The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption

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Here’s a compilation of silly and stupid ways companies are hindering adoption of their products and services. I must admit, some of the companies that I’ve invested in have made these mistakes—in fact, that’s why I know these mistakes are (a) silly; (b) stupid; and (c) hinder adoption.

  1. Enforced immediate registration. Requiring a new user to register and provide a modicum of information is a reasonable request—I just think you should do it after you’ve sucked the person in. Most sites require that registration is the first step, and this puts a barrier in front of adoption. At the very least, companies could ask for name and email address but not require it until a later time.

    A good example of a site that does the right thing is Netvibes. It allows you to do a high level of customization without registering. (Thanks to Glenn Kelman)

  2. The long URL. When you want to send people an URL the site generates an URL that’s seventy characters long—or more! When you copy, paste, and email this URL, a line break is added, so people cannot click on it to go to the intended location.

    Here’s an URL for a billiard table copied and pasted from the CostCo site. Just how many billiard-table models could CostCo be selling?

    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11197553&search=billiard%20table&Sp=S&Mo=8&cm_re=1-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&N=0&whse=BC&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=All&Dr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ne=4000000&D=billiard%20table&Ntt=billiard%20table&No=0&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Nty=1&topnav=&s=1

    The justification often goes like this: “We create a long URL because people with Crays might break our code and see private pages. Seventy characters that can be twenty-six lower case letters, twenty-six upper case letters, or ten numbers ensures that no one can break our code since the possible combinations outnumber the quantity of atoms in the universe.” This is what keeps sites like TinyUrl and SnipURL in business.

    Also, speaking of URLs, it’s good to have an easy naming convention for URLs. MySpace, for example, creates easy-to-remember URLs like http://www.myspace.com/guykawasaki.


  3. Test: Can people communicate your site’s URLs to others over the phone?

    Extra credit: People using Verizon and can do this despite its coverage.


  4. Windows that don’t generate URLs. Have you ever wanted to point people to a page, but the page has no URL? You’ve got a window open that you want to tell someone about, but you’d have to write an essay to explain how to get that window open again. Did someone at the company decide that it didn’t want referrals, links, and additional traffic? This is the best argument I can think of for not using frames.

  5. The unsearchable web site. Some sites that don’t allow people to search. This is okay for simple sites where a site map suffices, but that’s seldom the case. If your site has a site map that goes deeper than one level, it probably needs a search box.

  6. Sites without Digg, del.icio.us, and Fark bookmarks. There’s no logic that I can think of why a company would not want its fans to bookmark its pages. And yet many companies don’t make this possible. When my blog hits the front page of Digg, page views typically increase by a factor of six or seven times. It’s true that the Digg effect wears off quickly, but some new readers stick around and that’s a good thing.

  7. Limiting contact to email. Don’t get me wrong: I love email. I live and die by email, but there are times I want to call the company. Or maybe even snail mail something to it. I’ve found many companies only allow you to send an email via a web form in the “Contact Us” page. Why don’t companies call this page “Don’t Contact Us” and at least be honest?

  8. Lack of feeds and email lists. When people are interested in your company, they will want to receive information about your products and services. This should be as easy as possible—meaning that you provide both email and RSS feeds for content and PR newsletters.

  9. Requirement to re-type email addresses. How about the patent-pending, curve-jumping, VC-funded Web 2.0 company that wants to you to share content but requires you to re-type the email addresses of your friends?

    I have 7,703 email addresses in Entourage. I am not going to re-type them into the piece-of-shiitake, done-as-an-afterthought address book that companies build into their products. If nothing else, companies can use this cool tool from Plaxo or allow text imports into the aforementioned crappy address book. When do you suppose a standard format will emerge for transferring contacts?

  10. User names cannot contain the “@” character. In other words, a user name cannot be your email address. I am a member of hundreds of sites. I can’t remember if my user name is kawasaki, gkawasaki, guykawasaki, or kawasaki3487. I do know what my email address is, so just let me use that as my user name.

  11. Case sensitive user names and passwords. I know: user names and passwords that are case sensitive are more secure, but I’m more likely to type in my user name and password incorrectly. One of the funniest moments of a demo is when a company’s CEO can’t sign into her own account because she didn’t put in the proper case of her user name or password. I’ve seen it happen.

  12. Friction-full commenting. “Moderated comments” is an oxymoron. If your company is trying to be a hip, myth-busting, hypocrisy-outing joint, then it should let anyone comment. Here’s an example of one such policy:

    Q. Who can leave comments on GullyHag

    A. Anyone who has been invited, either by us or by a friend. The invite system works like Gmail. We’ve invited a bunch of our favorite execs, bloggers, and friends to comment, then given them invitations to share with their friends and colleagues. That way, the burden of inclusion, and exclusion, is shared.

    The concept that people have to be invited to post comments is pathetic—if you hold yourself out as a big cojones company, then act like it. Even the concept that one has to register to post a comment is lousy. There have been many times that I started to leave a comment on a blog but stopped when I realized that I’d have to register.

  13. windowsliveid.jpg
    Yahoo.jpg

  14. Unreadable confirmation codes. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t support spam or robots creating accounts. A visual confirmation graphic system is a good thing, but many are too difficult to read. For example, this is what I got when trying to create a Yahoo! account. Is that an uppercase “X”? Is the last character an “s,” “5,” or “S”? Maybe this only affects old people like me, but it seems that all one merely has to prove is that you’re not a robot so a little bit of fuzziness should be good enough. For example, if the code is “ghj1lK” and someone who enters “ghj11K” is close enough.

  15. Emails without signatures. There have been many times that I wanted to immediately call the sender or send him something, but there’s no signature. Also, when I book an appointment with a person, I like to put in his contact information in case I need to change it. Communication would be so much easier if everyone put a complete signature in their email that contains their name, company, address, phone, and email address.

    On a corporate level, communication would be so much easier if companies stop sending emails with a warning not to respond because the sender’s address is not monitored. I don’t mean they should not include the warning. I mean they should monitor the address.

  16. Supporting only Windows Internet Explorer. Actually, I’m not nearly as vehement about this as you might think. Supporting Macintosh, Safari, and other Windows browsers is a lot of work, so this is your call. If you define your market as only the people who use Windows Internet Explorer, so be it. You may have to really invest some effort into this one, but all the other items in this list are stupidly simple.


By | 2016-10-24T14:22:38+00:00 January 29th, 2007|Categories: Marketing and Sales|Tags: |148 Comments

About the Author:

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of Social Media, The Art of the Start, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

148 Comments

  1. Mike Sansone January 29, 2007 at 3:51 am - Reply

    Pop-up or floating adverts. I won’t share those bookmark or share a link to sites that have ’em (only rare circumstances). Excellent checklist!

  2. Bardo N. Nelgen January 29, 2007 at 4:32 am - Reply

    Hint on searchability, Guy :
    Try searching your blog for “businessplan” using the search box…
    The presence of a search function alone doesn’t solve it. 😉
    Greets,
    Bardo
    *****************
    Bardo:
    Hint: try spelling things right: “business plan”. 🙂
    Guy

  3. Peter Davis January 29, 2007 at 4:36 am - Reply

    Here’s another one…. people who put long lines of consecutive characters without spaces so that you have to scroll way to the right in your feed reader to see the whole post.
    Example: http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/01/the_top_ten_stu.html
    **************
    Peter,
    A blogger can do only what his blogging service allows him to do. 🙂
    Guy

  4. Les January 29, 2007 at 5:29 am - Reply

    Thanks Guy for the great list. I think I may be guilty of a few of those, but will keep them in mind in my pursuit as an amateur entrepreneur. I have to admit that I originally came in from digg but now subscribe to your feed.

  5. Amit Doshi January 29, 2007 at 5:30 am - Reply

    The url-less windows…I HATE those. Not just cause I cant send someone a link, to me the more irritating thing is when I cant open a window in a background tab for Opera or firefox.

  6. Randy January 29, 2007 at 5:32 am - Reply

    Here’s one: Web pages without the easy format print link. I hate it!

  7. John Dodds January 29, 2007 at 5:36 am - Reply

    Terrific list which confirms that it’s just not me being super-picky, but aren’t you guilty of contravening the contactability point?
    **************
    John,
    I never said I did everything right. 🙂
    Guy

  8. yogesh mujumdar January 29, 2007 at 5:42 am - Reply

    Good checklist. A small typo in point 4, “needs needs” 🙂
    ***************
    Thanks for the catch. I fixed.
    Guy

  9. b0j3 January 29, 2007 at 5:43 am - Reply

    And I hate it when a company supports only ASCII characters.
    What the hell happend to utf-8.
    My name is Boštjan and not Bostjan, Bo jan or even Boejan.

  10. Owen Cutajar January 29, 2007 at 6:16 am - Reply

    Good post. Most of those are bugbears of mine especially number 3 (I hate framed websites for example) and number 12 (Argh!!!)

  11. Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Blog January 29, 2007 at 6:27 am - Reply

    Buzz Killers – Market Adoption

    If you create a lot of buzz, you still have to be able to get people to convert.  They either need to purchase your product or service, or if you are an Internet Company, you need to get them to start using your webiste and its tools.
    Guy Kawas…

  12. Eric Pennington January 29, 2007 at 6:37 am - Reply

    As always, thanks for the great information. I think many (individuals and organizations) fall into the human trap of focusing inward and not outward. Customers, fans, communities are always outward.

  13. Laura January 29, 2007 at 6:38 am - Reply

    That’s quite an impressive list… I hope stupidity is not infinite 🙂 …

  14. Pop Stalin Design January 29, 2007 at 6:59 am - Reply

    I absolutely HATE the whole “Unreadable confirmation codes” thing and they seem to be spreading like wildfire across the Internet.
    If they actually make them readable to the end-user does this stop preventing spam-bots?

  15. Epic Living January 29, 2007 at 7:06 am - Reply

    Walking in the Customer’s Shoes

    Guy Kawasaki has a great post today about The Top Ten Ways to Hinder Market Adaption. I learned a few things for my online pursuits, but I also came away encouraged that someone else in the universe feels my same

  16. Robert 'Groby' Blum January 29, 2007 at 7:11 am - Reply

    I agree with most of your points, but let me comment on a few of them.
    #5 – Fark/Digg/whatnot shortcuts. Some people do care about design. Those buttons are absolutely *hideous*. As long as you consciously choose design over increased traffic, I think it’s a valid choice.
    #11 – Moderated comments. They might be necessary in the face of spam. I’m running a *tiny* blog, (<4K page views/month), and I get enough spam to consider moderation. (Anything with too many links is already held in the mod queue) BTW: How do *you* handle spam? I'd like to see you write on that 😉
    #12 - Captchas. Yes, they're ugly. But necessary, in the face of spam. And if you make them more forgiving, they won't work. They're as bad as they're now because spammers actually use OCR to decipher them. Again, if there's a better way to handle spammers, I'd like to hear it. (Since you're using them, too, I figure they're your first line of defense, too)

  17. K January 29, 2007 at 7:16 am - Reply

    Great list…here’s two more.
    As someone with a hyphenated name (and there are many of us out there), how about websites not allowing e-mail addies, oh, and names with hyphens?
    Or how about having no e-mail addie, just the contact page template? Great, so how (as a backup freak) am I supposed to keep a log of my issues?

  18. Martin-Éric January 29, 2007 at 7:23 am - Reply

    There’s nothing I hate more than sites that:
    1) only allow alphanumeric characters for the login name,
    2) are Unicode-unaware for the full name or contact info sections,
    3) consider an e-mail address with punctuation marks as invalid and ask the user to register from another “valid” address.
    Case in point:
    My full name requires accented characters and a punctuation mark. My e-mail address features that punctuation mark, while my full name adds the accented character.
    Even worse is blending both: a full name with accented characters using a Latin script that must be an exact match for whatever appears on my credit card, with a shipping address that follows a format different from the local practice in the company’s country of operation or, even worse, that must be written in a Cyrillic script.
    Forget it! While most European sites tend to take reasonable precautions to enable this via UTF-8 encoding, the majority of popular Web 2.0 sites simply has no knowledge of life outside the universe of the US postal address format and of the ASCII character-set.
    Bonus pet peeve: career-oriented sites that either have no way to list linguistic skills at all or that only allow selecting languages for which their User Interface has been translated. DOH!

  19. Dennis Whittle January 29, 2007 at 7:38 am - Reply

    Guy,
    Humorous and on target as usual.
    In light of your point 14 (Supporting only Windows Internet Explorer), I found the following error message on the Plaxo Contact tool (your point 8) amusing:
    “Outlook/Outlook Express auto-import requires IE with ActiveX enabled.”
    And I actually disagree with the tepidness with which you make point 14. Unlike Safari, MANY people use Firefox only, and hate IE.
    Dennis
    www.globalgiving.com – Give Direct. Change the World.

  20. Brian Bush January 29, 2007 at 7:39 am - Reply

    Between Macintosh users and PC FireFox users, that’s what, 30% of the internet? How is that a reasonable portion of the market to ignore? Last time I checked my logs IE 6/7 was only about 60% of net traffic.
    Plus, those thirty percent will largely immediately form a bad impression of a company that standardizes on IE. I don’t think it’s an option at this point.

  21. Glenn Kelman January 29, 2007 at 7:59 am - Reply

    Great post.
    One suggestion: it’s not just press releases that can be distributed by RSS, it’s your service itself. For example, if your service is an electronics site, you could offer to syndicate updates about the TV someone bought via RSS.

  22. Dummy Boy January 29, 2007 at 8:01 am - Reply

    As for #1: I guess people use discardable emails and bugmenot-likes
    As for #12 (captchas), I loathe the day when we shall have things a la Ishihara colorblindness tests to fool the bots.
    Is it a 25 or 29 or…
    That’d be also funny if there were captchas with exotic characters (“Spot the right kanji game”)

  23. Mike Cohen January 29, 2007 at 8:01 am - Reply

    #12 really irritates me. I also really hate popup ads that manage to bypass firefox’s popup blocker.

  24. Oscar Trelles January 29, 2007 at 8:07 am - Reply

    Thanks for reminding us of the basics!
    I agree to every one of your points, to different degrees. However, a few of them shouldn’t be considered a must, like those related to “contactability.” In some cases, available infrastructure may limit the way a business/person can be contacted. Or some are just too afraid of spammers and telemarketers 😉

  25. PaulSweeney January 29, 2007 at 8:15 am - Reply

    Nit picking I know but:
    – Sites that make you download their specific player;
    – No “progress button” to tell you how soon your app/video/whatever will play, launch, install;
    – Registrations that go over the one page, and don’t this (ever gone through a questionnaire that you thought was a registration process?)

  26. Bob January 29, 2007 at 8:23 am - Reply

    #6 would be among my top pet peeves from your list. As a housing counselor with a focus on foreclosure prevention, there is nothing worse than trying to get in touch with a mortgage company that doesn’t put any other contact information on its website. The best ones not only put contact info, but also the forms that people need when they are trying to get help. We even post links to those documents (or the pdf’s themselves) on our site so that we can access them quickly and easily. If others benefit too, that’s great. Unfortunately, we’ve only got about six listed because most lenders don’t post their docs.

  27. paul January 29, 2007 at 8:25 am - Reply

    1. MySpace’s URLs are the worst. Why do I need “http://home.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user&Mytoken=hlibIN,bcINhwgNvKkK” when I can have just www.myspace.com? Or “http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=3841284&blogID=221986862&Mytoken=B9FD7369-299D-445A-817F73DE78E7033413882588” when I can have blog.myspace.com/jagstar/2007/01/mtvs-the-hills?
    2. Sites that restrict usernames to 12 characters. (Friendster, LinkedIn, I’m talking to you.) “paulschreibe” is not as interesting or as useful as “paulschreiber.”
    3. Sites that allow only alphanumeric passwords. Hey, it’s just a VARCHAR(100). Let me use a % if I want — that’s more secure.

  28. paul January 29, 2007 at 8:27 am - Reply

    Randy: You shouldn’t need a separate link for a print version. If the site uses CSS correctly, you can just hit “Print” and get a properly-formatted page.

  29. heri Rakotomalala January 29, 2007 at 8:33 am - Reply

    i think digg, fark and del.icio.us links are overrated. They force you to write sensationalist and inaccurate titles, their audience is on the low-end and act like a mob (me-too i hate windows, me-too i am a fan of kevin rose). Sure you get a traffic spike, but they dont really add to a business (teenagers kids dont have a credit card or buying power). They are great though to announce news, like a tech gadget coming out, or to build hype.

  30. Ken January 29, 2007 at 8:53 am - Reply

    I love Guy’s Top Ten lists becuase there are always more than ten items. It’s like getting stuff for free!

  31. Steve Muench January 29, 2007 at 9:05 am - Reply

    How about automated email responses that are contradictory and confusing?
    For example, in Guy’s recent SpinVox offer, I got an email on Friday from SpinVox saying I had received one of Guy’s accounts. But, just today I got another email saying thanks for your interest, but the accounts were all filled.
    To be completely honest, SpinVox is still offering some sort of account in the second email, but it’s not clear what exactly it is and how it’s different from what they told me they were giving in the first email.
    And truthfully, while I do understand it’s being given for free, it is also a marketing ploy to ‘create buzz’. If you’re not organized with something like this, then it is very easy to create the wrong kind of buzz.

  32. david January 29, 2007 at 9:07 am - Reply

    re: Unreadable confirmation codes…
    You do realize, of course, that your own site requires the entry of (largely) unreadable confirmation codes when posting comments (as a non-subscriber).

  33. Mark Johnson January 29, 2007 at 9:11 am - Reply

    About “businessplan” above: requiring proper spelling is too restrictive. How do you know Bardo meant “business plan” when he typed “businessplan”? Why shouldn’t your search system understand the same?
    Also, on the question of readable confirmation codes:
    – Use base 32 encoding for validation strings. (See http://www.crockford.com/wrmg/base32.html.)
    – Choose your font to minimize ambiguity.
    – Beware of color (colorblind people may not be able to tell background from foreground).
    – Check your images for legibility by someone with limited vision.
    – Provide a quick way to get a new code if the current code being viewed is illegible.
    – Be sure there’s an alternate route for accessibility or browsers with images off.
    Nice post.

  34. David Dunham January 29, 2007 at 9:17 am - Reply

    Nice list, but: “Supporting Macintosh, Safari, and other Windows browsers is a lot of work” — it is? There’s this thing called “standards.” An awful lot of sites do seem to be able to use them and avoid Microsoft’s proprietary stuff.

  35. joe January 29, 2007 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Great list… and I know my company is guilty of at least a couple of those 🙁 I disagree with #5 and #11 however.
    I feel a lot of sites publish content that is not relevant to the social bookmarking audience. Guy Kawasaki’s top 10 lists may be digg bait, but most “cat blogs” do not qualify. If the site’s users are not tech-savvy, then the majority of them don’t have digg/delicious accounts anyway.
    For #11, if a site is providing a blogging platform, then gating comments makes sense. I don’t want to subject my users to have to moderate comments from potential spammers.
    * runs off to check how many of the other items we violate *

  36. Kenny Backus January 29, 2007 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Just so you know, the reason why confirmation codes (captchas) are sometimes hard to read is because a very clever spambot might be able to read even significantly garbled text. I think what website designers are booking on is that if users can’t read it the first time, they will just put it in wrong and be given a new one which they can manage to read.
    I think it’s really annoying, too. I’ve seen some captchas that are easier than others. I’ve also very rarely seen similar reverse-Turing tests that ask a question like “If George Washington owned a white horse, what was the color of George Washington’s horse?” which would require a level of artificial intelligence which is likely not to exist in spambots for a long while.

  37. Jaya Schillinger January 29, 2007 at 10:01 am - Reply

    Thanks for reminding me to put my phone number on my blog today–not just my website. (doh!)
    Totally agree with #11 too!
    One of my favorite blogs, LifeHacker will only let approved “members” comment. And you have to jump through hoops of proving how witty or useful you are to get the ok. It’s insulting to readers–you’re considered stupid until proven worthy!

  38. Steve Muench January 29, 2007 at 10:22 am - Reply

    re: SpinVox confusion I posted about earlier – SpinVox sent out an email saying they were having email problems, so I guess it’s resolved.
    Pretty good customer service then.

  39. OffBeatMammal January 29, 2007 at 10:43 am - Reply

    Stupid ways to hinder market adoption

    I don’t usually just link to someone else’s post to say “read this” but Guy Kawasaki often hits the nail

  40. kevin January 29, 2007 at 10:48 am - Reply

    You don’t NEED a captcha to prevent spam on a form. In fact, I tore out all my captchas and use a series of tests that seem to work better, no user interactions, no extra forms to type in, etc…
    0 spam in the past 2 months, 0 complaints. I’m sure it’s not perfect, but I HATE captcha.

  41. meneame.net January 29, 2007 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Las 10 (14) cosas más estúpidas de los webs (corporativos)

    Guy Kawaski lista las catorce peores cosas que se pueden hacer en un web para dificultar su adopción y divulgación. Bastante lógico y razonable. En España –especialmente a administración y bancos– deberían mirar sobre todo la #14, y el Menéame con su l…

  42. engtech January 29, 2007 at 11:18 am - Reply

    Great article.
    For #5 a reason not to include Digg links is because parts of the Digg community consider “non-Digg-worthy” articles to be spam. Get enough of them submitted to Digg and you could join the large list of people/companies who have been banned from Digg by the user community.
    For #12, TypePad is the *worst* for this by a long shot. Every time I leave a comment on a Typepad hosted blog I get the cringe when I see the captcha. One of my predictions for 2007 was that Typepad captcha would reach the point where we’d need to use a computer to decode it 🙂 http://engtech.wordpress.com/2007/01/04/tech-and-blogging-predictions-for-2007/

  43. Narcissique blog January 29, 2007 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Choses à ne pas faire lorsque que l’on conçoit un site internet

    Voici une liste (en anglais) des choses à ne pas faire lorsque que l’on conçoit un site internet – c’est par ici. L’article souligne des erreurs que l’ont rencontre (trop) souvent. Par exemple : il ne faut pas forcer l’utilisateur à

  44. Penguin Pete January 29, 2007 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    On #5: At first, I considered adding bookmark buttons. I got to considering 5, then 10, then saw sites with 20 and 30… I’ll be durned if I’m going to weight my page down with a (eventually) hundred icons per post! I ended up going through a bookmarker site. Currently I use addthis.com – it took some fishing to find a site that offers a recognizable graphic that people know.
    On #12: As an earlier commenter pointed out, the “arms race” of spammers and bloggers is leveling. Check around and you’ll find a few programs already using OCR techniques to defeat CAPTCHAs. Currently I have my own hand-hacked system which uses POVray to generate color 3D images – 3D letters turned slightly with a color-noise background – which are much harder to hack and yet easier for people to read. The day is coming when I will want a question system instead, however, since CAPTCHAs also exclude the handicapped.
    Can I add: Show allowable HTML tags near the comment form? Save commenters the trouble of experimenting.

  45. Neil McDonnell, PMP January 29, 2007 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Way to get back up on the horse after Friday. 🙂 I wonder if you wrote this before all that craziness.
    I’m confident that I’m an idea person; I’m a visionary. Though, sometimes my ideas suck, have been out there for years or are too grandious to be executed. 🙂 So, in light of point #12, let me throw this out to the masses and hope for a soft beating.
    Why aren’t these security measures designed with actual pictures of, say, an apple? There would be a picture plus four random words and the word “apple” in a list that you must choose from. How hard is that to create? Pretty easy. But, how about the security…will it fight spammers successfully?
    This post really should be submitted to the WSJ for their inclusion. A lot of their readership are the typical violators of your Top Ten list today.

  46. stan January 29, 2007 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    “Supporting Macintosh, Safari, and other Windows browsers is a lot of work” only if you are an incompetent coder/designer with no knowledge of web standards. Cross-platform incompatibility is inexcusable.

  47. Website Security Services January 29, 2007 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    #10 is a tricky one. By removing case sensitivity you reduce the password alphabet size by as much as half. This means to achieve the same level of security you need to double the length of the password.
    These days a password needs to be about 8-10 characters long for decent security. By forcing case-insensitivity, you’re looking at a 16-20 character password – and that should be random, not some phrase.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if that hinders adoption somewhat. Also, most people won’t double their password lengths. In that case the time taken to brute force the password will be the square root of that required for the case sensitive passwords (assuming their well chosen).
    Security is a way to manage business risk. The suggestions you give are similarly ways to manage business risk – they reduce the risk of the potential customer getting annoyed. I think you need to determine what is the greater risk – putting all of your users at a greatly increased risk of account theft (only mitigated through a the great inconvenience of doubling their password sizes), or somewhat inconveniencing the (I’d suspect small) percentage of your users who struggle with case-sensitivity.

  48. Alfred Toh from Payscroll.com January 29, 2007 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    Wow.. your top tens are really good. I’m going to read it over ten times 😉 ok. maybe not. but we will keep those in mind when we going into alpha soon.
    Thanks!

  49. Justin Cook January 29, 2007 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    I agree with you on everything except for the non-case-sensitive passwords.
    I think the passwords should be exact, precise, and encrypted. People expect that.

  50. David Bradley January 29, 2007 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    I re-worded my “all comments are moderated” line after reading your tips, so that it now says all comments are posted as soon as possible after spam filtering.
    Does what it says on the tin and will hopefully put fewer people off commenting than the implication that they might be censored, which they won’t.
    Thanks for a great post.

  51. Conversation Agent January 29, 2007 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    Conversation @ Work

    Ever had one of those days in which all conversations seem to lead to the same place? I’ve been having one of those months. Lately it seems that more and more organizations forget what they’ve learned in the past and proceed to start over every day — …

  52. Klaumbaz January 29, 2007 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Number 12 is my pet peeve. Yahoo personals require it to send a wink. It’s why nobody is on Yahoo.
    Keep up the good work.

  53. Morgan Ramsay January 29, 2007 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    Between Macintosh users and PC FireFox users, that’s what, 30% of the internet? How is that a reasonable portion of the market to ignore? Last time I checked my logs IE 6/7 was only about 60% of net traffic.

    Those statistics don’t mean bollocks. What does matter is your particular audience. Face it, your “total addressable market” is not your actual market. I operate igda-sandiego.org where 22% of the visitors use Internet Explorer and 18% use Firefox. The other 60% are either bots or outlier browsers such as Safari and Opera.
    Wisdom: Entertain your audience, feed the hungry, etc.

    Enforced immediate registration.

    This requirement isn’t “silly and stupid” if the purpose of the requirement is to hinder mass-market adoption. For example, Game Illuminati is an online community for game developers to which people gain access only through invitation. aSmallWorld is an online country club for celebrities and the rich. These exclusive websites take “enforced” and “immediate” registration to the extreme.

    The unsearchable web site.

    This is sometimes necessary to limit CPU usage. You, of course, don’t have to worry about server issues because you have top-of-the-line hosting and shiploads of disposable income.

    When my blog hits the front page of Digg, page views typically increase by a factor of six or seven times.

    Yeah, but with more than 55 million bogs, remember that most do do not hit the front page of Digg. You’re special. As for del.icio.us, people who use del.icio.us can use the browser-integrated toolbar.

  54. Matt C January 29, 2007 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    re: point #14 I’ve found that “supporting” Internet Explorer is a tremendous amount of work.
    There are objective ways to measure compliance with W3C’s HTML rendering standards, and IE is the absolute worst in every comparison.
    So it’s not those “other browsers” that are the problem. Breaking my site code in the specific ways IE wants me to costs about 15% of my development time.

  55. frank January 29, 2007 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    I am just seeing if number 11 is true for this blog.
    I guess not, but you still have #12.
    Long live trying to sell things on your blog!

  56. Craig's Linked List January 29, 2007 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption

    Guy Kawasaki is another one of my favorite bloggers (of the ones I dont know personally). Hes a technically-savvy business guy and venture capitalist. To me, he represents the other side (ie: marketing) to a business (versus…

  57. Annon January 29, 2007 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    = The Top Ten Things That Mildly Annoy Me When I’m Surfing (?)

  58. kaykfrink January 29, 2007 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Re: Number 10 and Website Security Services
    I agree with number ten based both on the fact that is simplifies password entry and remembrance, but also because you really don’t loose that much security. If you halve the number of characters, you don’t need to double the length of the password to make up for it, you just need to add one. The math of passwords is exponential, not multiplicative. If, for example, you allow lower and upper case characters, plus the digits 0-9, each character in a password can be one of 62 possibilities. Now say somebody makes a four character long password. The number of possible passwords at that length is 62 ^ 4 = 14,776,336. If you take away the upper case letters, you now have 36 ^ 4 = 1,679,616 possibilities. If you just increase the length to 5 though, you now have 36 ^ 5 = 60,466,176 possibilities, and you have more than made up for the loss of possible characters.

  59. David Magda January 29, 2007 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Sites that do not allow ‘+’ in the e-mail address. It’s perfectly valid according to the RFCs and it allows me to filter things on my end. So something like
    dmagda+jan29_2007@ee.ryerson.ca
    or
    dmagda+test_com@ee.ryerson.ca
    allows me to track where things come from, and if I ever start getting junk from one particular place creating a filter is dead simple.

  60. Etaoin Shrdlu January 29, 2007 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    Another no-no is not allowing “+” characters in e-mail addresses.
    “Plussed” addresses (like all GMAIL) addresses allow characters following the “+” to be ignored, thus giving a convenient way of tagging addresses to see if the website sells the e-mail addresses it collects to spammers.
    For example, one could say his address is “BozoTezino+BiggySoft@webmail.con” whenever registering on the Biggysoft website.
    Any mail not pertaining to Biggysoft products received but sent to “BozoTezino+BiggySoft@webmail.con” would be a dead giveaway that Biggysoft sells their contacts to spammers.

  61. Kefka January 29, 2007 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    Captchas are evil. They limit computer use for people with disabilities. 🙁

  62. Shareware Software January 29, 2007 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Good Tips! Thank You!

  63. Extra Character January 29, 2007 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Good blog Guy. Your “The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption” list contained twelve of my pet peeves.

  64. Dan January 29, 2007 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    I agree in part, but not all sites are trying to achieve the same goals. The site I work for used to include del.icio.us and digg links, but took them off because they generated worthless traffic. Similarly, email and RSS feeds are not fundamentally necessary if your content doesn’t lend itself naturally to these technologies.

  65. John C. Randolph January 29, 2007 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    The #1 offender for item #1 is the real estate business. Pushy, pushy, pushy.
    -jcr

  66. pixelchutes January 29, 2007 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Guy,
    Great list! Many of the points made here can be the difference between conversion %, # registered, $ bottom line, etc.
    These methodologies are indeed catered to an evolving WWW–2.0 or not–and have additional, unmentioned benefits, as well.
    Cheers!

  67. Wayne Botha January 29, 2007 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    Agree on the need for search function for large sites. I dislike the search functions that bring back many, many hits from within a website. How many important documents can a search from a retailer have? I would like to see a standard for seach engine functionality on websites.

  68. Mike Maddaloni January 29, 2007 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    Hi Guy – This is a great list – you had problems with Verizon too? That’s why I switched to T-Mobile, but I digress.
    In response to #14 – developing a truly cross-browser may be a lot of work, but the reason it is not done is usually laziness or lack of awareness of one’s audience. If you’re a PC shop, picking up a Mac Mini is small money to cross-test your sites.

  69. PMThink! Project Management Thought Leadership January 29, 2007 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Customer Orientation: Friction-Free Process

    Guy lists ten mistakes that add friction to the user adoption process, that highlights a lack of customer orientation. We’ve all been there before. …

  70. Website Security Services January 29, 2007 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Re: #10 and kaykfrink
    You’re right on this. If you halve the size of the alphabet you need to increase the length of your password by one bit (rather than one character). For short passwords this is more than covered by a single additional character.
    Note that for longer passwords you may need to add several characters to get an equivalent level of security. For instance if your case-insensitive alphabet has 32 characters (reduced from say 64, for the sake of argument), one extra character will make up for halving the alphabet of a password with 5 characters or less, since a 5 bit string has 32 possible values.
    For decent security your password should probably be longer than 5 characters. For a 5-10 character password you’ll need to add 2 characters to get equivalent security. For 10-15 you’ll need to add 3, and so on.
    Once again it becomes an issue of balancing the risk of annoying your users and the risk of attackers getting into your site. This balance is more delicate than I previously suggested.
    Thanks for catching my mistake.

  71. Gibbie's Bioscience World January 29, 2007 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    How to kill your e-business

    From Guy Kawasaki. All of these are so true, especially this bit used by Yahoo quite extensively (it’s now gotten to the point that if you want to send another yahoo user an email,…

  72. Rob January 29, 2007 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    A or AN?
    Great list and comments. One grammatical note though; it looks like your school teacher, like mine, taught you to always use “an” before a vowel. Hence, “an URL”.
    I researched this recently and the conclusion of the English language experts I found is that you use “an” when the sound of the following word is a vowel sound. So it should be “a URL” which sounds much more natural than “an URL”. This is because “U” begins with a consonant sound, “y”, when spoken. Thus, you wouldn’t say “he wore an uniform”.
    Compare with “an FBI agent” which sounds more natural than “a FBI agent”. This is because “F” starts with a vowel sound, “e”, when spoken.
    Keep up the good work.
    Cheers,
    Rob
    ***********
    Rob,
    Actually, I thought about this a lot. I pronounce “URL” as “earl” not “you-are-el,” so that’s why I used “an.”
    The issue is, How is URL supposed to be pronounced?
    Guy

  73. Robert Winder January 29, 2007 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Spot on, Guy!
    All of your points are right. In true Orwellian fashion though, number 6 is more right than others.
    There is no reason to prevent customers from contacting you, and blocking verbal communications is such a lame way to treat the reason you’re still in business.
    Sure email is a great way to stay in touch for non-critical things, like marketing, but what about when things go pear-shaped and you need to talk?
    Put up a phone number, you just might learn something.

  74. shensen January 29, 2007 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Spot on! Or more like spot off! I heard you used to park cars at Apple.

  75. Per Wigren January 29, 2007 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    I use one restriction for allowing comments on public forums: JavaScript must be enabled. Setting a hidden field to a value like 23+12*15 (use different algorithms for each site) with JavaScript and verifying it on the server is a very unobtrusive way to minimize spam. So far no spam bots that I know of run JavaScript…

  76. Rob January 29, 2007 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    An or AN?
    Sorry Guy, I’m always too quick to assume even though my boss told me long ago never to “assume” because it only makes an “ass out of you and me”.
    I’ve never heard URL pronounced as “earl” but others obviously use it:
    http://www.eeicommunications.com/eye/utw/98apr.html
    http://www.somebits.com/weblog/culture/urlWord.html
    So “an URL” will look correct to some and incorrect to others; and most just won’t care anyway.
    Cheers,
    Rob

  77. Morgan Ramsay January 29, 2007 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    Robert Winder wrote:
    Sure email is a great way to stay in touch for non-critical things, like marketing …

    In your opinion, marketing is noncritical? I’m deeply worried for any business in which you participate.

  78. ingwiller January 29, 2007 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    Guy,
    As usual, excellent stuff! Anyway for #14, there wouldn’t be compatibility issues if we all use simple plain HTML and Flash just like this website http://www.gamoku.com – you can view it on practically any browser.

  79. edsel January 29, 2007 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Guy,
    Another great post! Self-effacing, as usual; you should really take more credit for your thought leadership.
    Kinkead Edsellers

  80. Search Marketing Gurus | Search Marketing Tips, Advice, Strategies January 29, 2007 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    Roxanne There’s A Bump(ing)Zee Party In The Works, You Just Gotta Search For Your SuperBowl Tickets!

    It seems that my Monday evenings are usually spent catching up on my every increasing RSS subscriptions. So tonight I’ve got a lengthy list of links in the SMG Link Roundup. From Supebowl tickets and AFC trophies to 15 minutes of fame that is way to lo…

  81. Picky January 29, 2007 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    The list isn’t bad, but number 12 is off the mark. I realize that it is a very annoying thing to enter in hard-to-read CAPTCHA codes, but if it were any easier, than computers could read them and beat them. Unfortunately, spammers are willing to go to the efforts to beat Yahoo and Google’s CAPTCHA codes where it can, which means they need to make them harder for computers to beat. Adding a small amount of fuzziness is not going to cut it.
    Also, I’ve never seen a CAPTCHA code that was case sensitive on characters like X, S, or Y (and the others like Z) that users would never know either way. Come to think of it, I do not remember ever seeing a case sensitive CAPTCHA at all, but I am probably just forgetting them.
    Believe me, I don’t have perfect vision (though correctable to 20/20 luckily), and I have had a CAPTCHA “get me” on occasion, but usually a second or two more to fix my problem is no big deal since I recognize what is at stake–on major sites this can be hundreds and thousands of spam messages every week. If it were my business, then I would want to avoid that too.
    Bottom line is that if the creators of these images would start to allow the “close enough” ideal to go through than it would get many times easier for computers to guess the on screen representation since the “close enough” ideal would be implemented in a similar character’s style equality (L = l = 1 = I). I understand that case insensitivity is a must because then it is just too confusing, but a 36 character variation (case insensitive alphabet + ten digits; probably nine since you lose 0 and maybe even eight by losing 5, but most people use 5 since the top half is noticably boxier than an S in normal fonts).
    Also, I have never heard or seen number 2’s “defense” given before in my life as a programmer. It is very easy to block requests for pages that users do not have the privileges to see, and a long URL is not one of them. The reason to have long URLs is usually because of a very large amount of searching mixed in with preferences (such as default order: ascending or descending). For example, go to Google and do a normal search and then do an Advanced Search. Notice the URL becomes huge.
    A lot of “basic” search boxes hide the options available in Advanced Searches by simply doing the work for you and leaving the rest of the fields blank. In Costco’s case, this is not the behavior and the length of their URL seems to be a mix of doing stuff for your and unnecessary complexity (notice they have the same thing repeated a few times: “billiard%20table” where %20 represents a space). Messing around with the URL, you will find out that billiard table is repeated because their search runs your search term through an autocorrection phase (change the “search” part to “billiard%20tabl” [note no e]) and it will have no effect, but change the Ntt part to that and it will inform you of a correction. Interestingly, if you enter it on your first go it will supply both “Ntt” and “search” spelled incorrectly. Again, seems like wasted complexity, but that is neither here nor there and I doubt it has anything to do with security.

  82. Brent Hodgson, Copywriter January 29, 2007 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    Catching up on the latest Internet Marketing News

    Fact: If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest tools, market trends and strategies as an internet marketer, you need to constantly keep your ear to the ground. Read blogs, forums, news feeds – anything which you can get your hands on which can te…

  83. Picky January 29, 2007 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    I also agree especially on the case sensitive username and limiting characters for usernames, or especially limiting characters for passwords. I can understand extremely odd characters that maybe won’t go well when meshed with a site’s database, but even that is a weak reason with wide Unicode database implementations.
    Not only does making the username case sensitive harder to remember (and usernames are rarely supposed to be the “secure” part of security schemes anyway, which would allow for the username as your email address or even to be displayed in places), but implementing character restrictions makes it easier for hackers to break passwords. It just means there are less passwords available to the user to use.

  84. Pamela Slim January 29, 2007 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    Oh, what music to my ears! I, too, get extremely annoyed by many of these seemingly small but highly annoying things. A couple more of my pet peeves that I nitpicked about myself awhile ago http://tinyurl.com/2z6tj6 :
    -No photo on the front of the blog or on the “about” page. I can understand if you are a disgruntled employee saying bitter things about your employer and have to disguise your identity, but if you have a business blog, put up your picture! It really helps to develop a feel for the leadership and employees of the company.
    -I realize that this may apply to small businesses only, but I do come across emails from a businessperson that are shared with a spouse such as “billandtracy@smallbiz.com” I always feel slightly uncomfortable sending a message back, since I don’t know who is reading it.
    -Nothing more than meaningless marketing jargon on the “About the Company” page, such as “We provide high-end, Web 2.0 solutions to solve the go-to-market strategies of our clients.” Huh? What about who founded the company, what is their interesting background, why do they choose to work here and what do they hope to accomplish? (of course, they should have a picture too!)
    And if you can find a way to help Typepad wrap long URLs in the comments field, I will send you the chocolate of your choice. I have reverted to the “Tiny URL” solution(no idea as to your “you-r-ell” vs. “earl” conundrum) that you referred to.
    Thanks for saving a lot of us a lot of pain.
    All the best,
    -Pam

  85. Peter G. January 29, 2007 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    That CostCo URL really needs only the first part, and even that could be easily reduced if they cared:
    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11197553
    Online catalogs should provide a short “Permalink” right there on the item page that can be shared around without this kind of URL hacking.
    . png

  86. Stefan Tilkov's Random Stuff January 29, 2007 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption

    Guy Kawasaki: Heres a compilation of silly and stupid ways companies are hindering adoption of their products and services. Guy actually lists 14 items, among them enforced registration and stupidly long (and unreadable) URLs….

  87. Jojo January 30, 2007 at 1:03 am - Reply

    Great post!
    12. Yeah, those CAPTCHA codes are sometimes difficult to read. It’s not only the characters but also the backgrounds. Sometimes the characters blend in too much with the background. Sometimes I’ll have to kick off a magnifier app to read the damm codes. But what is even worse is when you type the wrong code, the page refreshes and what you wrote is cleared. Sheese! I’ve learned to copy what I wrote into my clipboard extender program before I click on anything that might clear the page.
    14. I use FF browser. But as you note, some sites just don’t want to support FF. MSNBC for instance. They require Active-X controls to work fully. I assume they refuse to support FF because they are part of MS$. Then there is myway.com. I used to use them as my home page as an alternative to Yahoo. But myway.com won’t work w/o Active-X controls either. When I try to sign-in inside FF, I get:
    The browser you’re using is not allowing you to sign in to My Way.
    Right now, your browser’s settings are configured to disable cookies and/or javascript. In order to access your account, you must change your browser’s settings to accept both cookies AND javascript.
    Of course, both cookies and javascript ARE enabled. Communication with what passes for support over there was fruitless. So they lost a customer.
    6. How about NO contact information at all? This becomes an acute problem when you are trying to register for a forum and for some unknown reason, the registration won’t take. Like what I experienced at http://forum.zonelabs.org/zonelabs/ when I tried to register. I couldn’t figure out how to register, so I couldn’t post in the forum asking what the problem was. The Zonealarm reps all claimed they don’t run the forum. The forum is hosted by Lithium. So I contacted Lithium and indirectly got the address of the person at Zonealarm responsible for the forums. He didn’t know what the problem was but eventually it turned out that you weren’t allowed to use digits in your username. Huh? Who’ve thunk? Last I checked, there still wasn’t any email addr contact info posted on this forum. Doesn’t matter to me though, I got rid of Zonealarm due to poor support.
    Another example is Brother printers. There doesn’t seem to be any way to contact them EXCEPT through email.
    2. Here’s one of those wonderful long URL’s with all kinds of weird characters. I’m supposed to forward this to somebody?
    http://www.pcworld.com/product/pricefinder/browse/category.html?id=11074&page=1&CMP=KNC-SEM&HBX_PK=pcw_01-CAM-SHOP-GEN&HBX_OU=50&tk=pcw_01-CAM-SHOP-GEN&gclid=COWOybfgh4oCFRznYAodgRuKeQ
    .
    And I’ll add one more:
    I block javascript by default using NoScript in FF until/if I choose to look deeper into the site or enter into a relationship with them. Which means that I have to choose to enable javascripting for the site. But then there are sites like http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/01/the_top_ten_stu.html where the list of javascript providers is literally longer than the height of my monitor (and I am running 1600×1200 on a 20″ monitor). That’s criminal!

  88. Akhil Shahani January 30, 2007 at 1:30 am - Reply

    Great post!
    If I had to add a couple of points they would be:
    1) Avoid using PDF files for online reading. Coming across a PDF file while browsing, because it breaks a reader’s flow. Even simple things like printing or saving documents are difficult because standard browser commands don’t work. Layouts are often optimized for a sheet of paper, which rarely matches the size of the user’s browser window.
    2) Emphasise immediately what your site offers & how it is different from competing sites. Websites are incredibly bad at explicitly stating what they offer users. Instead, they hide their offerings in generic marketese that makes very little impression on prospective customers. When users have needs, they typically query search engines and allocate only a few seconds to scan each of the sites that the search engine drags up.

  89. The Smart Entrepreneur January 30, 2007 at 1:31 am - Reply

    How to Change the World: The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption

    How to Change the World: The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption
    Guy Kawasaki is already one of my favourtie bloggers. However, this post goes way beyond his usual high standards it should be read by any company that wants to create a …

  90. George January 30, 2007 at 2:08 am - Reply

    How about companies that disallow valid email addresses?
    For example, Air Canada will not send e-Tickets to customers who have two letter names in their email accounts. (xx@mycompany.com).

  91. Asbjørn Ulsberg January 30, 2007 at 2:16 am - Reply

    Actually, supporting other browsers than Internet Explorer is not a lot of work. Supporting Internet Explorer is surprisingly what’s difficult if you develop your web pages in a standard-adherent way. Your web pages will work out of the box in up-to-date browsers like Firefox, Opera and Safari if you just stick to the standards, plus the standards are well-explained and well-implemented and not something you have to hack and test and hack some more to get to work everywhere. Code once, deploy once.
    Well, almost. Since Internet Explorer is so lousy at supporting standards, you may have to apply some hacks to get everything to work in that browser. But it’s still a lot less work than coding for Internet Explorer first and then trying to hack everything back to how it should have been in the first place for all other browsers on the face of the planet.
    Other than that, this is an excellent post and I agree with all of your assertions! 🙂

  92. David E Alexander January 30, 2007 at 2:31 am - Reply

    Fantastic common sense articulation of the challenges faced when making the user experience exceptional. I would like to add
    1. the notion of breadcrumb trails as a really useful way to help people get back to where they came from.
    2. The ability to provide feedback on any apsect of the experience but set in the context of the moment the user felt the delight or pain. nothing accelerates improvement of bad websites and reinforcement of good design than feedback that is timely and easy to interpret in context of where the user was at the time they felt the way they did.
    Love NetVibes it is similar if somewhat improved experience from the customised google homepage
    Keep on blogging

  93. Jenny Averman January 30, 2007 at 3:05 am - Reply

    Good assortment, don’t forget spyware sites. Or sites that plaster adult ads on what would otherwise be a site intended for everyone.
    Sites that lack creativity in design or feature. So many sites just copy the standard idea, and don’t innovate. They see no need to innovate because they are making money without doing so, but this will cost them visitors and money in the long run.

  94. Marie Germain January 30, 2007 at 7:15 am - Reply

    Hello Guy–again! I think your are just the “bees knees”. But…the point about friction! Huh? I had to sign-up at Typekey to get in to your last blog last month. How many passwords can one handle? And this blog too states that I have to sign-up at Windows Live ID. Huh? Your point number 11, “Friction Full Commenting” is not authentic today. The rest of your points, it’s all good. Thanks for the post.
    **********
    Marie,
    I don’t think you have to sing up with Typekey to leave a comment here. It says “If” you have an account, you can use it.
    Also, the Microsoft thing is a screen shot to show an example of friction-full commenting. It’s not for commenting on my blog.
    Thanks,
    Guy

  95. *michael parekh on IT* January 30, 2007 at 8:05 am - Reply

    ON SEAGATE AND MICROSOFT’S MARKETING DEMANDS

    TIME SINKS My interest in this new consumer product called DAVE from Seagate was piqued by this sponsored 13 minute video interview done by Robert Scoble of PodTech on behalf of Seagate (see, I linked, I linked). DAVE, which stands for digital audio vi…

  96. Dan January 30, 2007 at 9:03 am - Reply

    “When do you suppose a standard format will emerge for transferring contacts?”
    Actually there is one. It’s called “vCard” and is supported cross-platform.

  97. Tim Walker January 30, 2007 at 9:42 am - Reply

    Good post, Guy. Here are two more small peeves of this type that I didn’t see mentioned yet:
    1. When your phone number must be entered in a certain format. I would typically write my phone number like this — 555.555.1212 — but sometimes a form won’t allow the periods. If this must happen, it’s best when the exception comes back to you and there’s the “proper” format, highlighted in bold red text, e.g. 555-555-1212. Worst is when you have to keep guessing what the format is. I’ve had to fill out forms where the phone # was required to proceed, and where the “proper” format was (555) 555-1212. *clenched teeth*
    2. Another peeve is when a company I’ve already done business with has assigned me a customer ID . . . but then they don’t allow me to just enter the ID to spare myself the burden of re-filling a form. This happened to me just today with a magazine subscription. I specifically save renewal notices and the like so I can skip steps when it comes time to renew — but today I was foiled. The online form was frustrating enough that I ended up calling the toll-free # rather than filling it all out. Luckily for the company in question, it’s in the small minority of merchants I would bother to do that for. Most of the time, if you make it too hard for me, I’ll just figure I have better things to do.

  98. David Bain January 30, 2007 at 9:51 am - Reply

    I had to laugh at your number 12 – Unreadable confirmation codes. Thank goodness I’m not the only one who never get them right the first time!

  99. Kras Gadjokov January 30, 2007 at 11:08 am - Reply

    * on FireFox and ActiveX: stop whining, guys – IE is there to stay. Until FireFox takes more than 25% of the market, few will be considering tuning their sites for FF as well. This is just business logic – why put 80% more efforts to please just 20% more clients, if you have limited resources?
    * on Captcha: it is very easy to defeat any OCR – put a picture as Captcha and ask the visitor to type in the name of what is shown on the picture. Of course, this will require “localization” of the picture-word correspondence

  100. JordanL January 30, 2007 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Did anyone else get amusement out of the fact that the post is titled top ten, and there are fourteen points listed?

  101. Will January 30, 2007 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    My favorite CAPTCHA is on TicketMaster.com. You are trying to buy tickets – you need to create an account, each page provides you with a certain amount of time to complete the page or you lose the tickets. At the same time, they use the most insane, multicolored, blurred, CAPTCHA I have ever seen on a site. By attempt three you have timed out and lost your tickets. Nothing more enjoyable than that when trying to buy tickets to an event with massive demand. By the time you get another pair of tickets, if you are lucky enough to get them, you have much worse seats. That newly created ticketmaster.com account sure does make you feel happy about it though – what a great trade off…who wanted the good seats…I now have a ticketmaster.com login id and password!
    I think it may be a practical joke set up by the programmers at TicketMaster.com…”Hey guys…check out how pissed this is gonna make people…but who cares, they can’t go anywhere else to get the tickets…this will be hilarious!”

  102. Rob O'Hara January 30, 2007 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    One simple one I didn’t see mentioned is load times. Just because I’ve got a broadband connection doesn’t mean you need to completely fill it with some multimedia crapola. If your page takes more than a few seconds to load, I (and a suspect many others) will move on quickly.

  103. LeBain January 30, 2007 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    Right on. But I tried to click a link to bookmark this on del.ioci.us because #5 is a great idea, but couldn’t find the del.icio.us icon or link on the page.
    Another pet peeve are comment boards that require name and e-mail address. If you have a well-policed comment system, anonymous comments are as valuable as registered comments.

  104. Robert Winder January 30, 2007 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    Morgan Ramsey wrote: In your opinion, marketing is noncritical? I’m deeply worried for any business in which you participate.

    Marketing is critical to a business, but not when the consumer has a problem and needs to talk with someone to get their problem resolved.

  105. Rahul January 30, 2007 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Great post Guy! Some additional pet peeves of mine:
    1) All marketing follow-up check boxes checked by default. The default should *always* be opt-in not opt-out. When I see the boxes checked by default, it just makes me distrust the company.
    2) Overly fussy password requirements: if I can’t use my standard password, I usually don’t complete the registration – it’s too much to remember.
    3) Confirmation email with password in cleartext. It has happened and it drives me crazy.

  106. Danis January 30, 2007 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Guy, let me comment these items one by one:
    1. Enforced immediate registration.
    Some social networking services “accept” you only if you are registered. Privacy is the key! Facebook is a good example.
    2. The long URL. The URL you provided is a search URL. As an engineer I can tell you that we put a lot of stuff the to be able to do whatever we need to do. Sometimes we want to protect the resource from being viewed by users other than you (that’s right) because you have a permission to see the resource and other people don’t. LinkedIn is a good example. What service should provide (or must) is a permalink wherever it’s possible.
    3. Windows that don’t generate URLs.
    These are usually popups or frames. There are cases then you need them. What service should provide is a link to such popup if it’s allowable/possible.
    4. The unsearchable web site
    Search can be so terrible that you don’t want to see it. Good search cost money. On the other side if you see a good search result it means that site/service owners understand how to organize their information.
    5. Sites without Digg, del.icio.us, and Fark bookmarks
    And tomorrow we’ll have yarks, shoopg and bonko. Should I drop old ones and add new ones? And by the way have you heard about the “huge traffic” fear? Yes, traffic can kill the service. BTW, you can add this to your new book. Traffic growth as one of the assumptions.
    6. Limiting contact to email
    I can understand the reason of “Contact Us” page existence. It helps to track the request and redirect it to the right person. What I don’t understand is why they don’t provide the simple emailto option as well. And yes, at some point company should start to display a phone number on the contacts page.
    7. Lack of feeds and email lists
    Some people just don’t have good PR news or at least blog. Or they just afraid to be that open.
    8. Requirement to re-type email addresses
    If you are talking about contact lists there is one explanation I can think of. There are services which don’t want all of your 7,703 contacts in their address book database.
    9. User names cannot contain the “@” character
    It’s very simple. Some services don’t want to take responsibilities exposing your email. That’s why they need user name. There are tons of other reasons.
    10. Case sensitive user names and passwords
    This one is really stupid. Can’t agree with you more.
    11. Friction-full commenting
    For many people it’s just not a big deal. It’s a matter of how many people (%) will sign up, If more than 50% of viewers are ready to sign up to be able to comment it’s definitely worth it.
    12. Unreadable confirmation codes
    And I’d like them to think about color-blinded people too.
    13. Emails without signatures
    You cannot change the world Guy. People are lazy. And there are other reasons too.
    BTW, this blog doesn’t allow me to enter an email which is visible only for blog owner ;).

  107. Gabriel Gayhart January 30, 2007 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    Hey good post. I guess the only one i would take issue with is the #1, the log in. Although i agree in general with your point, but in some industries like real estate – asking for name and email before they access mls tools is wise. The perception is they are getting realtor access to a tool which motivated them to the website in the 1st place. EIther you offer them and they surf and leave for free (then whats the point of having a site) or you ask basic info up front and rely on those email followup skills. Just the 2 cents .. but hey thanks for the site- youve done an amazing job!

  108. Morgan Ramsay January 30, 2007 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    Robert Winder wrote: Marketing is critical to a business, but not when the consumer has a problem and needs to talk with someone to get their problem resolved.

    That’s a marketing department problem, not a marketing problem. This problem is not present in all organizations. The marketing team is usually, and should be, the consumers’ advocate. When this is not the case, someone in charge of strategy probably screwed up.
    In some organizations, this problem manifests itself in the form of a department for each marketing activity. This structure often hinders communication and offsets strategic alignment… unless there is a strong interdepartmental alliance supporting collaboration. Rare.
    By the way, my last name is spelled -ay. “Ramsey” is a derivative prevalent in England. My heritage is predominantly Scottish.

  109. STUDIO7DESIGNS January 31, 2007 at 2:41 am - Reply

    Fantastic writing skills you have, I seemed to read through your article in a minute, even though it was huge… You got yourself a new subscriber for sure 🙂
    I also like the title of your blog.
    Cheers
    Aran

  110. blip January 31, 2007 at 3:42 am - Reply

    http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/01/the_top_ten_stu.html
    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=1119755
    did u notice?
    *************
    Nothing much I can do about this. It’s TypePad’s methodology.
    Guy

  111. JF January 31, 2007 at 5:10 am - Reply

    Funny, This morning I tried to have some information about TOGAF on the Open Group website.
    I enjoyed a lot of “Hinder” : the barrier on entry is very high just for getting a decent definition of TOGAF.
    After that experience, you start to Google for pdf or ppt or you go to Wikipedia instead of going to their site.
    After that they complain they don’t have enough certified architects (cfr ZapThink)…
    I think I have been experiencing most of these barriers since 1997, on a lot of websites.

  112. Marketing & Strategy Innovation Blog January 31, 2007 at 5:12 am - Reply

    The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption

    by: Guy Kawasaki Heres a compilation of silly and stupid ways companies are hindering adoption of their products and services. I must admit, some of the companies that Ive invested in have made these mistakesin fact, thats w…

  113. Brad Fults January 31, 2007 at 10:39 am - Reply

    “Yes” on the unreadable CAPTCHAs. Those are annoying.
    “No” on the links to del.icio.us, Fark, Digg. These belong at the browser level or through manual user interaction. Placing these on your site (assuming your site isn’t hype news oriented) is pitiful and degrading to your brand.
    “No” on developing a site for browsers other than IE being “a lot of work”. That’s bullshit. If you develop to web standards it’s precisely the opposite situation. It will work in all browsers *except* IE in many cases, with no added effort for making it work in Safari, Firefox, Opera, etc.

  114. Chris Rodriguez January 31, 2007 at 10:46 am - Reply

    Guy – Great post. Very relevant for me at this time. We had a long argument (discussion) last night about item #1. Some say immediate login or account creation is the wave of the future while others of us believe what you think. I see valid points on both sides but am interested to see what others think about the direction of privacy and forced sign-up on a going-forward basis.
    Chris

  115. Paul January 31, 2007 at 11:33 am - Reply

    Excellent post – the login-only-comments and impossible to read ‘confirmation codes’ are my biggest gripe with pages. I would, however, add a few more indepth ones:
    1) Websites that don’t allow ‘tempinbox.com’ as your email address provider but want you to sign up just to see what their site does (an expansion on your sign-up too early comment)
    2) Webpages that are much wider than your browser window. Now I know I run my browser in 800×600 and the standard is seemingly now 1024×768 (?), but it is still frustrating as anything – scrolling down is fine, scrolling across is awkward.
    Other than this, the endlessly long webpages that should really split into an ‘archive’ (or page 2), and the ridiculously slow speed that digg runs in Safari when i’m signed in – yet Flickr/Wikipedia etc. all run much faster.

  116. Genius of Love January 31, 2007 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption

    Here’s a compilation of silly and stupid ways companies are hindering adoption of their products and services. I must admit, some of the companies that I’ve invested in have made these mistakes—in fact, that’s why I know these mistakes are (a) silly;…

  117. Morgan Ramsay January 31, 2007 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Other than this, the endlessly long webpages that should really split into an ‘archive’ (or page 2) …

    For example, this blog. Articles here are crying out in desperation for “Read more…” links. I have to scroll way down just to find the article to which I submitted comments that I want to track.
    The “Recent Posts” sidebar makes for a nice navigation menu, but unfortunately, I still have to scroll down to find the menu.

  118. James Shaw January 31, 2007 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Re: 13, checkout www.shortersigs.com. All the info you want in a signature, in just one URL.
    James
    http://shortersigs.com/5037NZNWDTDW

  119. Tim Holt January 31, 2007 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    OK how about “Make cool blog posts you can print out and share with others or read and mark up in the coffee shop!” Having a “Printer Friendly” link for good readable content is a win!

  120. Bernd Nurnberger February 1, 2007 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    I read the comments on digg.com (not as long and edified as these here) and was floored by the last one down the screen:
    Add a Comment
    Join digg for free to comment on this story. Have an account already? Login to comment.
    Friction-full commenting, Guy said so in # 11. Now that I comment here for the first time, I will soon know if I hit another #11. For a first impression we get one chance.

  121. College Marketing 4.0 February 1, 2007 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Hindering Market Adoption: or ZXGFYS

    College kids are notoriously ‘hip’ and into trying things early. We aren’t extremely early adopters in the internet realm, however (facebook and myspace aside), and a lot of it is due to the effort your site makes us exude in

  122. Devdas Bhagat February 2, 2007 at 1:55 am - Reply

    Enforced immediate registration. Requiring a new user to register and provide a modicum of information is a reasonable request—I just think you should do it after you’ve sucked the person in.
    Places selling content like adult sites would find it better to require registration (and billing) ASAP.
    On the other hand, places like Amazon don’t need registration until you actually buy.
    Most sites require that registration is the first step, and this puts a barrier in front of adoption. At the very least, companies could ask for name and email address but not require it until a later time.
    They need to show me the value of their content before they get my personal information. See Slashdot or Kuro5hin for something fairly customisable and with enough valuable content that it makes sense to sign up.
    Keep in mind that corporates tend to get distrusted more than individuals (too many corporations sell personal data to spammers, either because the people there think they are anonymous or because they aren’t personally responsible).
    The long URL. When you want to send people an URL the site generates an URL that’s seventy characters long—or more! When you copy, paste, and email this URL, a line break is added, so people cannot click on it to go to the intended location.
    Very few email clients I deal with are broken that way. The line may wrap, but it doesn’t break (Modern MUAs understand line continuations). HTML is a bad thing in email, and that’s far too popular.
    Also see http://tinyurl.com/
    *SNIP*
    Also, speaking of URLs, it’s good to have an easy naming convention for URLs. MySpace, for example, creates easy-to-remember URLs like http://www.myspace.com/guykawasaki.
    Not necessarily. I don’t think I have visited too many sites by direct URL in years, except for those already in my browser address bar.
    Test: Can people communicate your site’s URLs to others over the phone?
    Just google for the string, and see the results from this website. Much easier to tell people over the phone.
    Windows that don’t generate URLs. Have you ever wanted to point people to a page, but the page has no URL? You’ve got a window open that you want to tell someone about, but you’d have to write an essay to explain how to get that window open again. Did someone at the company decide that it didn’t want referrals, links, and additional traffic? This is the best argument I can think of for not using frames.
    Oh dear. There are all the database driven sites, the sites which “need” Javascript, the sites which need ad-views per page, so a small article must be viewed over four pages by direct link, and the printable version cannot be directly linked to. Frames are fairly irrelevant nowadays (Open in new tab is your friend).
    The unsearchable web site. Some sites that don’t allow people to search. This is okay for simple sites where a site map suffices, but that’s seldom the case. If your site has a site map that goes deeper than one level, it probably needs a search box.
    Or it needs to grant Google access.
    Sites without Digg, del.icio.us, and Fark bookmarks. There’s no logic that I can think of why a company would not want its fans to bookmark its pages.
    Possibly because they don’t want the crowd from those websites? I’m not sure Cisco or Amazon _need_ bookmarking, and nor do most small business websites.
    Limiting contact to email. Don’t get me wrong: I love email. I live and die by email, but there are times I want to call the company. Or maybe even snail mail something to it. I’ve found many companies only allow you to send an email via a web form in the “Contact Us” page. Why don’t companies call this page “Don’t Contact Us” and at least be honest?
    a) No phones because of marketers.
    b) No direct email because of spammers.
    Contact forms work well in such cases.
    Lack of feeds and email lists. When people are interested in your company, they will want to receive information about your products and services. This should be as easy as possible—meaning that you provide both email and RSS feeds for content and PR newsletters.
    I don’t particularly care about email feeds and RSS. What I want is content easily found by Google, and a reasonably easy way to buy stuff from that company. Yes, that implies service outside the US.
    Requirement to re-type email addresses. How about the patent-pending, curve-jumping, VC-funded Web 2.0 company that wants to you to share content but requires you to re-type the email addresses of your friends?
    And how about understanding that quite a few of us don’t like getting such content in email, and our addresses are far too widespread for us to have control over which idiot puts our address in there?
    I have 7,703 email addresses in Entourage.
    I don’t have an addressbook. If your email address is important enough, I’ll remember it, or I can grep it from my MUA.
    I am not going to re-type them into the piece-of-shiitake, done-as-an-afterthought address book that companies build into their products. If nothing else, companies can use this cool tool from Plaxo or allow text imports into the aforementioned crappy address book. When do you suppose a standard format will emerge for transferring contacts?
    Mmmmm, Plaxo? That’s a spammy site out there.
    The standard format is vcard.
    User names cannot contain the “@” character.
    Useful for sites which basically tie you in by your email address (Google/Orkut, or the plethora of Yahoo!s services). Can work for some sites, not for others.
    Case sensitive user names and passwords. I know: user names and passwords that are case sensitive are more secure, but I’m more likely to type in my user name and password incorrectly.
    Sorry, but the first rule of security is to say ‘NO’. Fail closed, deny access unless authorised.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Password_strength
    The strength of your password is proportional to the search space. For a alphanumeric password, the case insensitive search space is 36 characters, the case sensitive one is 62.
    Unlike what some others have posted, the strength of the password does not double per character. The average number of guesses to break the password would be ((search space)**(length of password))/2 {where ** is exponentiation).
    One of the funniest moments of a demo is when a company’s CEO can’t sign into her own account because she didn’t put in the proper case of her user name or password. I’ve seen it happen.
    It happens to everyone. Typing everything in lowercase helps.
    Friction-full commenting. “Moderated comments” is an oxymoron. If your company is trying to be a hip, myth-busting, hypocrisy-outing joint, then it should let anyone comment.
    That leads to blog spam. Slashdot has one of the best moderation systems out there (user driven moderation, with peer review of the moderation, and you can still see all the comments if you wanted to).
    Here’s an example of one such policy:
    Q. Who can leave comments on GullyHag
    A. Anyone who has been invited, either by us or by a friend. The invite system works like Gmail. We’ve invited a bunch of our favorite execs, bloggers, and friends to comment, then given them invitations to share with their friends and colleagues. That way, the burden of inclusion, and exclusion, is shared.

    Have you considered that this might also result in reducing blog spam?
    The concept that people have to be invited to post comments is pathetic—if you hold yourself out as a big cojones company, then act like it. Even the concept that one has to register to post a comment is lousy. There have been many times that I started to leave a comment on a blog but stopped when I realized that I’d have to register.
    I agree with this. If I need to register to comment, I am not going to contribute. And like it or not, the value of the Internet is in the content created by the users. (Also see Reed’s law).
    Unreadable confirmation codes. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t support spam or robots creating accounts. A visual confirmation graphic system is a good thing, but many are too difficult to read.
    If it;s easy to read, it can be OCRed. Have you considered that we have gotten fairly good OCRing software because of the wave of GIF spam selling stocks?
    For example, this is what I got when trying to create a Yahoo! account. Is that an uppercase “X”? Is the last character an “s,” “5,” or “S”? Maybe this only affects old people like me, but it seems that all one merely has to prove is that you’re not a robot so a little bit of fuzziness should be good enough. For example, if the code is “ghj1lK” and someone who enters “ghj11K” is close enough.
    I would normally not recommend any characters in a captcha be lowercase. All uppercase characters, case insensitive input is a good thing (and common).
    As for the people who are saying that you need not have a captcha, but instead have a simple question of the “Which fruit is this?” might have to deal with languages other than English at some point.
    Emails without signatures. There have been many times that I wanted to immediately call the sender or send him something, but there’s no signature. Also, when I book an appointment with a person, I like to put in his contact information in case I need to change it. Communication would be so much easier if everyone put a complete signature in their email that contains their name, company, address, phone, and email address.
    Urrr, some of us explicitly don’t want that information floating around. Also, the netiquette rules say that any sig over four lines is far too long (that’s 320 characters, BTW).
    On a corporate level, communication would be so much easier if companies stop sending emails with a warning not to respond because the sender’s address is not monitored. I don’t mean they should not include the warning. I mean they should monitor the address.
    Hmmm, I thought a lot of that was because those addresses would otherwise need to feed into their support/marketing/CRM app queues and spam would make life a nightmare.
    Supporting only Windows Internet Explorer. Actually, I’m not nearly as vehement about this as you might think. Supporting Macintosh, Safari, and other Windows browsers is a lot of work,
    No, actually it’s easiest to support everything but IE. Also, some of us do use non Mac/non Windows systems. Supporting everything is a lot easier than you think.

  123. Alex Har February 2, 2007 at 6:07 am - Reply

    Best 10 points I have seen on digital marketing which probably much more trendier in USA that Asia. It just about starting. Will certainly review your article on my blog.

  124. Shefaly Yogendra February 4, 2007 at 12:51 am - Reply

    Hmm.. Good points. But remind me, why I cannot send just this post to a friend while I am at it, without using Digg or opening my email application on the side (often difficult if using somebody else’s machine, don’t you agree?)

  125. Shefaly Yogendra February 4, 2007 at 12:52 am - Reply

    And it took me 3 attempts to read the anti-spam goobledegook posing as a threat to spammers…

  126. Spencer W February 5, 2007 at 12:53 am - Reply

    You’ve commented here on a lot of things that bother me – and that I would change if I were in charge of a site. One other thing that bothers me about web sites is when the engineers forget to add www compatibility… for example if you go to http://guykawawsaki.com it loads fine. if you simply type guykawasaki.com in the address bar (as most people do), it works fine. But on some sites this is not the case, resulting in some kind of a 400 error, simply because their server isn’t configured to resolve it to www.whatever.com! They should figure out that this minor inconvenience speaks to their own skills as web designers and administrators.

  127. Second Brain - Organize Everything in Your Personal Internet Library February 5, 2007 at 2:20 am - Reply

    Promoting Market Adoption

    I really enjoy Guy Kawasaki’s entrepreneurial spirit and advise. Not long ago, I finished his Art of the Start book, and it is one of the most refreshing books I’ve read on start-up’ing and everything related to that. His teachings

  128. Michael Kovacs February 5, 2007 at 11:08 am - Reply

    So I finally went to checkout netvibes after seeing a huge amount of subscribers on my blog use it and your posting talking about how NetVibes does the signup thing right. I agree with their initial experience being the right thing. They suck me in before requiring any of my information, but here’s where they falter and it’s enough to make me want to cancel my account:
    They emailed me my password in clear text! So if anyone from Netvibes is reading please turn off this “feature”. I know what my password is, I just signed up to your service. I imagine that you’d email it to me again if I run through your “forgot password” process.

  129. Andrew S February 5, 2007 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Sites that do not allow ‘+’ in the e-mail address. It’s perfectly valid according to the RFCs and it allows me to filter things on my end.
    This is unfortunately largely a lost cause on the web. From my experience, even giants on the web like eBay and Dell do not work properly with addresses containing a plus character. Some of their pages work, some don’t–it just demonstrates how hard it is within a large organization to maintain the proper standards and use the same libraries for handling user information and input.
    Switch to a service like Yahoo mail which uses the “-” separator instead of “+” and you’ll make your life easier. Or better yet, just avoid those sites which are poorly programmed.

  130. JoinR - Join the Alpha February 6, 2007 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Cooler Artikel

    Für jeden, der irgendeine Art von Portal oder was weiß ich eröffnen will, ist folgender Artikel von Guy Kawasaki sicher sehr interessant. Ich würd schon fast sagen, ein Must Read! Er beschreibt die 12 gröbsten/nervigsten Fehler in Web Applikatione…

  131. welcome to EdHolloway.com! February 7, 2007 at 11:48 am - Reply

    iPhotoMeasure (Quick) Review

    Yesterday, I saw another great post at JKOnTheRun about a software product called iPhotoMeasure . The

  132. Travis February 7, 2007 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    #14 I disagree with. You should at least support Firefox and IE. Those 2, minimum.

  133. fsbrainstorm v4.0 February 13, 2007 at 10:15 am - Reply

    The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption

    Guy Kawasaki gives us a nice post on the top ten stupid ways to hinder market adoption. Granted, there are actually 14, but theyre all very good ones. Two piqued my interest though:
    Requirement to re-type email addresses.
    User names cannot con…

  134. AdPulp February 14, 2007 at 6:07 am - Reply

    Delete The Crap

    Venture capitalist and blogger, Guy Kawasaki, schools us on closed system commenting. “Moderated comments” is an oxymoron. If your company is trying to be a hip, myth-busting, hypocrisy-outing joint, then it should let anyone comment. The concept that …

  135. Tim Beadle February 27, 2007 at 5:58 am - Reply

    I would add to the list “otherwise-excellent sites which time your session out, even though you’re not engaging in any secure activity, like banking”.
    Case in point: Property Finder.

  136. Sanyog April 2, 2007 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Guy,
    Jajah needs to pay attention to point 12!
    Cheers

  137. jan May 3, 2007 at 2:48 am - Reply

    Great list…here’s two more.
    As someone with a hyphenated name (and there are many of us out there) , how about websites not allowing e-mail addies, oh, and names with hyphens?
    Or how about having no e-mail addie, just the contact page template? Great, so how (as a backup freak) am I supposed to keep a log of my issues?

  138. johno May 9, 2007 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Those illegible captcha’s are the worst. On a weekly basis I run away from sites after being told that I’m not entering the correct text. Small font sizes are also a nuisance, especially as I work on a small screen. But my number one pet hate is having to sign-up before I can post a comment; I never do.
    Oh, and one more thing: I hate to see ads placed above a post; I arrive at the page, and what do I see? Google ad’s; and it’s not until I’ve scrolled down 400px that I see the post.

  139. Eric Tam May 11, 2007 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    A wonderful anti example in how NOT to design user interface is this particular library website.
    http://www.myhamilton.ca/myhamilton/LibraryServices/LibraryCatalogue/SuggestionForPurchase.htm
    To recommend a book for the library to order, I have to fill in multiple fields to prove I am a library patron.
    FIRST OF ALL:
    Why am I making book recommendations if I am not a library patron! How many non library patrons would surf that page?
    On top of that, I have to specify the author, the ISBN/UPC (the what?), the publication date, as well as the intended audience and format.
    I feel like I am on a game show. Last time I checked: I am not the librarian!

  140. watadoo June 8, 2007 at 7:34 am - Reply

    We had a long argument (discussion) last night about item #1. Some say immediate login or account creation is the wave of the future while others of us believe what you think. I see valid points on both sides but am interested to see what others think about the direction of privacy and forced sign-up on a going-forward basis.—–
    Had the same argument/discussion at my gig last night, too. The key for some media/content driven sites is to clearly show what the site has to offer beyond a one paragraph fuzzy mission statement. More sites need to invest some resources in clear writing and fleshing out what it is the site has to offer and what delineates it from the pack before asking for a reg. I run in terror from the mob of social networking sites who want my stats before I really know the what/how/why of their system. I don’t expect them to give away the store — just to give me a lot more than some corporate bs clipart of happy, dialed in people smartly dressed people and a vague half paragraph of generic marketing slop.
    I liked most all of the rest of the list. Especially #6. Far too many sites of all types are in violation of that rule.
    Bill T.

  141. watadoo June 8, 2007 at 7:38 am - Reply

    On top of that, I have to specify the author, the ISBN/UPC (the what?), the publication date—-
    well, you were on a library site. Anyone in publishing or the library science knows what an ISBN/UPC is. 😉

  142. Zaid Rasid August 24, 2007 at 9:24 am - Reply

    This is one of my favorite posts. Where I work, during the process of releasing a consumer website we used a lot of your above points and ensured we weren’t making the same mistakes. For example we only asked for a user to provide their email and a password to register with us. Also, the seniors leaders thought it wise that users create a username but after constant nagging by myself and by showing them this post, the final product used an email address as the login.

  143. Michael September 1, 2007 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the nice article! as a webmaster, I HATE the idea of forcing my visitors to do stupid things that other sites do! However, the CAPTCHA code you provide above is VERY VISIBLE for a human eye but prevents NUTS of spam…
    Regards
    Michael
    Free PS3

  144. Mario via Rec6 September 22, 2007 at 3:14 am - Reply

    How to Change the World: The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption

    Guy Kawasaki lista os des erros mais comuns cometidos por desenvolvedores de aplicativos web e que prejudica a conversão de novos usuários quando estes têm seu primeiro contatos com os aplicativos.

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  146. Paul December 10, 2007 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Can you please explain point 14 a little more.

  147. Thomasville furniture. January 24, 2008 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    Furniture.

    Home office furniture. Furniture. Ethan allen furniture. Bathroom furniture. Value city furniture.

  148. Jon Dale October 16, 2008 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    Why I Don’t Moderate Comments and You Shouldn’t Either

    I avoid moderation at all costs (I don’t moderate any content on any of the social networks I manage, my facebook page, blog comments…none of it). The main reason you’d moderate is to stop people saying crazy things or posting

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