More than ten years since its inception, the web still sucks. Websites are still built poorly, people still dump disgusting amounts of money into bad parts of their technology infrastructure (IE-specific “web applications”) and refuse to spend money on important things (usability, accessibility, design expertise).
Let’s look at that for a moment. Recently, the very fractured Board of Directors of our local Real Estate board voted to move away from the custom built online system they had been using for many years. While I will freely admit the system was not good (and that I often considered tendering to redesign and rebuild it), it worked almost flawlessly, provided the information the board needed it to and was usable from any browser on any platform.
One of the more influential board members lives out in the country, probably a twenty minute drive into nowhere. What this means is that for that board member, accessing the system was a bit of a pain in the ass, because of the slow Internet service so prevalent in rural areas. This member wanted a downloadable database, something that would live on the computer without a connection.
So, RFPs were put out, and eventually a system was decided on, by an excruciatingly narrow margin. The new system was the way of the future, they said, and they pushed forward with the changeover.
The new system, of course, only runs on Windows. It requires Internet Explorer 6. Yes, they can download the database now, but because there are about a thousand agents in the region, the database is probably out of date within an hour of being retrieved.
And worse, they took a system that worked for everyone regardless of the system and changed it to one that only worked for a proprietary, closed system. And then they wonder why it’s such a pain in the ass to use.
Why does the web still suck? Because people are still stupid. â˜¿