I often fill in feedback forms on websites or comment on blogs – but unless I am going to be using a website a lot, I am quite wary of opening “yet another” account with “yet another” website.
If it is a fly-by visit to a website I really don’t want not just the hassle of opening an account, but also to then in umpteen months time get marketing messages from a website the existence of which I would have probably forgotten about.
I accept that is the route some websites want to follow, and simply click away to the next website.
However, it is an unforgivable sin to not just require that someone has an account with a website, but also NOT to inform them of that before they type out a lengthy reply to a question.
A call for help was posted on Twitter, and linked to a website where people post questions and answers.
Noting that the webform didn’t require a login of any sort – or even the conventional name/email/website combination – I dutifully typed out a lengthy reply and hit the Add Answer button.
To be greeted with this:
Suddenly, I am being asked to either open an account and log in with them – or grant them access to my Facebook or Twitter account.
Considering how much spam is funneled through people granting Twitter/Facebook access, unless I trust the website implicitly, I am never going to grant them access to my Twitter account. If I did trust them, then I would probably have an account already, or be willing to open one.
It is frankly an appalling user experience to encourage someone to type out a reply with no hint that they will then afterwards be required to provide access to social website accounts or open a dedicated account with the website.
Quora is not the only website that does this – I have noticed a few newspapers suffer the same problem. I was just in a bad enough mood with this website as my reply was quite lengthy that I have finally blogged about the issue.
In summary – if you are going to require a log-in of some sort before a comment can be posted, make that clear in the comments box BEFORE someone types out a reply.