Saturday, September 06, 2008

Three ways to make it difficult for people to contact you

Do you ever test and check out the user experience on your site? How about checking out how people can find you, contact you and write to you?

Three plums and three lychees
coloured pencil on mountcard
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

This is a perennial topic and this blog post was prompted by yet another experience of having difficulty finding a pathway to the artist - and then coming up against a dead end! It defines three ways of making it difficult for people to contact you.

A salutary tale.

This morning I tried to contact an artist to tell her that the link in her old blog to her new blog didn't work because she had spelt it incorrectly. It was a simple matter of the reversal of two letters. So I tried to contact her to tell her about it - which I nearly always do when I find a duff link. People do it for me and I reckon one good turn deserves another.

Anyway, I then found she didn't have a 'contact me' link anywhere on her site. Zip!

I tried another site - ditto.

In a very roundabout way I then found a third studio e-commerce site for selling art which had a form. Great I thought - I can leave a message. But I should have known better. The form cut off my email address part way through because it has a fixed field for email addresses and has decided that no email address can be longer than 25 characters! Long email addresses may not be fun to type but they are a fact of life!

When I tried to send the message the response was, of course, that I didn't have a properly formatted email address............

So no message was sent.....which is round about the point when I decided to write this up as a blog post and dire warning to all artists on the internet!

Summary: 3 ways to make it difficult for people to contact you or visit your sites
  • create a new site, put a link to it on the old site which does not work - and then fail to test it
  • have websites and blogs and stores for your art - but omit your contact details from all of them
  • create a contact form which won't allow email addresses which are 'too long'
Is this you?


  1. Kathryn, here's another.

    Have a contact the artist link to an outlook express pop up. If the person trying to contact you has any problem configuring outlook express (humbly playing true confession here...can't seem to fix it), the mail will not go through. Please please please include a written email address that people can copy and paste into their regular email service.

  2. Hey Katherine,
    Good post...I am ashamed to say, that may be me, dont think I have a contact addy on any of my blogs..blush

  3. Nope, it wasn't you (that's to make sure all other readers don't start breathing easy too quickly!)

    If it's been a prompt to make sure you are accessible then this blog post is doing its work!

  4. Thanks, Katherine, it's good to have a reminder! I have a very good webmistress for my official website, but not sure how accessible I am on my blog, and almost NEVER remember to put contact info on Flickr images.

  5. Katherine, you are right on! I tried to contact an on-line friend recently and no phone. I was going to be in an area with no e-mail so I could not even send an e-mail to get a return answer. Oh well......


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