Thursday, July 10, 2008


One of the rules of an effective data collection web form is that drop downs should only be used when the number of possible answers is limited, and that all of those answers are given in the drop down.

The Guardian reported on 7th July that Facebook has blundered in this respect as their marital status question gives plenty of options - even including "it's complicated", but not including (same sex) civil partnerships (as available in the UK) or registered partnerships (as they are known in some other countries, such as The Netherlands).

It may not be possible for Facebook to research and know all the possible civil status possibilities around the world, but at least they have now provided an option to clarify the answer given.

Not that this may be much of a salve for those involved.

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