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Standardization, Please!

Within the U.S., telephones are pretty much standardized, generating the touch-tone sounds needed to navigate or to enter information. Would that we could say the same for web sites; I simply can’t count on all sites to work well—or at all—with my browser. I currently prefer Opera as a rule, turn to Netscape or Firefox where Opera won’t handle a site, and resort to Internet Explorer when all else fails. But even web sites that respond to one or more of these browsers may frustrate or annoy me because the information I want isn’t there, or is hidden in an unlisted menu option. Clearly, far too many of these sites are designed for people who already know where to find what they’re looking for—and were designed by people who were too close to the problem.

Ten particular aggravating behaviors make it unnecessarily hard for me, as a customer or as a press person, to get information from—and/or buy from—web sites. When will vendors learn that, on the Web, all their competitors are just a click away?

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