08 July 2009

Antagonistic web design

It's one thing to have an ugly or out of date website but it's quite another to have one that frustrates users with non-standard navigation and lack of information. There's one site which I keep going back to although I don't know why I bother. (I do know, sadly, it's because I have to keep trying.)

I feel like Charlie Brown running toward the football every time I try to find something on that site.
Every time, I click or try to search, I land on my digital ass. "Aauugh!" -- they have Lucy van Pelt as their web tech.

The frustrating thing is that the site is one that should be packed with information -- it needs to have digitized publications forms and posters, a proper contact form, a real search box or even a site map that actually lists everything on the site. Unfortunately, they don't use a content management system (if they do, they've broken it) and have lost track of some of what is there. I've tried searching for date-sensitive information (upcoming meetings, conferences, courses) and in the end had to go through an email tree only to receive a document that was scanned from a photocopy, saved as an image, embedded in a Word document and then attached to my email. AAUUGH!

I understand that some companies don't want to manage a web presence -- fine, then just direct me to whom I need to contact to find the information I need; don't frustrate me by pulling the virtual football away after I have started to kick. In fact, don't even pretend you have a football. One of these days, I may send you my chiropractor bill.


Ada Saab said...

are you talking about our employer website.....?

Cheryl said...

Nope; besides they keep asking for input and I keep giving it to them. This particular website will make changes if you send a direct and specific note (but will not send you a thank you or even a note to say the change was made. Anything beyond that, the messages go into a black hole.

Also, I am not going to play "guess the website" because it will get obvious pretty quickly. :P