of form & data #webWednesday


How much of personal data should we (brands, agencies, product developers, service providers) collect from customers & end-users?


1. Brands / agencies
I want to get as much of personal data as possible because that would give me insights for who the customers are, what they are interested in, what they are looking for, how we can help them. With these insights, we will be able to segment the customer pool to provide the best products/services applicable to them.

Knowing details such as their age and gender will allow me to communicate with them with more personal and relevant messages.

2. UX people
When I ask someone to fill in a form, I should make it as basic as possible. Filling a long form alone is exhausting and the data validation can frustrate users. Moreover, asking too many questions intimidates users. We should let customers/users try out our product/service as soon as possible. Don’t keep them stuck or their excitement will fade away.

Name (First Name, Last Name) and Email address should be good enough to start with.

3. Web developers / Database in-charge
Oh, we suggest you make up your mind of what data you’d like to collect now. Changes to database are not recommended and should be avoided, especially when you expect a large number of users/customers or a constantly-growing database.

4. Customers / Users
– I hate long forms, especially those papers that I need to fill when applying for a credit card or buying insurance. All these brands should go paperless.
– I hate to fill long forms online. Why do I have to give you so much of info now while I only want to try it first?
– Why do I have to give you my credit card numbers while I’m not sure if I will stick to your product/service?
– I don’t want you to know too much about me.

5. Industry advisers / Marketing gurus
– Personalize your message! Be relevant!

Every time I look at a form, I self-argue with myself. Too often am I put in a position where I have to make a final call given these feedback. And as much frequently, I find myself listening to these similar voices in my head.

As an account servicing person, I want to optimize my client’s money (read: same effort to build a form, how much can my client get out of it?). As a regular user of something, I want to use a smart product, at my comfort and convenience.

So one of those things I’d like to ponder upon…


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