Broken As Designed (BAD)

    January 30, 2006

It’s funny how some services scream their inadequacy at us, yet we continue to use them.

A case is point is the technology used at work to get access to a “webcast” presentation. Every single email that I ever remember seeing about this contains a URL to the presentation and then these disclaimers (err, I mean “instructions”):

  • You must be using Internet Explorer on Windows.
  • You must disable *all* pop-up blockers.
  • Remember to disable *both* the toolbar and the OS pop-up blocker.

Every time I read that I think “Broken As Designed”, which can conveniently be remembered as “BAD”, and wonder why we haven’t replaced it with a more simple platform neutral system that doesn’t require pop-ups in and an insecure browser.

I think that folks who’ve not been on the inside of a “high-tech” company would be amazed at how often the internal technology is considerably worse that what they make available to their customers. This seems to ring true with folks I’ve talked with at many, many other companies. (See also: Fortune Cookie Wisdom for Self-Assessments)

If there were decent access controls in place, perhaps Google Video or YouTube would be better options. (Heh)

Jeremy Zawodny is the author of the popular Jeremy Zawodny’s blog. Jeremy is part of the Yahoo search team and frequently posts in the Yahoo! Search blog as well.

Visit Jeremy’s blog: Jeremy Zawodny’s blog.