Online system hall of shame – first of a series

The first entry of what I hope will be a series of entries about online systems that don’t act like they’re supposed to be online.

My first victim is City of Oshawa Leisure On-Line. Signing up for recreation classes on-line seems like a no-brainer: avoid lineups, busy phone lines, and find what you want easily. But two things about this system make no sense whatsoever:

  1. Every time you visit the site, it assigns a unique ID to your session in the URL and in a browser cookie. The result being that if you send someone else a link to any page on the site, they’ll get a lame message that they are blocking cookies from the site. Nothing could be further from the truth! This means you can’t copy a link to a program and e-mail it to a friend.

  2. In order to sign-up for a class or program the very first time, you need to create an account. But once you fill out the registration form, you have to wait 48 hours for your account details to be e-mailed to you! So much for it being quick and easy – in those 48 hours it’s quite possible for the class you want to fill up and then you’re outta luck – and the only reason is that it’s your first time.

Punishing people for trying to use your system is a pretty bad idea. It seems to me like no one at the City of Oshawa actually tried this system out before pushing it down people’s throats.


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One reply

  1. I am quite excited for the rest of this series.