Websites for Women – Common Mistakes – Part 2

Let’s say you’ve just met someone.  They seem nice enough. They tell you a little about themselves.   You start to build some rapport.   You seem to have some common interests and values.   Then they ask about you –

"What’s your name?"

"My name’s Holly"

"What’s your last name?

"Buchanan" I answer, though with a little hesitancy.

"Where do you live?" Ok – now I"m feeling uncomfortable.   I am very security conscious and don’t often give out that information unless it’s to a trusted source.

"What’s your phone number?"    "How much do you earn?"    It gets worse and worse.   I just met this person and they are asking me for all sorts of information.  It’s creeping me out.

When you ask people to submit information on your site, keep this scenario in mind.  How much information do you absolutely have to have?   Don’t ask for anything more, or if you do, make it optional.

Let’s look at our example.   

All_moms_go_to_heaven_nomination__2 All Moms Go to Heaven has a submission form where you can nominate a mom for recognition and a weekly prize drawing.  (note – page may have changed – see example to the left)

When visitors land on this page – they are asked for all sorts of information about themselves AND the person they are nominating.  Does AMGTH really need all of this information?   Could they simply ask for a first name and email for both the sender and the person that sender is nominating?  The less information they ask for, the more people will fill in the form.

The second problem with this form is that there is no privacy policy.  There is no explanation as to what All Moms Go to Heaven will do with your personal information.  And even more importantly, no explanation of what they will do with the nominated mom’s information.

Remember, women value relationships.   I am protective of my personal information, but I"m even MORE protective of my friend’s information.  That friend trusts me. I will not betray that trust by giving out her information to others.   I never click "email to a friend" unless there is a clear privacy policy stating what that company will do with my friend’s email address.

So remember, when it comes to forms, less is more.  Only ask for what you really need.  As you build the relationship, you can gain more information later.   And make sure you have a clear privacy policy explaining what you will do with her information, AND her friend’s information.

Read Websites for Women Part 1 – Creating an Effective Homepage

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2 Responses to Websites for Women – Common Mistakes – Part 2

  1. Right on! With great posts like these, you’re definitely on target for a book on the subject. Websites for Women!
    Great stuff!

  2. Just wanted to take time to thank you for this nice site. I found it by accident but I will return for sure. Lots of helpful information that I found very interesting. Thanks again.

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