Monday, December 1, 2008

Who programmed this?

I am a subscriber to a video library which delivers me DVD’s via mail on a regular basis. I really like the service since I can create a list of what I want to see on a web site. I can also decide in what priority I want to view DVD’s and so on. Every time I watch a DVD I simply pop it back in the post and a new one arrives from my list a few days later. Fantastic.

Now, I’ve been using this service for a few years now and have watched hundreds of DVD’s via this method. When I log into my DVD portal I get something like what you see below with suggestions of what I might like to watch from the library.
 
The issue here is that every DVD you see in the above list I have watched and returned from this DVD library site. Why doesn’t the web site know that? Doesn’t it look stupid by suggesting things I’ve already seen? I would think that it is pretty easy to at least check my viewed DVD list to see if what is being recommended has actually been viewed!

When you see things like this you gotta question the value of technology. In my books it is simply not adding value to the site and should not be there. Also, it is very lazy programming simply to throw up any list of DVD’s for me to watch without the most simply qualifiers. Do I feel I’m a customer that matters? Nope. This tells me that the site doesn’t know who I am from a bar of soap. How is that adding value in my mind to what I pay for? Does it provide a unique selling point? Nope. It just shows me how poorly put together the site is.

Companies who develop web sites and technology need to understand the value from the customer’s perspective. Don’t do something because it is technically easy or look pretty – give us something that is practice, otherwise as a customer you are simply wasting my time. Even if doing something simply is technically difficult (which it normally is) don’t do something technically easy that doesn’t work (like the above) because it shows me you haven’t thought about me as a customer. The next time I need to make a decision about whether I continue to use such a service this sort of stupidity is going to count against you.

For heaven’s sake, give us practical technology not technology for technology’s sake!