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  1. Sarcky
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Terrible Information Systems Design Examples


    How many of us have come across just really really terrible designs from large corporations?

    Today I tried to cancel my geico policy since I switched to a cheaper option. I learned a couple of things from this attempt:
    1) Geico's website stores all navigation information in the session. You cannot open 2 tabs to their website. Attempting to navigate to the FAQ in one tab and the "contact us" page in another tab produces an error condition. Any subsequent clicks in either tab will produce an "oops" page and kick you back to the index. You have to browse their site in a single tab in a single browser.

    2) When I finally found the number to call, the lady tried to give me the hard sell and then said "ok sir if you could just go ahead and log out of the website I'll be able to access your account." WTF?

    Seriously. I can't access the site from 2 tabs, and she can't access my account from corporate headquarters if my computer 2,000 miles away is logged in to the website? What if I had closed the browser without logging out? What if I had left the page up and gone out to the parking lot to make this sensitive call? What a ridiculous system.

    So go ahead and share your stories of systems monkeys could have designed better.
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  2. #2
  3. Type Cast Exception
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    I find it amazing that Pacific Gas and Electric cannot set up direct pay to a credit card. You have to set up an ACH payment directly from your bank account, which is 1980's technology.

    Comcast will accept a credit card, and I signed up for autopay as soon as I received my first bill. Then a week later I got a shut off notice (I had not even had service for a full month yet and they were sending threatening nastygrams) turns out that it takes them up to three months to actually set that up. Some technology company. (AT&T was quite the opposite, their autopay system works great).

    Not a website design issue per se, but a bit of a headscratcher considering the year on my calendar.
    medialint.com

    “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” - Dr. Seuss
  4. #3
  5. Sarcky
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    That reminds me, my friend Zoe lives in an apartment complex and pays her rent online. On October 20, the complex got bought out by a larger conglomerate. On November 1, Zoe paid her rent online like normal. On November 10, she (and more than a dozen other tenants) were evicted.

    Apparently the new company forgot to transfer the online rent payment software over to their new bank account. So when they didn't get rent payments from a dozen people, they sent eviction notices out through a courier company to the wrong addresses. When no response was heard from the eviction notices that weren't ever delivered, they padlocked all the doors. The eviction notices were found blowing around in the empty lot across the street.
    HEY! YOU! Read the New User Guide and Forum Rules

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

    "The greatest tragedy of this changing society is that people who never knew what it was like before will simply assume that this is the way things are supposed to be." -2600 Magazine, Fall 2002

    Think we're being rude? Maybe you asked a bad question or you're a Help Vampire. Trying to argue intelligently? Please read this.
  6. #4
  7. Lord of Dorkness
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    My local bank's website was very slow to load the login screen (approximately 30 seconds). I had an email conversation with someone. They "fixed" the problem. It now takes 90 seconds to load.
    Functionality rules and clarity matters; if you can work a little elegance in there, you're stylin'.
    If you can't spell "u", "ur", and "ne1", why would I hire you? 300 baud modem? Forget I mentioned it.
    DaWei on Pointers Politically Incorrect.
  8. #5
  9. Sarcky
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    My student loan website's main index login doesn't work. You go to the site, and regardless of what you type into the boxes, it takes you to the "password incorrect" screen. THAT login form works. I've verified this with three different accounts on 6 browsers, it's absolutely a bug. When I report it to them they accuse me of making a late payment and demand that I call them for tech support. No amount of "this is not tech support this is an actual for-real bug report" will convince them, so I just bookmarked the "wrong password" form.
    HEY! YOU! Read the New User Guide and Forum Rules

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

    "The greatest tragedy of this changing society is that people who never knew what it was like before will simply assume that this is the way things are supposed to be." -2600 Magazine, Fall 2002

    Think we're being rude? Maybe you asked a bad question or you're a Help Vampire. Trying to argue intelligently? Please read this.

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