• Mutter mutter mutter

    by  • 2/16/2009 • work • 0 Comments

    I’ve mentioned before how I hate applying for jobs through companies “easy to use” self service HR web portals. All too often the choices are badly limited, or otherwise brain dead. Today alone, on two large national bank sites that I’ve applied to, I’ve been asked things like:

    1. Are you eligibile to legally work in Canada… Yes/No
    2. IF THE ANSWER IS NO, are you eligible to legally … Select One

    I’m the kind of guy who answers yes or no to questions like “would you like to go to a movie or a play” because I’d first think of it as a logical or… The second question would seem to mean that I can ignore it if I did not answer NO to the first one.

    I would be wrong. I still need to pull down the select and choose “Not applicable”

    This same site had a couple submit buttons that don’t work in Mozilla on Linux or Mac OS. Safari was also ignoring the javascript submit button… I had to go through a much less desirable method for posting my resume with them. Most of their IT jobs are UNIX based, and anybody who actively uses Linux or BSD at home as well as professionally would be stuck as well.

    General web site design issues I encountered:

    • The lack of “BACK” buttons in some of the application systems are rather annoying too; once you have entered something, you’re all too often stuck with it.

    • Redefining widget behaviour in new and annoying ways. licking in the scroll bar for a looooong selection list should page up or page down, but some developer decided that that normal functionality should be replaced with moving up or down a single line.

    • Seriously, why use a javascript submit button when you simply don’t have to, and then neglect to test it with one of your target audience

    • Speaking of target audience, if you’re a Canadian bank looking for Canadian employees located in Canada, why does your default selection of countries on your sign up list United States and then Canada? Besides that, why does it default to US?

    • Imposing useless restrictions on data formatting is pointless; your system should adapt to what is entered. Being forced to enter format your postal code on one site as A1A 1A1 (with a space) and on another as A1A1A1A (no space) on another is silly. Phone numbers in North America should consist of 10 numbers, and punctuation shouldn’t matter; brackets, dashes, etc. White space and punctuation shouldn’t matter if you have competent developers.

    This sort of thing just reinforces in my mind that competent developers are more rare than you could imagine, and few people understand that user interfaces shouldn’t be obstacles.

    I prefer the web pages to mailing and faxing in resumes, though only in the same fashion that I might prefer the guillotine over the gas chamber…

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