Thursday, June 30, 2011

Web tech support calls are a gold mine to web developers

Support calls provide tremendous insight into how people actually use your pages.

It's easy for a web developer to say that a user should understand how a page works; to say that their webpage is “intuitive”... “Who could possibly misunderstand this button?”.

It is a humbling experience to be on the phone with a user who is clicking around and “your site doesn't work”. It's helpful to learn that some people expect something to work a particular way and they are stopped in their tracks when it doesn't.

A quick for instance: I was on the phone with the customer asking them to use our search engine. She said,"the search engine didn't take them anywhere." As I inquired further, I realized she expected to click on a “search” button. Our site's search lacked a button (users hit the carriage return to perform the search). Inside the search field, at the right was a small (X) button, that allowed you to clear your search. She was using the (x) as if it were the “search” button and was confused as to why her search kept disappearing and the site “did nothing”. (Later I found out she was browsing our site from her Android phone, which is whole different conversation).

As a minimalist, I may not add a search button since one is not required, but I will likely remove the clear button as it is of little benefit and potentially problematic.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment we will post as soon as we get a chance to review it.