It's disapointing that there aren't more good web samaritans, but it's not
surprising. I suspect most users don't know how to report the problem, and
since there is no personal interaction, there isn't the same feeling of
obligation to mention things as one might do if someone left their car
Part of it though is the site itself - It is possible on the error page the
site provides to offer the ability for the user to report the broken link
with a single click. If sites made it easy and obvious to report them, more
folks would do it.
About 5 minutes ago when I went to Zona research to find that browser
information, I hit a broken link. I was somewhat disapointed, but my first
instinct was to go find another site that could give me the same
information. My loyalty to the average web site is quite low, since it's so
easy to find another one that offers a similiar service. After reading your
post, I think I'll go back and report the problem - maybe you've instilled a
sense of web guilt in me :)
The other thing this made me thing of was web sites as products - For any
software product I've worked on, after betas, we don't really expect most
users to call us up or send email about bugs they find. We provide ways to
do it and we encourage it (I think it's
http://support.microsoft.com/support/feedback/) but a minority do for
whatever reason. I'd hope that most web site management tools these days
automate reporting of broken links to the webmaster, much like software
developers have automated test tools that report certain kinds of similiar
From: John S. Rhodes [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 1999 9:03 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: User feedback...nope!
I recently created a generic Web site to test out a few ideas I have had
about affiliate programs and user feedback. I'll not say much about the
affiliate programs since I'm still collecting data. However, I wanted to
tell the group about my experiences with user feeback on the site.
I deliberately placed 3 broken images on the index page. I am amazed that
over the course of three weeks, with 175 unique users (229 total), that not
one person has e-mailed me to tell me that the site had problems.
It gets worse. Of those 175 unique users, I sent 6 of them! That is, I told
6 people about the site, they visited it, and said that it looked fine. I
pressed them about the page, without giving anything away about my true
intentions, and they persisted. They said the content was good, and that the
site was useful. Not a word about the broken images. Yikes.
What have others found? What does this indicate?
John S. Rhodes ** mailto:[log in to unmask] ** http://WebWord.com/
Usability Professional, Internet Strategist, Information Architect
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