Tuesday, September 28, 2010

They are ugly AND they don’t work

Stadtpark 27 September 2010

I have built a few websites in my time and without exception they were extraordinarily ugly. I have no design skills whatsoever and this coupled with a total sense of color coordination and aesthetic values made my websites look like yesterday’s vomit on toast. They were, however, useable. In the sense that when you clicked on a link it worked and when you wanted to fill in a form you could do so with a minimum of fuss.

I was very careful about this because I know that there is nothing more frustrating to users than to try to use websites that do not function properly.

I say this because last night a spent an immensely frustrating couple of hours trying to book flights to Male – in the Maldives – where we are going Scuba Diving next April.

Most airline sites incorporate the double whammy. They are ugly AND they don’t work. (I have ranted about this previously).

Most sites make you fill out the desired travel dates, number of people etc and when you click ‘search’ you find that there are no flights – or they go via Zanzibar with a three-day layover. To do a new search you have to start from scratch. Almost everyone does this.

Air Berlin uses the cunning ploy of having a search screen that is fine until you put in the desired dates – then the search button vanishes below the margin and will not come out no matter what you do.

I eventually found a way around this by going through Air Niki and discovered that Air Berlin has many flights going to Male in April – but none at all coming back in May.  There is no explanation given for this – I am sure there is one - but it is not helpful if you are trying to book a return flight. I eventually found some options – all of them ghastly.

Cate says she does not want to be involved so I will have to take on the full responsibility. In April when we are sitting in some rat hole for a 10-hour stopover on our way to Male via Timbuktu with Bogair Cate will regret the amount of discretion and responsibility she gave me - but then it will be too late. 


  1. Ah yes I know that one. Sounds like my wife who will happily sit in a pool of urine on the floor of a cell somewhere as long as she can clearly say that "I told you this would happen!" as long as she was right about that she is happy :-)

  2. One of the upsides of never going anywhere...not having to deal with these sites.
    (Though I would Looooove to have this problem)

  3. Glen: My wife says things like 'is this what you expected dear?' or 'nice planning Pumpkin!' or 'what's next - are they going to cut off our toes with garden shears - please let me know so I can prepare'.

    Katie: I only do it because I have to and to boots global tourism out of the recession. (and Cate pays).