Archive for September, 2008

Falling asleep 18 months jail: causing injury 12 months home detention

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

On his third drink driving charge,  three charges of careless driving causing injury were not enough for Judge Anne Kiernan to imprison Jason Peters despite having caused injury to a number of people in an accident at Maramarua in May 2006.

As we noted in a post in May 2007, a judge imprisoned for 18 months a driver with a history of drink driving for being well over the limit. No one hurt, no one killed - over the limit and fell asleep at a petrol station. The family had pleaded for home detention  instead  of imprisonment. The judge is reported to have said he had “no choice but to sentence Perenara to prison“.

Can we have a little consistency please?

Smith and Smith Glass flatters Supreme Screens

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Up until late August Smith and Smith Glass had a terrible website - little content and poor design - the 0800 number was writ huge and actually that was the website’s main message “forget the website, just call the 0800 number”. All that has changed with a new smart looking site, but what makes this site so good? You only have to look at the website of their competitor, Supreme Screens, to see why.

  • Supreme Screens: Repair is always our first choice
    • Smith & Smith: We repair first
  • Supreme Screens: Page titled - Repair vs Replace
    • Smith & Smith: Page titled - Repair or Replace
  • Supreme Screens: Free repair with no hassles!
    • Smith & Smith: Repair is hassle free
  • Supreme Screens: “Windscreens not only prevent ejection of the occupants, they are also the backboard for the airbag. ”
    • Smith & Smith: “the passenger airbag relies on the windscreen to provide support if the airbag deploys.”
  • Supreme Screens: “If you have comprehensive car insurance with a windscreen extension, in most cases you will not pay a cent for your windscreen repair.”
    • Smith & Smith: “If you have full vehicle insurance including cover for glass damage, Smith&Smith® can normally repair your windscreen for free.”
  • Supreme Screens: A windscreen repair is QUICK
    • Smith & Smith: Repairing a chip is quicker than replacing a whole windscreen.
  • Supreme Screens: if you can cover the complete damage with an old sized 50 cent piece…
    • Smith & Smith: A chip smaller than a 50¢ coin.

How do we sum this up? In keeping with the message of this post I looked to others for a quote.

“Creativity is great, but plagiarism is faster.” - unknown

“he that comes last is commonly best.” - Robert Burton

And that, of course, is what will irk Mike & Sue at Supreme Screens.

Mindset then methodology: for usability & accessibility

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

I recently presented on the subjects of Usability & Accessibility to Software Quality New Zealand. My thesis - that the root cause or at least a strong contributing factor to websites being difficult to use and/or inaccessible is a failure of mindset not methodology. We examined a number of websites to see how customer centred they were - a key plank of usability in my opinion. You had to be there - but the presentation below, courtesy of Slideshare may be useful. The slides in themselves may not communicate much - but there are notes behind them if you go to the Slideshare site. Alternatively, the full PowerPoint presentation will be available on the SQNZ site very soon.

If your site is one of my examples, thank you - there were so many to choose from.

Mindset then Methodology 

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: usability web)


New mobile offering - what is it exactly?

Monday, September 1st, 2008

TelstraClear are offering a new mobile service to compete with Telecom and Vodafone. There are some basic details available in the media - so I though I’d go checking to see if I might be eligible and perhaps save some money on my mobile bill.

First challenge - the TelstraClear website - will it tell me what I want to know? Having got to the “mobile” page I try the links to the pdf documents “About Mobile brochure” and so on - the links are broken to all of them. Tested? I don’t think so.

What’s my big issue? My mobile number is on business cards, websites and more importantly stored in other people’s cellphones and address books. Can I keep my cellphone number if I switch?

To find that out it seems I’m going to have to call them. I don’t have the time to sit in their call centre queue. Waste of time for me and costly for them to service my enquiry by call centre when it could have been handled by the website. Not a great start as far as I’m concerned.

How does this happen? It’s a mindset failure - a focus on the new product/offering and not on the customer.