Greg Morris

Designer, Pretend Photographer, Dad

Intentional Barriers

While redesigning my blog, and then doing it again, I thought long and hard about comments left on posts. I don’t get very many, all of which are from web mentions, but I like receiving them and wanted to consider them in the design. Giving them space was easy to do, but the most significant consideration is where to place the barriers to entry and its a harder decision than I thought.

When browsing jobs a few years ago, I was surprised how many didn’t have an online application processes, and many still required a handwritten application form. Naively I put this down to old companies not moving with the times; now I am convinced most of this is intentional.

Of course, you want the process to be as pain-free as possible, but making the application process too easy could potentially be even worse. Applying for the position all of sudden doesn’t need much thought, and applications submitted on a whim and leading to a much longer consideration process and an overall waste of time for all involved.

The same can be said for comments, make them too easy, like Youtube, and you can suffer from a deluge of half thought out impulse comment that means very little. Make the process too complicated and time-consuming, and you run the risk of putting everyone off. You’ll only receive the very extremes of comments, from the very highly motivated individual – be they good or bad.

So where do the barriers lie to produce the right amount of resistance, and receive the right amount of results? Perhaps I am overthinking things considering the low level of comments I have anyway. I started thinking about WordPress comments, but it opened ups whole new world of appreciation for intentional barriers to entry. – and I am yet to reach a decision.

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