Give Choices to your Users

I am trying to sign up for a LinkedIn account and I’m already frustrated.

I hate it when you try to sign up for something, and they ask you about your business, what you do, and then give you a pre-populated list of jobs or industries to choose from, and the thing you do is not on the list.

Here is what my company, Jester Creative (web site under construction, come back and click next week!) does:

Broadcast Television Production
Corporate Videos
TV Commercials
Wedding and Celebration Videos
Real Estate Videos
Web Site Design
Graphic Design
Promotions and Publicity
Interactive DVD/CD-ROM Production
Presentations
Training Development

It’s a long, diverse list. But that’s what sets us apart. We are more than just video production. We provide the full package for our clients.

But if I’m expected to try to find a way to fit my list into some list of jobs that are typical (medical, construction, travel, blah blah blah) then I’m sunk. There isn’t even a category for New Media on the list, and this is supposed to be Web 2.0?

If you are designing a site and want information from your users, then give them the right options. If you don’t want a list of 200 industries, I totally understand. But give the option to choose “Other” and then let me decide what I do for a living.

Oh, and if you are populating a list of colleges – make sure you include them all. One of the colleges I attended is not on the list either!

Okay so I’m not going to boycott LinkedIn or anything – I hear from lots of people it’s a worthwhile thing to do. But I just had to vent on this one, it happens to me all the time.

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