As a developer, one of my major pet peeves is developers who don’t use their application. If you are a Microsoft developer you can see this with SSMS. The IDE compared to Visual Studio is awful. It took until SQL 2008 to get intellisense and it’s a piss-poor implementation.
With the proliferation of mobile devices some of these things are more widely seen. Some of the items below, are purely on the website developers while other things are just some ideas that I have. In many of the situations, I suggest there is some kind of mechanism for deterring if you want the behavior. Some of the things I want would involve browsers storing settings and passing those to pages. Those kinds of wants require some major revamping to how the web works, but why should that stop me from ranting?
- Don’t make me fill in a zip code Anytime I use my iPhone or iPad, many sites ask me if they can use my location and then it filters the results to those locations. This is great and save me the hassle of entering this information. Several sites such as Best Buy, Lowes, & Home Depot want your location to either search stock or when you first hit the page. They don’t seem to be able to store this information on a consistent basis. This means that sites I visit regularly, I have to constantly enter this information. Some websites are coming around and auto populate. It’s not perfect in all situations but it’s a start. When I search from work, for instance, my company’s headquarters is several states away and our IP looks like it’s from that state. So they get it wrong, but they are making the attempt and they can’t accurately tell where I am from.
- Let me set the paging results page size I love Amazon and use it all the time. I despise they don’t let me set the number of items I want in a search result. This maybe be done here and other places for performance reasons but it still bugs me. Other sites have options that are usually like 10,20,30, etc. or so, I would like the ability to pick this value, have the browser remember it, and then any site that using that mechanism pickup on my default value. Or even better, more companies should do what Facebook and Under Armour do; when you hit the bottom of the page, they load the next set for you automatically. I really like this approach to the problem.
- Don’t make me enter a birthdate to prove my age You generally see this practice on Alcohol distributors and for video games sites where the game is rated M. How did it become accepted practice to do this? Does the owner of the site actually believe it absolves them of anything? How is it anything but annoying? Anybody about 7 or older that wants to see that information can just enter a date that allows entry. BAM! The kid is in. Way to go. Recently I went to Sam Adams site and they have this practice, but on the following page had me re-enter my birth year to be sure. Yeah that really helped. I would like to see this gone completely, but that isn’t likely, so let me store this in my browser.
- If you are being fancy with results and not reposting the entire page, remember where I am if I follow a link and come back. Many sites can load up the next page of results without refreshing the page. That is cool JQuery/AJAX at work and makes for a very nice user experience. Some sites get it very wrong through. If I am on page 3, click and item and then come back, put me back on page 3 and preferably where I was scrolled too. Starting me back over at page 1 is awful. Especially if the page controls look something like this: Page 1, 2, …. 43.
- Don’t restrict my “mobile” device to the mobile site. It’s pretty great that sites look and notice you are on a mobile device and redirect you to a mobile version. What sucks is when they force you to stay on the mobile version, especially when the mobile version doesn’t have all the same content. This is really annoying when on an iPad. It has more resolution that some netbooks. Let me see the full site. It’s one thing if they have flash (don’t get me started), but when they restrict me just to restrict me? Drives me nuts. I am looking at you ESPN.com
If you made it this far, thanks for sticking through the rants. If you have some Application Aggravations, leave a comment. Look forward to more rants in the future.