Simon Willison’s Weblog


A million pounds down the drain

11th July 2002

This site will make you cry: Connected Earth, BT’s new million pound (yes that’s £1,000,000) online museum devoted to the history of communications. It’s so bad it isn’t even funny—and don’t even think about trying to visit without Flash (I did and was presented with an alternative interface consisting of a single select box that refused to respond to mouse clicks). Load up on IE5+ and Flash and you’ll be treated to the single most unintuitive interface I have ever seen—good luck figuring out what the small, identical purple circles do. There are 2,000 pages of extensively researched content in there somewhere—obviously the designers thought it would be more “sticky” if you had to work really hard to find them. I could rant more, but quite frankly I just want to go to bed.

Update: On second thoughts, if you have a blog—blog it. Enough blogger interest leads to mainstream media interest, and the more bad press this gets the better. Sites like this can not be allowed to go without comment, and the more comment the better. Let’s humiliate these people in to never, ever creating something this bad again.

This is A million pounds down the drain by Simon Willison, posted on 11th July 2002.

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