Jun 28 2009
Visitor Contact seems to have left the building. This article remains in its stead.
In the world of web development there are certain tasks that are redundant, repetitious and oftentimes outright boring. Among these is setting up a contact page. For this site I’ll concede that I borrowed a prefabricated tool so as not to have to hassle with it. Sometimes you may need a more ubiquitous solution. One that will allow you to plug it in anywhere. That’s where Visitor Contact comes in. They provide a tool that allows you to create custom contact forms and buttons.
The options are pretty straightforward. Above and beyond a basic form, it provides the option for email contact info, and Twitter and Skype as well. It also gives you the option to display a map to your location, has an auto-responder so you can look like a real business, and include fax and phone numbers. The tab itself can be displayed on the top, midddle or bottom of the page and on either the left or right side. And finally, it allows you to pick the static and hover colors of the tab.
After I made all my selections I present to you my new, duplicate effort, contact button.
See exhibit A off to the right. (Removed since site is now down…) With any luck it will only appear on this blog seeing as how I already have a contact page link above.
Now anyone who’s been paying attention to the Slap Reviews, should know I’m going to take major issue with this contact tool. And yes, I’m kvetching about hex colors again. Notice how you can select the color of the tab and then the color when you hover over it? Turns out you don’t have the option to select the font color. The only option is to leave it white. How silly of them. Well, I, myself, a huge mob of miscreants, and this here llama, all agree that Visitor Contact should get with the program and make the font color an option as well.
The only other nitpicky preference I would make is the option to select font size and have the tab size adjust accordingly. I find the tab just slightly bigger than I prefer. And since it’s nailed to the page, i.e. when you scroll down it stays in the same place, it just kind of sticks out a little much for my liking. Contact buttons are often best left as a more subtle feature.
In fact, I bet there’s a direct correlation to how obvious your contact button is and the popularity of the site. It’s kind of like the kid in school always following you around wanting to be your friend. Nobody wants to hang out with him.
There is a workaround which is to bypass the tab completely and embed the form wherever you like. Just create any web page, add the embed code and it will display the form wherever you choose. So, were you to want to maintain some level of cool, you could link that page in the footer. Thus removing the Please Please don’t leave me button from the page. It’s up to you.
I do enjoy the features of this contact form. I’m always beyond thrilled when a product works out the gate exactly as I expect. I’m sure I’ll find a use for it, despite the fact that it somewhat resembles that poor annoying kid in school.
SlapBack: Thanks a lot for the great review. I’ll definitely consider having a black text color too :)
(and then later…) I’ll definitely work on your suggestions :) Thank you for the feedback.
* Llama photo attribution. (Found on Wikipedia, posted with permission.)