Don t make your customers think when they are trying to contact you!

There are two books that we often refer to when designing features for SupportBee - Steve Krug s Don t make think' and Robert Hoekman s 'Designing the obvious'.

It s 5 years since Don t make me think was published. But, there are businesses that still don t get it. It blows my mind to know how many services still make me think real hard when I am trying to do something as simple as reach out to them on their site.

There are two things that baffle me when I contact a service

1) The Feedback tab

Here s what I think when I come across a 'Feedback' tab: What if I want to convey something which is not a feedback? Is it appropriate to use the tab?

I am sure there are lot of users looking to just get in touch with a service. Wouldn t a Write to us or Contact Us look friendlier? Wouldn t that help a lot of users get in touch without having to think much?

2) The long list of categories

You click on a contact form and this is the drop-down list that confronts you

Choose category:

Bug Report

Feedback

Feature request

Sales and marketing

Other

Some simple questions that crowd my head when I have to pick a category:

  • Will my message be ignored if it is a feature request?
  • Should I mark it as a bug report so that they atleast they have a look at it?
  • What exactly happens if I mark it as Other ?
I cry Don t make me think!

I have a simple rule to pick categories: Choose the one that conveys urgency the most. By doing this, I am just making sure I am heard. Because, that s all I care about!

Businesses shouldn t make their customers think harder to make up for the inadequate staff or the lack of an intelligent backend tool. Users will make it a point to remain dumb which will defeat your purpose.

Nithya Rajaram

Nithya Rajaram