Reader javispedro recently commented:

Well.. I have a website with a “banner exchange” section with a link with text “Register”.

A few days ago I renamed the link to “Please, I want my web site to be added to the banner exchange, so register me. Please rethink twice before clicking here”.
Why? Because I was getting thousand emails a day from people who were confusing my site’s forum register with my site’s banner exchange register. No matter how many “WARNING: If you’re not a webmaster, this IS NOT of your interest. Please don’t fill the form if you’re not a webmaster!!!!”, people were still filling the form — and as I said, a lot of people. They even filled the mandatory fields (like “website logo”, a 100×100px image) with the most strange data you’d ever see (a man sent us a photo of his national identification card! (think of it as USA’s driving license level.))

Hmm… . IMHO, this is a problem of usability and web design rather than link wording or user stupidity; but we need to go back in history to answer that.

Many years ago, the Nazis held a vote in Austria. They really wanted to win that vote, and thus decided to manipulate the voting sheets. I managed to dig up such a picture on Wikipedia, and have posted it below for your viewing pleasure:
papert On making the much needed obvious

The most obvious thing is the size of the yes checkbox. The Nazis wanted everyone to check yes, and thus they made the Yes checkbox considerably bigger than the no one.

So, the solution for javispedro’s problem is to increase the size and visibility of the Forum register button so that it is way bigger and more visible than the Link exchange register button. Nobody clicks the wrong button just for fun; so people have real issues finding the forum register button and want to register badly for some reason…

People prefer the obvious to the hidden. So, when creating anything that people should use, make sure that the most-needed functions are the easiest to find and access. This isn’t only valid for UI design, but also for loads of other crafts…

What do you think?

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