26 March 2008

SABC's website sucks

Email to info@SABC.co.za:
"Why does SABC's website suck so badly when viewed in Firefox?

"Not to mention that it is completely unusable with Javascript disabled, which renders it inaccessible to people using Braille readers or text-based browsers of any kind; this violates the constitutions provisions against discrimination."
BTW: if you leave off the "www." prefix, you get to see exaclty what software they're using to drive their (very b0rked) portal.  Now I'm not suggesting that this might render them susceptible to getting the portal cracked, but anybody who has set up a portal server that incompetently has quite possibly left some default logins/passwords in place.  Maybe?

Not that I'm suggesting anything, mind...

01 March 2008

User-interface Reboot

This article by Mr Mirchandani gets it exactly right: UI again ...don't pretty up, destroy!

I have never forgotten the experience of early last year. Our car had been stolen, and we were jumping through the licensing department's hoops to get the old car de-registered, and our new car registered.  Well, 10-year-old, 2nd-hand car, since that's all we could afford with what the insurance company deigned to pay out -- another saga for another day.

First we could not de-register the old car, because it was flagged on the licensing system as "stolen", so no changes to its details are permitted.  WTF?  We could not unflag it, since that would require the police to mark the car as recovered, complete with verification of engine, chassis, VIN and registration numbers.  Eventually we left the matter in the hands of one supervisor who took pity on us as I crumpled in the face of this actively-hostile "information" system.  She solved the impasse by going outside the system: phone calls to a special contact in Pretoria -- "high friends in low places."

Then we had to register the new car.  The details had to get captured no less than 5 times!  Twice, manually by myself, the remainder by the clerk punching a terminal.  And two of those instance involved recapturing the vehicle details from a form still-hot from their system's laser printer.  The system already had the details, yet they still had to be manually recaptured.  This is insane!  Weren't computers supposed to save us work?
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