May 16, 2005
It's The Web Stupid
A technology company of my acquaintance has an internal web site called, unoriginally, the <insert company name here> portal. It is rubbish. Here's why;
It's got a fairly standard, straight out of the text book, portal look. The middle pane
contains a list of news items. They are all links to Word documents.
That's right, Word documents, actual files that end in .doc and which you can edit. Which would be fine if they were actual documents. But they aren't. One of the items currently in the news pane on this site is a link to Word document with a single line of text and a hyperlink to a gallery of photographs on another, internal, web page.
The mind boggles. You would think that a web site alive and running here in 2005 would use HTML, but apparently not.
I said they're all Word documents, well they are except the one whose URL ends in .msg. Clicking on this tries to open Microsoft Outlook which isn't installed on the machine I'm using. So I can't read that message.
Needless to say, the whole portal looks horrible in any browser other than Internet Explorer.
Finally, and this one is a killer - please bear in mind that this is a technology consulting company - is the message about email storage. Naturally it's delivered in a Word document, although this one has no hyperlinks. Apparently I can only read email using company approved email software that has been configured by a qualified support team member. If further notes that employees are banned from editing or changing this configuration. Nice to know that I'm not qualified to configure my own software.
Aside from the horror that is this technology implementation it's probably a good life lesson. When applying for jobs with technology companies look at how they use it internally. Because, in my view at least, your own internal systems should be your first reference when convincing customers of your know how and experience.
Posted by Andy Todd at May 16, 2005 12:21 PM