Monthly Archives: February 2007

Make Sure Your Website Contact Form Is Designed For Human Beings

If you cannot be reached, you will miss customers

Have you ever gone through the process like this:

  1. You read some familiar website and notice some errors that you’d wish to report. You would would also like give your suggestions on how to improve the service and how to improve the website usability (since they asked it in their site).
  2. You search and finally find their contact form and start filling the information
  3. After being asked your name, email, gender, pet name, favourite color, political opinions, eating habits, and whether you smoke or not you finally get to the actual ‘message’ part.
  4. You spend 25 minutes writing your text and finally hit the ‘submit’ button…
  5. …just to find out you get ‘Database error’
  6. You try to to click ‘Back’ button and get to the previous page that is refreshed and all information is gone.
  7. You leave the website thinking “No wonder they don’t have a clue what their customers want – we can’t even reach them!”

Make sure your contact form works – also after updates!

Okay, the above situation is bit exaggerated, but there are sites that have problems with their contact forms. Since you cannot find other contact info, you cannot reach them. Of course it’s natural to make errors, and missing pages is quite common one in the Internet. I’m quite sure that some of the links in this blog – since I started writing this roughly a year ago – have already expired or changed owners. There are tools that can check your links, but even those cannot fix everything (like contact forms).

It’s equally important to make sure your contact forms work when you do some major upgrades. If you switch your website host, there might be some different syntax in the way your code is handled – and this might break your form. Or perhaps you made some big backups and deleted some old files that somehow were in sync with the contact form. Anyone who has programmed knows how sometimes ‘mysterious things happen’, so it’s better to manually check your contact form rather than wish for the best.

Make sure your contact form works and that people can reach you. You never know when the opportunity would like to knock your door.