i’m not a rock star

The first question on the FAQ is, “Where can I get his music?” I also used to have a note on the contact page saying that messages would not go to Chesney Hawkes. In spite of my efforts, I used to get several e-mails a week from people trying to find his music and others saying, “I love you, I’m your biggest fan.” This got to be rather annoying because I would either have to forward the email to Ches or reply with a link to the FAQ.

Since I’ve already discussed reading FAQs, I’ll explain how I solved the e-mail problem. I essentially took the “if you can’t beat’em, give up” approach by modifying the form to send e-mails to Ches by default. If someone wanted to e-mail the webmaster, they just select my name. This taught me a lesson that I’d like to share: It’s not the user’s fault. It’s only natural to want to e-mail him, after all, he’s what the site is all about. I was trying to force people to do something that didn’t make sense and it was failing miserably.

Since you can’t force people to do what you want, it’s your job to anticipate what they’ll do and to make it as easy as possible to do it. A good rule of thumb is that if you have to write instructions on how to use your site, you could probably find a better solution. For example, instead of having a tiny button at the bottom of a splash page with text saying, “click the button at the bottom of the page”, you could make a more prominent button that people will naturally use and get rid of the instructions. That will make the site less cluttered and if you swap the instructions with more easier to use components, people will be more likely to use it.


 (Post a comment) | Comments RSS feed
  1. I do feel your pain :)

    Comment by Tammie on August 23, 2002 @ 2:01 pm

Comments are closed