Tuesday, November 24, 2009

B-Eye Network - another web form of shame

Another invitation to download a white paper, this time from the B-Eye Network, another organisation with data quality at its heart - except when it comes to its web form.

What hit me first with this form is that there is no indication of which fields are required, though you can be sure that they are there. In fact, to find out which fields I should fill in (according to B-Eye) I have to fill in the fields I can complete, hit the send button, and then hope for the best (or pray, depending on your personal preference). Only at that point will the form tell you what is required. And what is required shows a grave lack of understanding of the world out there.

I don't have to fill in a state (or a province), and I am very grateful for small mercies. But I do have to fill in a "last" name (that's a culturally loaded field label, by the way), even if I don't have one, and fill in a Zip/Postal Code, again, even if I live in one of the 60 or so countries or territories without one.

And then we look at the country drop down, always very instructive. I'll gloss over the "Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)" ... touchy subject ... and land instead on Serbia and Montenegro, a country that hasn't existed since 2006.

I await eagerly the next invitation to download a white paper. Who dares?

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