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Carolyn Snyder <[log in to unmask]>
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Carolyn Snyder <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 5 Feb 1999 15:10:50 +0000
text/plain (37 lines)
> But if they're using free content, how acceptable would it be to
> take them through a page of 3-4 questions before first time access?

We usability tested a prototype of a travel web site that offered a
new type of service. The original design required users to enter a
name and e-mail address to access the site. This was a show-stopper -
7 out of 7 users were unwilling to do this and would have either
left the site or provided bogus information (the team changed the

I think the problem was that the site hadn't provided any value
before asking for personal information. Imagine walking into a
clothing store and having a sales rep approach you and ask for your
address before you'd even decided whether you were interested in the
merchandise. Even if the content is free, how and when do users
determine that it has value to them?

It's my belief that people are willing to provide personal
information in proportion to the value they perceive from the site,
but the site had better win the users' trust first, especially if
they have alternate sources for the information. But there are a lot
of specifics involved - probably the only way to get a handle on the
issues of trust and perceived value is by having users test the


  Carolyn Snyder                User Interface Engineering
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