Where Exactly Is This Business Coming From?

Dec 19 22:00 2001 Richard L.Paylor Print This Article

Have you ever tried to complete an online order form only to find there just aren't enough boxes for your address. Or that there are too many and the form will not submit until all boxes are ...

Have you ever tried to complete an online order form only to
find there just aren't enough boxes for your address. Or
that there are too many and the form will not submit until
all boxes are completed? Have you ever filled them with
gibberish? Ever received one filled with gibberish?

This got me thinking as to how inconsiderate we all can be
when requesting details like addresses. Street,Guest Posting Town, State,
Zip code.

Quite simple you may think, but not everyone lives in a
state or even knows what a State is, and did you remember
the Country?

We need to be far more considerate when designing web sites.
The Internet transcends International boundaries but many
business seem to forget this and design sites for their own
back yard.

Recently we received an e-mail to request a brochure it was
to be sent to PROSPECT, PA 16052 now we all know where that
is, right? Well the sender presumed so. Obviously Prospect
is the town. PA? Errr OK it must be some sort of
abbreviation PA? PA? PA? Forget it, I don't know!

Then we have some digits, obviously a Zip code and then a
country? NO, no country given. Do I know what country this
PA place is in? Well yes I do, but you see the problems
some people may have.

I also recently wanted to purchase some compression software
Anyway I found the software I wanted and the price was
something like $30. Fine, I was happy - let me spend. But hang
on $30 is that USD or Australian dollars, and for that matter how
many other countries use dollars?

I had a good look around the site and eventually found the
address of the company and guess what it was in Great
Britain. Now in case you don't know the British use British
pounds (GBP)!

This was a British site advertising Dollars as to whether
that was US or Australian is anyone's guess. But I wanted to
pay then in British pounds for which there was no price.
This gave me a headache so I left NO SALE.

In case you haven't already guessed and why should you have,
I live in Britain to be exact Scotland. Did you guess that in
my first paragraph? Probably not, so why expect your visitors
to play guessing games. The Internet is International, price
and address Internationally or risk loosing sales.

PA, I don't know what this stands for or where it is.
Neither I am sure does the majority of the rest of the world.

State??? A state of what? If you supply no alternative don't
expect your users to fill it with something useful.

Zip codes, are they always five digit or should I leave room
for more?

What country are you in? It seems obvious to us they told us
in high school, but not everyone will know.

Your telephone number. Are there only nine digits? Because
if there are, I for one will get a disconnected tone all day
long. What is your International prefix code?

$ What currency is that? Is that USD? If it is tell them.

If you are happy with your back yard that's fine. But if you
don't want to risk losing sales then think truly globally
and redesign your site to reflect that.

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Richard L.Paylor
Richard L.Paylor

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