Don’t make it hard for users to tell you what they want
Feedback is important. It usually tells you what you did wrong and if you’re lucky what you did right. I really like it when users reach to me and ask questions, make remarks and suggestions. That is exactly the whole point. I’m trying my best to make their experience on my products as simple and as useful as possible.
Everybody has to learn from their mistakes. I have to thank one really persistent user for pointing out the most elementary flaw possible.
One of my projects is a site called myLPG.eu that is all about alternative fuel LPG in Europe (fuel stations, prices, adapters, etc.). There were some sites that provided some of that data, but I couldn’t find any that could be really user friendly and with a map of fuel stations, so I’ve done it myself.
I thought everything was going smoothly, the basic functionalities were working without any problems and I could start adding more advanced features when suddenly I received an e-mail telling me one comment is waiting for my moderation on this blog. This wasn’t just an usual comment about a blog post. A user from myLPG.eu tried to contact me and give me rather important information but he couldn’t reach me through the contact form on the page. I still can’t reproduce the problem and I would be really glad if he would have told me what the problem on the comment was (he wrote a fake e-mail address). After that error on the contact form I believe almost everyone would just blame the page author and move on. But not Eric. He took the time to find the Author page, followed the link to this blog and used the most relevant blog post to submit the message he wanted me to read.
Because by default very little percentage of users actually take the time to help you build better products, every user counts and you can’t afford any malfunction of the means to contact you. The least I could do was to put my e-mail address below the contact form. Maybe I will get more spam, but just maybe I will get a helpful mail I couldn’t afford not getting.
PS: Eric, if you’re reading this, I would really like to thank you. You are the user everybody wants.