I'm allowed to lie to you :)

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What is a very bad idea that usability professors call?

There are two different kinds of usability disasters, as Krug put its. There is the boss asking users for more information than what they really need and having more pizazz on the site.

It seems today that no matter what site you enter, they are always asking your for information or even just asking you to take a survey. How much personal information do the companies need? And are they using this information solely for them or are they selling it?

What once used to be a quick task has become a project. I wanted to subscribe to a Phillies newsletter and was bombarded with questions pertaining to my personal information.

Krug explains there are three downsides to companies asking for more information than what they know what to do with. (I also agree with these as well.)

When I see a site that is asking me for way too much information, I will lie to the site just so I can get what I want. Krug says that "as soon as people realize you're asking for more information than you need, they feel complety justified in lying to you" (182). So in turn, the companies get false information. In a way they sort of deserve. I'm allowed to lie to you then.

Also, the less data sites ask for, the more submissions the company will receive. People just don't have the time to fill out long forms.

And by asking users for too much information makes you not only look bad, but also needy I think. I look at it like if they are asking me for all of this information the company is either doing bad or they just don't know what they are doing.

Basically, when creating a site that requires users to fill out some personal information limit it to their name and e-mail address considering that is the most basic form of communication today.



Alex Hull said:

I hate giving more information than necessary. What other information does the site need besides my e-mail address? To get the newsletter to me, none. But for statistics, sites attempt to get more information.

I, too, am skeptical of what they are actually doing with the information. Just as Dr. Jerz mentioned in class earlier in the year, most sites sell the seemingly trivial information they collect from users. I like that you brought that point up in your blog.

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This page contains a single entry by West Coast Envy published on November 3, 2008 6:53 PM.

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