Thursday, July 5, 2007

poor tool-hire practice

As my wife has decided another section of our lawn is to convert to 'border' - and that when I did the other side [manually] it nearly killed me - I was looking online for a machine I could hire to do the job. One local hire company is Lord Hire. On their website they divide the tools into sections [eg 'gardening equipment'] which is good - but each section had no 'html' content - only a link to a pdf file, as shown below:
OK, include a pdf for folk to print off if they wish - but pdf files are designed to read offline, not online. And the web is for web pages, not print-outs.

I should also add at this point that maybe all hire companies could take a look at the usability of their websites. Common errors on the sites I visited included that their database-driven sites only worked in IE [I use Firefox] - and why have a database-driven site when you only have a few dozen products on hire? What's wrong with good old html and well constructed navigation? But the most common fault was that any search facility expected me to know what the searched-for tool was called. I didn't even know that a 'turf cutter' existed, never mind what it was called - 'machine for digging up grass' didn't work in any of the searches.

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