How Michigan Can Teach You About Feedback
I am browsing a website that claims to be an important resource for the “World’s Business Leaders” when I discover my quest for business enlightenment may soon reach Gilgamesh proportions.
Nearly every site link I click lands me on a blank page with only the top-navigation bar present, or worse yet, produces a full-screen advertisement that leads me nowhere. Being the helpful person I aspire to be, I proceed to look for a friendly Feedback or Make a Comment link (hoping, of course, that it works) to alert the appropriate parties of the error, and make a comment or two about those ads.
Here’s where I face the second challenge in my crusade for online business knowledge – I can’t find a link to a Feedback form anywhere. Nothing. Nada. Naught. Nil. Even the Contact Us link takes way too long to stumble across.
So, what do I do now? You guessed it. Adios. I’m searching for the next crucial, global business resource quicker than you can say “User-Friendly”. And at my next stop – The Official State of Michigan Website – I find the information I need along with a feedback form I can really sink my teeth into. It’s perfect. It asks me to kindly copy and paste the distasteful URL and error, provides me with a comment box to describe my objections and offer a peaceful solution, and even wants to know my browser type, obviously so a team of government webmasters can narrow down possible causes of the infraction. It’s short, sweet and, best of all, I don’t have to give my name. Like a lot of people, I like to remain as anonymous as possible.
I guess it all comes down to time. Webmasters can be so busy maintaining their web sites that they don’t always have the time they need to make sure the thing is actually functioning correctly. That’s where an easy-to-use Feedback page comes in handy. Similar to a restaurant comment card, a Feedback page can help point out what tastes bad in your cyber buffet. Sure, you will probably get a few mind-numbing rants about the salad bar sneeze-guard, but if you take user comments with a grain of salt, a Feedback page can offer extremely valuable information. And if you ask, people will even tell you exactly what changes and/or updates will make your website more useful to them, and to those who have yet to find their voice.
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