There are certain websites that drive me bonkers. Poor design, poor usability, not updated since forever, only campatible with IE6, flash only… you all have your own pet hates. That said, i *need* some of these same websites that i hate or i *have* to use them. The content and services they offer are useful or perhaps essential, but visiting the site is not a good experience… you don’t *want* to go to the site. It actually becomes hassle and a chore going to the site (for me anyway).
Once upon a time i was happy if a business or service or something i needed had a website… any sort of website… but these days that’s just not good enough. A bad website is almost as frustrating as not having one at all.
There are sites you like and sites you don’t like. Just like people. Just like places. You won’t revisit a place you hate unless you absolutely have to and even then you just want to get out of it as fast as possible because you don’t enjoy the experience.
Here are some websites i really hate going to for a variety of different reasons;
This is the official government leaving cert website which i’ll often visit (to help me keep my own site – theleavingcert.com – up to date). It hasn’t changed much since i did my own leaving cert 4 years ago. These days if you want to download a past paper for a subject, you need to go through a ridiculous amount of drop down menus to get to your subject… that’s just for one year. You have to do it all over again for another year, or another subject.
God help you if you want to download all past papers & marking schemes for all 7 different subjects – you’ll be on the site until the end of time. It’s something i’ve attempted to make easier though on theleavingcert.com… i asked permission to store & distribute papers on theleavingcert.com but it’s no go for legal reasons.
I’ll agree that it’s simplicity is something positive, but it’s an example of complicated simplicity and that’s nothing to praise. It will quite often take me 5 or 6 clicks / page loads to get to where i want to go. Crowded homepage / scrollbar the size of a skyscraper which makes it a netbook’s worst nightmare, too much ‘lost / hidden’ content. Not a site i enjoy visiting if i need to find information on it, yet it’s a site i look at every day… i have no choice 😉
So what are you gonna do about it? Nothing. Unless i have an easy outlet for me to give casual feedback, i won’t. No way would i email my bank telling them ‘your website sucks and here’s why’… that’s a waste of my time and their time.
Probably the most feared website on the planet. Make a mistake on this website and you’re gonna get screwed for it – there’s no doubt about it. It’s like walking through a field of landmines trying to book a flight. (landmines being misleading extras or typos with passport numbers etc..)
EVERY single time you go to book a flight there is some new rule change or additional part to fill out. Double check & triple check your booking and keep on doubting yourself until your flight is complete because one mistake may cost you an arm or a leg with ryanair.
Here’s a few common ways of leaving feedback for a website / business and whether or not i use them…
- Contact form – No.
- email? – No.
- Survey – No, i might fill it in but that allows you to ask the questions – it should be the other way around.
- Forum? Maybe, has to be active, monitored and with a lot of eyes watching.
- Twitter? Maybe, but probably too short for me to get warmed up…
- Blog Comments? Yes
- Facebook? Yes
So in summary, one on one feedback is a no go for me. I suppose that’s because i like seeing openness and transparency and a ‘we’ve got nothing to hide’ attitude. If questions & answers are in public, i’m much more likely to give feedback, probably because i know it means much more. There’s a lot more weight behind a comment in public than a comment in private. If a business or website asks for feedback in public, i know they’re serious about it.