Tag Archives: webdesign

I’m Weary of This: Seven Things that Just Bug Me

Randy Cassingham of This Is True has been driving a weekly Twitter event he calls Pet Peeve Wednesday, with the hashtag #PPW*. Some items I’ve posted about things that Just Bug Me(tm). I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that they fall into two categories, tech and language.

Tech Annoyances

  • Mobile websites that change the URL so you can’t reshare the page on Twitter without sending desktop users to the mobile site. Or worse: the ones that redirect you from a full article to the front of their mobile site, so you have to hunt around for the article that someone was trying to share with you.
  • New password forms should always spell out the password policy before the user tries to pick something it doesn’t like.
  • If you have to cite a bogus law to claim that your email is not spam (or worse, that recipients can’t callit spam), it’s spam.

Language Annoyances

  • “Weary” means you’re tired of something, not concerned about it. You’re thinking of “wary” or maybe “leery.”
  • If you’re going to reference “Wherefore art thou Romeo?”, remember: she’s asking why, not where. (Think of it this way: The answer to “wherefore?” is “therefore,” and you know what “therefore” means.) It’s a lead-in to the “What’s in a name?” speech.
  • What do people think an “intensive purpose” is, anyway? The real phrase, “for all intents and purposes,” at least makes sense.
  • The word is “foolproof,” as in even a fool can’t mess it up, not “full proof.” (As opposed to what, half-proof?)

*There’s a hashtag collision with both “Pet Peeve Wednesday” and “Prove People Wrong” using the same tag.

Comic-Con Hotels 2010: Reviewing the Reservation Form

It was fast. Anticlimactic, really. It took a few reloads to get the Comic-Con International home page up, but once I could click on the reservation link, everything went smoothly. I was done by 9:05.

The reservation page was actually optimized!

  • Just one image: a banner across the top.
  • Everything was on one page, including the list of hotels, the personal info, and the hotel choices.
  • Hotel selection was done by client-side scripting, so there was no wait for processing between selections (and no risk of typos confusing their processing system later today).

This is a huge deal, especially compared to Travel Planners’ horribly overdesigned 2008 forms — yes, forms, plural — that kept bogging down. (I never even saw last year’s, though I tried for an hour and a half to get in.)

On the downside, that one page does load a half-dozen script files, but that doesn’t seem to have slowed it down much.

In case none of your 12 choices were available, they asked for a maximum price you’d be willing to pay for another hotel that’s not on your list. I vaguely recall this being a feature of the old fax forms, but I don’t remember being asked this on the phone last year.

I was surprised to find that they didn’t want credit card info immediately, but that’s good from a streamlining perspective as well. The hotel choices, room type, and contact info are critical in order to make the reservation in the first place. Payment can be done later, so in a rushed situation like this, it’s better to handle it later. Plus, not asking for credit card information means that they could run the site without encryption, speeding things up a bit more.

I would have liked to have gotten a confirmation number for the request, or an email, just so that I could be sure that I was in their queue. And to be sure that I entered the right email address. And the right start and end dates. And…well, you get the idea. I’m a little paranoid about the process at the moment.

Here’s hoping that the back end of the process, and sending out confirmations, goes as smoothly as the front end did.

Update: Short answer: it didn’t. Long answer: I’ve written up what went wrong, at least from the guests’ point of view.

TV, Smoke & Flash

  • TV: Castle good. Bones OK but more Katie’s thing. Still undecided on Glee. Excited about Flash Forward. Not sure on Heroes or Dollhouse. #
  • The “Mind the Gap” monster in Neverwhere sounds a lot like the smoke monster on Lost now. #
  • Speaking of smoke, I’ve been trying to figure out where all the crud in the air is coming from today. Norco maybe? #
  • Flash-only sites are also invisible to smartphone users, even with iPhone & Android. #sbbuzz #

Reinstalling Windows, etc.

  • Taking the opportunity to do a clean Windows installation (i.e. old box died). Downside: reinstalling a bazillion apps & updates. #
  • Hmm. Firefox spellcheck underlines Hiro but is perfectly OK with Nakamura. #
  • Ah, a clean desktop! Only 2 icons: Recycle Bin and my rebuild to-do list. #
  • I agree with @rzazueta:

    Also – PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE refrain from building sites all in Flash! Treat Flash like you treat images – enhancement. #sbbuzz #