Friday, July 02, 2004

Blaming the User

I made the mistake of visiting Photosite using a Macintosh computer and received Homestead's Browser "Warning"

One moment, please!

You are using a computer that does not support Homestead.

If you would like to take advantage of the Homestead's flexibility, power, and ease-of-use, please return to with a Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME, or NT computer.

Astonishing. Flexibility, power and ease-of-use? Au contraire! And their tagline is YOUR web site company. Hahahahaha!

Emphasis mine, of course.

The user-centric and customer-focused parts of an organization should really be writing or reviewing the 404 and "browser alert" type pages, as well as any alerts. We, of course, have also been guilty of such faux pas; there was one of these on Flickr, and it drove me nuts. When you were in FlickrLive and away from your keyboard and someone tried to acquaint themselves with you, the invitation would expire and you'd get a message that said "You took too long to respond to this request". It wasn't the user's fault, they were just off having coffee or something. What had really happened was we had done some poor programming and made it so the invitations expired. This has, thankfully, since been fixed.