Required but not editable

I gave feedback about a hotel in which I recently stayed. At the end, I was offered to post my rating and share it with other guests. Well, I got to this page. The small gray circles are clickable, but when you click one of them, nothing happens. I just clicked Next but got:

We’re Sorry, But We Have Encountered The Following Issue(s):

Cleanliness is required.

Sleep Quality is required.

I did not get to step 3.

Problems

  1. For a verfy brief second I though that I was not clean enough to continue and maybe need to wash my hads or something. I also wondered how they figured out that I did not have a very good sleep last night after having had guests and 30-year-old Metaxa.
  2. The hotel folks require that certain fields be filled out, yet these fields are not editable. They are prepopulating the fields based on the replies that I gave on the survey I filled out before that. They were not able to calculate a rating for sleep quality and room cleanliness because I skipped the questions on how comfortable the pillow has been and the like. I guess, that this problem results from automation gone wrong. Instead of showing me a page for editing the ratings, they are showing me the page for previewing the ratings before posting.
  3.  The message is using title capitalization. I am not sure I understand why.
  4.  The wording is too strong and the message becomes a bit scary. It starts with “We’re Sorry” which raises a flag. Then the combination of the words “encounter” and “issue” escalates the flag to an alert. Yet here we have required fields.
  5. The words used in the message do not match the content of the page. The message speaks of “Cleanliness” while on the page the name of the field is “Room Cleanliness”.

Fix

First thing, make the fields editable. Then address the wording and formatting and make the message milder – a message about unpopulated required fields does not need to be scary.

29 September 2016 | Holiday Inn Express

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