The petition we were using to secure signatures had literally hundreds of incomplete entries on the original form. People are required to complete their name, street address, city, state, zip, and date — but once one person left a data field out, others copied the pattern, and many subsequent entries were lost.

Then, our communications person added lines to make columns on the form, and — presto — no more problems. One simple change resolved everything.

The problem could have been avoided entirely had the lawyer who made the form considered how people would actually use it. If they had ever been out in the field collecting signatures for the petition, they would have quickly learned that having a single line did not lend itself to intuitively providing so many data points.

The further the creator is from the end user, the more gaps are likely to occur. Before you produce something en masse, test it out with a few who will actually be affected. The early tweak may save you from mounting late frustrations.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: