This is a rant. It is unashamedly a loud complaint. If your fancy doesn’t run towards vitriol today, I suggest a different bat time and a different bat channel.
I wanted to check my bank balance. Not a big deal, right? People do it all the time. I was doing it from my desktop. Not a mobile, tablet, gaming station or through the television. Just a straight up desktop. Open a browser. Type in your user name and password.
And then silence. Not even an error message. It just sat there. … … … … for a long time.
I get that websites need maintenance, so I didn’t worry. I closed the browser, did something else for about 5 minutes and came back. Same result. There was an indicator at the top that they had updated their browser experience and would I like to try it? Oh sure, maybe that will get me in because ALL I WANT TO DO IS CHECK MY BALANCE!
Nope. Same result. OK, new website design, probably working the bugs out, so I wait about an hour. You guessed it. Didn’t work.
Next step – Contact Us. Cool, there is a chat function. I know some of you are thinking, I bet that didn’t work either, but you would be wrong. A window popped up and a person (or AI), who self-identified as Michelle asked how they could help. When I described my problem, Michelle said, “Hmmmm. Maybe try a different browser. We support all major ones like Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
“Michelle,” says I, “I am using Edge, the default browser with Windows 10.”
“Oh,” says Michelle, “We’re not compatible with Edge yet.”
Back in the day when George (this is a whole different story) was encouraging me to learn HTML so I could write a website which he had volunteered to do, one of the huge checks before publishing was browser compatibility. The student needed to verify the website was accessible on anyone’s computer before it was any good to either the user or the originating organization. Check ALL browser compatibility before you publish.
Apparently this mantra has been lost.
Whether students are no longer taught this in the US or in the countries where H-1Bs call home, the problem is huge. Yes, big organizations generally still do this. Can you imagine Amazon inserting pop-ups saying, “I see you’re using Safari. To use our system, please download Firefox. Amazon does not work with anything but Firefox”? Yeah, no. That would hit the Bezos bottom line with a resounding thud. Money aside, one of the hallmarks of Amazon is their customer service, hence regardless of your browser, unless you’re still using one from the early 1990’s, you can order anything from a pancake spatula to medieval chain mail using whatever browser floats your boat.
My husband and I refer to “just use a different browser” as the phenomenon of lazy developers who check their gmail on their iPhone. It’s what they do, so of course you do too, right? No, I don’t. It makes me irritable that they feel it is their right to dictate how I use my computing power, so I’m going to be hashtag shaming lazy corporations, and I’m going to name names! For the record, I don’t plan on taking prisoners.
Back to the bank. When we opened the account I asked if there was a Windows Phone app. Friendly bank manager didn’t know and also didn’t call to find out. Nonetheless, we opened the account. No Windows Phone app, and yes, this was before Windows killed off the phone. Sigh. No mobile deposits. It will be the drive down and deposit scenario. We got used to it, until today. What use is a bank that I have to drive down to CHECK MY BALANCE, all because a developer is too lazy to check browser compatability? Actually its usefulness is diminishing by the second.
Yes, I could load a different browser, but if I do so it will be because I see a need, not because you’re too lazy to write for everyone out there in Browser-land. Also of note – it will be a very cold day in a very hot place before I purposely put anything Google on my machine. Yes I realize the irony of WordPress using Google analytics, and me choosing WordPress for this blog. I did not download it to nestle nefariously in amongst my data however.
Is this bank an isolated incident? Nope. Last week I went to reorder my business cards only to have the website have undergone an upgrade, rendering my ability to access my saved designs void or indeed to even start all over. Again, if I would just use Chrome or Firefox, I wouldn’t have any problems, I was told. I had to have a nice man on the phone do my order for me at his end. You begin to wonder, why have a website at all, if this is what a portion of your customers have to do?
For the past year, each time I open a Contact Management email system our neighborhood uses, I am informed that, We see you are using Edge. We recommend using Chrome or Firefox to be able to have access to all the abilities of this site. ARGH. For a year and half it has said that. Even if they all had a 2 month extended lunch hour, perhaps in a year and a half someone could have gotten around to it. Note – we are cancelling our service with them. I’m sure they’re not quaking in their boots because our $165 will bankrupt them, but if enough people get fed up, it might make an impact.
Because this is ostensibly a food blog, I will post an appropriate recipe here, and begin the list of shame following. Please feel free to add your own to the list of lazy web designers in the comments section.
I can't be bothered, try eating at McDonalds instead
1 piece white bread
1 tsp butter
Boil egg in water to desired doneness. Put bread in toaster and leave in till desired browness has been achieved. Spread butter on toast.
Remove shell from egg and smear or slice egg on toast. Season to taste and enjoy while warm.
#LazyWebsiteDevelopers Hall of Shame
as of date of publishing, to be removed if they get their act together