Monday, May 26, 2003

Agh ...

I know that government gets a lot of stick for its web presence. Some of that stick is even deserved: too fragmented, hard to find things, not enough transactions - that kind of thing. But, we're not doing too badly versus the private sector. Here are some examples of plain, downright awful, stupid design from today alone: - The famous, internationally renowned bank that keeps issuing an error saying "check amount" (and nothing more) when I'm trying to transfer money between two accounts. Thinking this must be some kind of amount limit, I tried all kinds of different numbers. None worked. Do you know what it was? You had (HAD!) to type the pence field in - even though it wasn't separate. So, "£1000" wouldn't work. But "£1000.32" would. How maddening is that? - The estate agent (many are guilty of this) that let you search by property value, post code or whatever. But they won't let you search by property name. So many new developments are coming up with their own name these days (viz Monte Vetro, Imperial Wharf, Butlers Wharf etc) that I just want to be able to see if they have any from those names. Can I do that? No. - The well known Money Management programme that has released a new version in which everything has changed. One incoming funds transfer was, for goodness knows what reason, labelled "Funds Transfer from Katja" (definitely not any Katja I know - she would not be sending money). From then on, every single funds transfer has the same label. What's that all about? So, a frustrating day at the hands of the Internet. Someone, somewhere, has forgotten to use these services themselves before foisting them on the unwitting public. Carry this on and the only brands that work will be the ones that do it well: Amazon, errr ... Amazon? Who else?

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