Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Push optional data entry as far back as you can

A great UX will ask for information only if it needs it...

"A friend recently asked me to beta test his new product. I’d heard about its development over the past few months so I was curious.

When it was finally time to sign up for the beta I dove right in. Well, I wanted to dive right in but the signup process was 5 steps of heavy forms with all sorts of questions that just didn’t seem relevant at the time. I’m sure they were relevant to the engineers who built the product, but they weren’t relevant to me. Why did they need to know which school I went to? Why did they need to know my gender?

That signup process solidified my long held belief: don’t ask for it if you really don’t need it. And I mean if you really don’t need it. There’s a world of difference between “nice to know now” and “need to know now.”

We’re staying true to this as we build Sunrise. Sunrise is about people. People have all sorts of data associated with them: phone numbers, email addresses, companies, job titles, addresses, etc. You know — everything a vCard can have. Lots of fields and lots of data. But how much of it do we really need to know up front? Just their name. And that’s all we’re asking for."   continued ...   (Via Signal vs. Noise)

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