Sunday, June 24, 2007

Stupidity of the Week: Massachusetts Registration Renewal

The Massachussets RMV demonstrates the 'Trashform' school of Web usability.

The user enters information into a form, some part is not entered as the system requires. OK throw away all the information the customer just gave you and make them start again.

In this case the missing information was that I entered the renewal fee as $41 instead of $41.00. Again, sloppy programming resulting in discourtesy to the user. There is no reason I should need to enter the fee at all, the RMV has all the information it needs.

They pull the same game again when asking for the credit card information. The RMV does not accept Amex (lame). Instead of telling the user this at the point where they are entering the credit card number they put the logos up at the top of the form and the credit card field is off at the bottom. On my laptop this means that the card logos have scrolled off the top of the screen when I am entering the card #.

There is also a bug in the basic forms processing of typical Web browsers. Standard practice is for a Web browser to often trash the information the user entered when a form is submitted. That should be unacceptable. If I spend time filling out a form that data should be considered the most important information the browser has. It should be given the absolute top priority in maintaining the cache.

Better yet, how about a browser that remembers all the information that a user has entered into forms as the default? Clearly there are privacy issues, perhaps people don't want their spouses to know that they are visiting folkdancing.com etc. But these are issues we need to manage anyway.

1 comment:

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