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In developing some new contact us and chat (non-gated) fields, I'm finding that when I meet SalesForce "requirements" the fields are a UX nightmare.

I'm ending up with a minimum of 5 fields, and with our other (legal) requirements, the module is ending up at a stupid height of over 768px.

Required: - first name - last name - email

Optional: - Phone - comment/subject

All with their respective required or not natures indicated as they fill out the fields (no asterisks, etc). Sales is telling me they can't process leads with the preferred unified name field. Can I bring any ammo to the table to say how awful and cumbersome this is, and how we'll have higher bounce rates? I've told them those things and they don't care. The reason for the name separation and email req. is for case-linking—for existing accounts in that case—as well as lead gen.

I also want to remove the phone number field whenever chat is online, and keep it when they send a general contact request when chat is offline—if there's any validity there, but I'd like more business-y reasons instead of "UX doesn't know anything" "excuses" I keep giving them.

Thank you.

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    Worth noting that some people only have a first name, e.g. common in Indonesia. How would your sales team handle that? Also, your situation may be a worthy candidate for AB Testing: use SalesForce as the Null Hypothesis and make something obviously better yourself as another Test Case - then wow the sales team with your findings. – straya Feb 12 at 5:52
  • Thank you for the insight. For now (and the foreseeable future) our sales are confined to domestic US locations—no international customers. – UncleDeuce Feb 12 at 20:12
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Name separation is probably still the norm, and the business reason for wanting that sounds fair if there's existing data to connect with. It's extremely unreliable (geographically/culturally unpredictable) to use a unified name field and be able to extract how a business should call you.

The idea of a phone number being asked for only if chat is offline sounds a bit odd to be honest. Some people don't like chat systems, or haven't got time, or are on a mobile device where typing less easy, (or any other reasons) so you have to think about user environment as well as balancing business needs and a desire for a shorter form.

We can't see the form as it stands, but maybe there's layout modifications that could reduce the height, since 768px does sound tall.

I think you might have to accept the constraints that you have to work within - and it makes for a more interesting challenge (aka, opportunity for creativity!) :) For example a comment field that starts small, and grows as you type.

  • Thanks for the insights. To answer, I can't really upload a sample as it contains proprietary designs for now—and I'd like to remain anonymous for now. The phone is for making sure no contact is lost, in the case of existing customer experience requirements, and to engage new leads. I can hopefully change some minds as far as fields present. Since email is a key ID for most existing customers, that would remove the need for a phone number for existing customers anyway. – UncleDeuce Feb 12 at 20:13

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