hip, myth-busting, hypocrisy-outing joint, then it should let anyone comment. The concept that ... [Read More]

» How to Change the World: The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption from Mario via Rec6
Guy Kawasaki lista os des erros mais comuns cometidos por desenvolvedores de aplicativos web e que prejudica a conversão de novos usuários quando estes têm seu primeiro contatos com os aplicativos. [Read More]

Comments

Can you please explain point 14 a little more.

Hi I have seen your site which that a good & impressive site, Zoekt u de goedkoopste GSM abonnementen in combinatie met een mobiele telefoon?! Hier vindt u een overzicht van de meest populaire GSM abonnement aanbiedingen van dit moment. GSM Abonnement Aanbieding

Thanks for the nice article! as a webmaster, I HATE the idea of forcing my visitors to do stupid things that other sites do! However, the CAPTCHA code you provide above is VERY VISIBLE for a human eye but prevents NUTS of spam...

Regards
Michael
Free PS3

This is one of my favorite posts. Where I work, during the process of releasing a consumer website we used a lot of your above points and ensured we weren't making the same mistakes. For example we only asked for a user to provide their email and a password to register with us. Also, the seniors leaders thought it wise that users create a username but after constant nagging by myself and by showing them this post, the final product used an email address as the login.

On top of that, I have to specify the author, the ISBN/UPC (the what?), the publication date----

well, you were on a library site. Anyone in publishing or the library science knows what an ISBN/UPC is. ;-)

We had a long argument (discussion) last night about item #1. Some say immediate login or account creation is the wave of the future while others of us believe what you think. I see valid points on both sides but am interested to see what others think about the direction of privacy and forced sign-up on a going-forward basis.-----

Had the same argument/discussion at my gig last night, too. The key for some media/content driven sites is to clearly show what the site has to offer beyond a one paragraph fuzzy mission statement. More sites need to invest some resources in clear writing and fleshing out what it is the site has to offer and what delineates it from the pack before asking for a reg. I run in terror from the mob of social networking sites who want my stats before I really know the what/how/why of their system. I don't expect them to give away the store -- just to give me a lot more than some corporate bs clipart of happy, dialed in people smartly dressed people and a vague half paragraph of generic marketing slop.

I liked most all of the rest of the list. Especially #6. Far too many sites of all types are in violation of that rule.

Bill T.

A wonderful anti example in how NOT to design user interface is this particular library website.
http://www.myhamilton.ca/myhamilton/LibraryServices/LibraryCatalogue/SuggestionForPurchase.htm

To recommend a book for the library to order, I have to fill in multiple fields to prove I am a library patron.

FIRST OF ALL:
Why am I making book recommendations if I am not a library patron! How many non library patrons would surf that page?

On top of that, I have to specify the author, the ISBN/UPC (the what?), the publication date, as well as the intended audience and format.
I feel like I am on a game show. Last time I checked: I am not the librarian!

Those illegible captcha's are the worst. On a weekly basis I run away from sites after being told that I'm not entering the correct text. Small font sizes are also a nuisance, especially as I work on a small screen. But my number one pet hate is having to sign-up before I can post a comment; I never do.
Oh, and one more thing: I hate to see ads placed above a post; I arrive at the page, and what do I see? Google ad's; and it's not until I've scrolled down 400px that I see the post.

Great list...here's two more.

As someone with a hyphenated name (and there are many of us out there) , how about websites not allowing e-mail addies, oh, and names with hyphens?

Or how about having no e-mail addie, just the contact page template? Great, so how (as a backup freak) am I supposed to keep a log of my issues?

Guy,
Jajah needs to pay attention to point 12!

Cheers

I would add to the list "otherwise-excellent sites which time your session out, even though you're not engaging in any secure activity, like banking".

Case in point: Property Finder.

#14 I disagree with. You should at least support Firefox and IE. Those 2, minimum.

Sites that do not allow '+' in the e-mail address. It's perfectly valid according to the RFCs and it allows me to filter things on my end.

This is unfortunately largely a lost cause on the web. From my experience, even giants on the web like eBay and Dell do not work properly with addresses containing a plus character. Some of their pages work, some don't--it just demonstrates how hard it is within a large organization to maintain the proper standards and use the same libraries for handling user information and input.

Switch to a service like Yahoo mail which uses the "-" separator instead of "+" and you'll make your life easier. Or better yet, just avoid those sites which are poorly programmed.

So I finally went to checkout netvibes after seeing a huge amount of subscribers on my blog use it and your posting talking about how NetVibes does the signup thing right. I agree with their initial experience being the right thing. They suck me in before requiring any of my information, but here's where they falter and it's enough to make me want to cancel my account:

They emailed me my password in clear text! So if anyone from Netvibes is reading please turn off this "feature". I know what my password is, I just signed up to your service. I imagine that you'd email it to me again if I run through your "forgot password" process.

You've commented here on a lot of things that bother me - and that I would change if I were in charge of a site. One other thing that bothers me about web sites is when the engineers forget to add www compatibility... for example if you go to http://guykawawsaki.com it loads fine. if you simply type guykawasaki.com in the address bar (as most people do), it works fine. But on some sites this is not the case, resulting in some kind of a 400 error, simply because their server isn't configured to resolve it to www.whatever.com! They should figure out that this minor inconvenience speaks to their own skills as web designers and administrators.

And it took me 3 attempts to read the anti-spam goobledegook posing as a threat to spammers...

Hmm.. Good points. But remind me, why I cannot send just this post to a friend while I am at it, without using Digg or opening my email application on the side (often difficult if using somebody else's machine, don't you agree?)

Best 10 points I have seen on digital marketing which probably much more trendier in USA that Asia. It just about starting. Will certainly review your article on my blog.

Enforced immediate registration. Requiring a new user to register and provide a modicum of information is a reasonable request—I just think you should do it after you’ve sucked the person in.

Places selling content like adult sites would find it better to require registration (and billing) ASAP.

On the other hand, places like Amazon don't need registration until you actually buy.

Most sites require that registration is the first step, and this puts a barrier in front of adoption. At the very least, companies could ask for name and email address but not require it until a later time.

They need to show me the value of their content before they get my personal information. See Slashdot or Kuro5hin for something fairly customisable and with enough valuable content that it makes sense to sign up.

Keep in mind that corporates tend to get distrusted more than individuals (too many corporations sell personal data to spammers, either because the people there think they are anonymous or because they aren't personally responsible).

The long URL. When you want to send people an URL the site generates an URL that’s seventy characters long—or more! When you copy, paste, and email this URL, a line break is added, so people cannot click on it to go to the intended location.

Very few email clients I deal with are broken that way. The line may wrap, but it doesn't break (Modern MUAs understand line continuations). HTML is a bad thing in email, and that's far too popular.

Also see http://tinyurl.com/

*SNIP*

Also, speaking of URLs, it’s good to have an easy naming convention for URLs. MySpace, for example, creates easy-to-remember URLs like http://www.myspace.com/guykawasaki.

Not necessarily. I don't think I have visited too many sites by direct URL in years, except for those already in my browser address bar.

Test: Can people communicate your site’s URLs to others over the phone?

Just google for the string, and see the results from this website. Much easier to tell people over the phone.

Windows that don’t generate URLs. Have you ever wanted to point people to a page, but the page has no URL? You’ve got a window open that you want to tell someone about, but you’d have to write an essay to explain how to get that window open again. Did someone at the company decide that it didn’t want referrals, links, and additional traffic? This is the best argument I can think of for not using frames.

Oh dear. There are all the database driven sites, the sites which "need" Javascript, the sites which need ad-views per page, so a small article must be viewed over four pages by direct link, and the printable version cannot be directly linked to. Frames are fairly irrelevant nowadays (Open in new tab is your friend).

The unsearchable web site. Some sites that don’t allow people to search. This is okay for simple sites where a site map suffices, but that’s seldom the case. If your site has a site map that goes deeper than one level, it probably needs a search box.

Or it needs to grant Google access.

Sites without Digg, del.icio.us, and Fark bookmarks. There’s no logic that I can think of why a company would not want its fans to bookmark its pages.

Possibly because they don't want the crowd from those websites? I'm not sure Cisco or Amazon _need_ bookmarking, and nor do most small business websites.

Limiting contact to email. Don’t get me wrong: I love email. I live and die by email, but there are times I want to call the company. Or maybe even snail mail something to it. I’ve found many companies only allow you to send an email via a web form in the “Contact Us” page. Why don’t companies call this page “Don’t Contact Us” and at least be honest?

a) No phones because of marketers.
b) No direct email because of spammers.

Contact forms work well in such cases.

Lack of feeds and email lists. When people are interested in your company, they will want to receive information about your products and services. This should be as easy as possible—meaning that you provide both email and RSS feeds for content and PR newsletters.

I don't particularly care about email feeds and RSS. What I want is content easily found by Google, and a reasonably easy way to buy stuff from that company. Yes, that implies service outside the US.

Requirement to re-type email addresses. How about the patent-pending, curve-jumping, VC-funded Web 2.0 company that wants to you to share content but requires you to re-type the email addresses of your friends?

And how about understanding that quite a few of us don't like getting such content in email, and our addresses are far too widespread for us to have control over which idiot puts our address in there?

I have 7,703 email addresses in Entourage.
I don't have an addressbook. If your email address is important enough, I'll remember it, or I can grep it from my MUA.

I am not going to re-type them into the piece-of-shiitake, done-as-an-afterthought address book that companies build into their products. If nothing else, companies can use this cool tool from Plaxo or allow text imports into the aforementioned crappy address book. When do you suppose a standard format will emerge for transferring contacts?

Mmmmm, Plaxo? That's a spammy site out there.
The standard format is vcard.

User names cannot contain the “@” character.

Useful for sites which basically tie you in by your email address (Google/Orkut, or the plethora of Yahoo!s services). Can work for some sites, not for others.

Case sensitive user names and passwords. I know: user names and passwords that are case sensitive are more secure, but I’m more likely to type in my user name and password incorrectly.

Sorry, but the first rule of security is to say 'NO'. Fail closed, deny access unless authorised.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Password_strength

The strength of your password is proportional to the search space. For a alphanumeric password, the case insensitive search space is 36 characters, the case sensitive one is 62.

Unlike what some others have posted, the strength of the password does not double per character. The average number of guesses to break the password would be ((search space)**(length of password))/2 {where ** is exponentiation).

One of the funniest moments of a demo is when a company’s CEO can’t sign into her own account because she didn’t put in the proper case of her user name or password. I’ve seen it happen.

It happens to everyone. Typing everything in lowercase helps.

Friction-full commenting. “Moderated comments” is an oxymoron. If your company is trying to be a hip, myth-busting, hypocrisy-outing joint, then it should let anyone comment.

That leads to blog spam. Slashdot has one of the best moderation systems out there (user driven moderation, with peer review of the moderation, and you can still see all the comments if you wanted to).

Here’s an example of one such policy:

Q. Who can leave comments on GullyHag

A. Anyone who has been invited, either by us or by a friend. The invite system works like Gmail. We’ve invited a bunch of our favorite execs, bloggers, and friends to comment, then given them invitations to share with their friends and colleagues. That way, the burden of inclusion, and exclusion, is shared.

Have you considered that this might also result in reducing blog spam?

The concept that people have to be invited to post comments is pathetic—if you hold yourself out as a big cojones company, then act like it. Even the concept that one has to register to post a comment is lousy. There have been many times that I started to leave a comment on a blog but stopped when I realized that I’d have to register.

I agree with this. If I need to register to comment, I am not going to contribute. And like it or not, the value of the Internet is in the content created by the users. (Also see Reed's law).

Unreadable confirmation codes. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t support spam or robots creating accounts. A visual confirmation graphic system is a good thing, but many are too difficult to read.

If it;s easy to read, it can be OCRed. Have you considered that we have gotten fairly good OCRing software because of the wave of GIF spam selling stocks?

For example, this is what I got when trying to create a Yahoo! account. Is that an uppercase “X”? Is the last character an “s,” “5,” or “S”? Maybe this only affects old people like me, but it seems that all one merely has to prove is that you’re not a robot so a little bit of fuzziness should be good enough. For example, if the code is “ghj1lK” and someone who enters “ghj11K” is close enough.

I would normally not recommend any characters in a captcha be lowercase. All uppercase characters, case insensitive input is a good thing (and common).

As for the people who are saying that you need not have a captcha, but instead have a simple question of the "Which fruit is this?" might have to deal with languages other than English at some point.

Emails without signatures. There have been many times that I wanted to immediately call the sender or send him something, but there’s no signature. Also, when I book an appointment with a person, I like to put in his contact information in case I need to change it. Communication would be so much easier if everyone put a complete signature in their email that contains their name, company, address, phone, and email address.

Urrr, some of us explicitly don't want that information floating around. Also, the netiquette rules say that any sig over four lines is far too long (that's 320 characters, BTW).

On a corporate level, communication would be so much easier if companies stop sending emails with a warning not to respond because the sender’s address is not monitored. I don’t mean they should not include the warning. I mean they should monitor the address.

Hmmm, I thought a lot of that was because those addresses would otherwise need to feed into their support/marketing/CRM app queues and spam would make life a nightmare.

Supporting only Windows Internet Explorer. Actually, I’m not nearly as vehement about this as you might think. Supporting Macintosh, Safari, and other Windows browsers is a lot of work,

No, actually it's easiest to support everything but IE. Also, some of us do use non Mac/non Windows systems. Supporting everything is a lot easier than you think.

I read the comments on digg.com (not as long and edified as these here) and was floored by the last one down the screen:

Add a Comment
Join digg for free to comment on this story. Have an account already? Login to comment.

Friction-full commenting, Guy said so in # 11. Now that I comment here for the first time, I will soon know if I hit another #11. For a first impression we get one chance.

OK how about "Make cool blog posts you can print out and share with others or read and mark up in the coffee shop!" Having a "Printer Friendly" link for good readable content is a win!

Re: 13, checkout www.shortersigs.com. All the info you want in a signature, in just one URL.

James
http://shortersigs.com/5037NZNWDTDW

Other than this, the endlessly long webpages that should really split into an 'archive' (or page 2) ...
For example, this blog. Articles here are crying out in desperation for "Read more..." links. I have to scroll way down just to find the article to which I submitted comments that I want to track.

The "Recent Posts" sidebar makes for a nice navigation menu, but unfortunately, I still have to scroll down to find the menu.

Excellent post - the login-only-comments and impossible to read 'confirmation codes' are my biggest gripe with pages. I would, however, add a few more indepth ones:

1) Websites that don't allow 'tempinbox.com' as your email address provider but want you to sign up just to see what their site does (an expansion on your sign-up too early comment)

2) Webpages that are much wider than your browser window. Now I know I run my browser in 800x600 and the standard is seemingly now 1024x768 (?), but it is still frustrating as anything - scrolling down is fine, scrolling across is awkward.

Other than this, the endlessly long webpages that should really split into an 'archive' (or page 2), and the ridiculously slow speed that digg runs in Safari when i'm signed in - yet Flickr/Wikipedia etc. all run much faster.

Guy - Great post. Very relevant for me at this time. We had a long argument (discussion) last night about item #1. Some say immediate login or account creation is the wave of the future while others of us believe what you think. I see valid points on both sides but am interested to see what others think about the direction of privacy and forced sign-up on a going-forward basis.

Chris

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Contact Me

  • bar.gif


VisualCV


Search this blog

Alltop

  • Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Advertising

Feed and Leads

Categories

Alignment of Interests

  • Alltop
    Stay on top of all the news topics.
  • BagTheWeb
    Find, bag, and share websites and articles.
  • Doba
    Drop-ship products for ecommerce sales.
  • Garage Technology Ventures
    Raise venture capital for your tech company.
  • Paper.li
    Publish social-media newspapers.
  • Statusnet
    Make an Open-Source Twitter for your organization.
  • Peerspin
    Pimp your MySpace pages.
  • Sixense
    Control your game like never before.
  • SocialToo
    Engage people at social media sites like Twitter.
  • StumbleUpon
    Find interesting stuff on the web.
  • TicketLeap
    Sell and manage online ticket sales for events.
  • Triggit
    Make real-time bids for online ad space.
  • DataSift
    Analyze big data from social media.
  • Tynt
    Trace who's using your website content.
  • uStream
    Stream video live.
  • Visible Measures
    Monitor how people interact with online video.
  • Writer.ly
    Find freelancers for book projects.
  • XAT
    Chat with people.

Optimization

  • quick sprout