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I hate CAPTCHAs. But that’s not surprising: everyone hates CAPTCHAs.

Of course, until someone invents a better way to weed out the spambots and various other virtual vermin, CAPTCHAs are a necessary evil. What drives me nuts though, is when websites force me to slog through a CAPTCHA when it’s simply not necessary.

When, you may ask, is a CAPTCHA not necessary? Well… how about after I’ve already successfully entered it once?

I ran across an example recently, when attempting to enter a comment on a blog. I filled out all the fields, including the CAPTCHA, then submitted my comment.

It turns out I had mis-typed my email address, in a wrong format that the system picked up. So naturally I got an error message, telling me I “must include a valid email address”.

Fair enough. But it also made do another CAPTCHA, even though I got that right the first time. Grrrrrrr….

That ticked me off so much, I simply left the blog and never did bother to enter my comment. In that particular case, there was not great loss to the site owners. But how many sales, leads, sign-ups etc. have been lost to the frustration caused by redundant CAPTCHAs?

Even if users have made a mistake in another form field, once they have successfully filled out the CAPTCHA, the CAPTCHA should be removed from the form. And there endeth today’s rant.