This question comes up in my mind quite frequently, especially with number of new start-ups launching every week. I face some or the other problem with these online start-ups, either they have launched too early and don’t give service as promised, or it is just a hyped product or they are not user friendly.
Minekey startup news has been spread across blogosphere including Techcrunch. I was intrigued with this one as this space is one of the most crowded and it was covered by Michael Arrington. I decided to give it a try to see what different did this one have.
At first sight, I thought Minekey may not fall into user un-friendliness category. Infact I liked their homepage and simplicity. But when I tried to register, here is what I encountered.
I tried 4 times, and it just did not allow me to get in. Everytime I tried, it gave me “Image verification Error”. It was as if they just don’t want new subscribers. Yes, I was happy when I pressed the “New User sign up” link, it presented me with simple 5 field form, but everytime I got error, I had to fill 4 fields again completely. So in the end I filled in more than 20 fields.On the fifth try I came to know that the image verification was case-sensitive. Very well, you may say “It was your mistake in understanding. Isn’t it that simple. Don’t make such a big fuss”.
But why should I have to think about case sensitivity. Firstly, the image verification is all caps, it does not have a mix of upper and lower case, so you will never know whether you should enter lower or upper case. Secondly and most important, A simple instruction saying “Image verification is case Sensitive ” would have sufficed. I would not have to go through the labor of doing it over and over again.
Another thing that added to my confusion was “Encountered Errors” message, it is so near to the email address that I thought there is some problem with my email address itself.
These are pretty small things, but they need to be taken care of otherwise you will end up loosing a lot of users.
I must have filled hundreds of registration forms till now and normally, if case sensitive, either they either have instructions or they have mix of both, so one can understand that it is a combination of upper and lowercase.
I am pretty tech savvy and if this is my understanding, I am sure a lot of others would have same problems.
Here are some of the verification images I encountered:
Tell me how will you know that I have to fill in all caps ?
Who ever made this registration form needs to make this form more intuitive and user friendly. We are living in a user centric world. One has to make things ridiculously simple for users and they will stay with you.
Another question that you may have is how did I capture all this information, did I do it intentionally. No, I did not. I did get registered at my 5th try by entering all caps, however, I decided to write about it. So I logged out and did exactly what I did for 4 times.
Actually, I started writing this post to put together the interesting start-ups of this week, but this post seems to have taken a different direction.
Let me talk about the actual service now:
Minekey is an intelligent Content discovery and recommendation service for your blog or website. There are loads of these widgets spread across the net and I am not too sure of what MineKey does differently. The evangelist behind this start-up is California based Rajiv Doshi and lead Investor is the famous Mr. Vinod Dham of NEA IndusUs Ventures.
More from their website:
Minekey’s content discovery service helps online publishers, marketers and retailers to maximize their revenue and improve user experience by serving the most relevant information to their target audience. The service enables large media companies to distribute content by means of the Minekey Recommendations Widget, directly to customers on potentially unlimited number of blogs, websites and portals. Bloggers and other website hosts use the Widget to present the most relevant content for each online user, based on what they are currently reading or have read before.
I created a widget for Trakin and here is a snapshot of what was created. You can completely customize the colors and look for your widget.
Honestly speaking, I don’t know why I should use this widget. Here are few of the questions that I have:
1.) Can it monetize my site using this widget ?
2) Does it give me linking advantages?
3) Is it a PHP code that search engines can read ?