Normaali on uusi musta eli Sampo Pankista Danske Bankiksi

Sampo-pankki (kirjoitettu tarkoituksella oikein) on nyt Danske Bank.
Hieno juttu, eipä siinä mitään.

Pankilla on laaja mainoskampanja uudesta normaalista (” a new normal demands New Standards”), ainakin Suomessa englanniksi. Näin lienee muissakin Danske Bankin maissa.

Ilmeisesti uusi nimi on uusi normaali. Tälle sitten täytyy olla uusia standardeja olemassa. Hä?

Ystäväni Jukka testamenttasi kurssiperintönään aikanaan Tim B-L:n artikkelin “Cool URIs don’t change“. Artikkeli kertoo noin lyhykäisesti sanottuna siitä miten verkko-osoitteesta A pitäisi tehdä ohjaus verkko-osoitteeseen B tietyissä tilanteissa (siten että käyttäjä ei sitä huomaa).

Yksi tällainen tilanne voisi olla vaikkapa yrityksen nimen muuttuminen.
Tuleeko esimerkkejä mieleen?

Minulle tulee:
Sampo-pankin verkkopankki löytyi osoitteesta https://verkkopankki.sampopankki.fi/.
Uusi verkkopankki löytyy loogisesti osoitteesta https://verkkopankki.danskebank.fi.
Hiljaa hyvä tulee, eikö?

Mennäänpä sitten siihen vanhaan osoitteeseen, eikös se pitäisi kaikkien taiteen sääntöjen (ja standardien!) mukaan ohjata uuteen osoitteeseen ja suoraan verkkopankkiin?
Toki toki.

sampo_uusi_normaali

Sampo Pankin verkkopankki ohjaa Danske Bankin etusivulle.

No mitä v*ttua?
Mikäs tässä meni pieleen?

“Tämä muutos ei ole vain väliaikaista. Tämä on nyt uusi normaali.
Tämä uusi normaali vaatii meiltä uutta tapaa toimia.”

Tässä lienee taustalla Dansken tietoinen päätös.
Rikotaan standardia, ei tehdä uudelleenohjausta kuin uuden sivuston etusivulle.Tämä toki opettaa ihmisille “uuden normaalin”, kirjanmerkit on pakko päivittää eikä vanhoja häntiä jää jäljelle.

On silti aika ärsyttävää.

Danske Bankin uusi normaali on siis se, että standardia ja suosituksia voi surutta rikkoa koska “tämä on nyt uusi normaali“.

Käytänkin samaa argumenttia vaimon kanssa seuraavan kerran kun teen hankintoja häneltä kysymättä.
“Ei kulta, kyllä tämä Mäkki on parempi kuin PC.
Ei se mitään että muu perhe ei osaa käyttää sitä eikä vanhat softat toimi.
Tämä on nyt uusi normaali.
Tämä uusi normaali vaatii meiltä uutta tapaa toimia.”

Kiitos, Danske. Kotirauha on taattu!

What’s Wrong With Finnish Theatre (Or My Short Trip to Tampereen teatterikesä)

I’ll continue my series of short reviews (rants?)  with Tampereen Teatterikesä‘s (Tampere Theatre Festival) web page (www.teatterikesa.fi), screenshot below.

etusivu-tampereen-teatterikesa-ry_1244195082896

Tampereen Teatterikesä, Screenshot from front page. Serious issues.

Front page has a picture of masquerade  lady with some human tissue (heart?) at her hands. Groovy!
But that’s not the point.

I got this uncomfortable feeling from just looking at the page, something is wrong. Must be. And yes, something indeed was wrong.

No, I don’t mean the lady with the heart.

I mean the technical side.

What’s wrong, then? Smallish copy-paste helps, like always:

</style><map name="frontpic">
	<area shape="rectangle" alt="" title="" coords="844,590,923,626" href="/suomi/" target="" />
	<area shape="rectangle" alt="" title="" coords="859,630,923,666" href="/in_english/" target="" />
</map>

<table align="center" class="front">
<tr>
	<td><img src="/res/etusivu_new.jpg" width="940" height="680" border="0" alt="" usemap="#frontpic" /></td>
</tr>

What is the problem, really?

Image maps used at 2009? WTF?
And what’s even worse, no alternative texts for links nor the image.

Why does it matter, then?

Well, Google sees nothing at the front page. I think that’s pretty big a deal. See the Google result.

The actual site is pretty ok, according to footer made by my old friend/foe, Optinet. (Screen grab below).

suomi-tampereen-teatterikesa-ry_1244195978382What amazes me, however, is the title for actual front page.  It says “Suomi” (Finland).

WTF?

Otherwise site is pretty ok, technical side is ok (as with Optinet-products most of the time is) but not great.

It’s the small details that irk me.

Small details make the site more invisible to Google and other Search Engines.
Small details make the site inaccessible.

Why not fix them? Just add title- and alt-attributes to front page image map (if it’s really, really needed. If not, why not get rid of the image map and just do texts the normal way, you know, html? Image replacement techniques anyone?)  and fix the title of the actual front page.

Not that hard.

Conclusion

  • Small details matter. If you are order a web site, make sure it’s visible to Google, too.
  • Small details matter. Make sure you know what you are ordering. If you don’t know, ask. Any decent web company will tell you. Ask about the pros and cons of this design. Ask about search engines, ask about mobile use.
  • Ask, ask and ask. If the webdesigner knows what he/she is doing, they’ll answer. Then you’ll know.

Tampere United and Feeds

Well, another season for my favourite football team, Tampere United.Tampere United Logo

Perhaps this season is better than the last one and we once again make it to international games! (And make it to top-4 in Finland)

Anyhoo.

Tampereunited.com still lacks all feeds.
No Feeds.
Nada.
Zip.

I made a feed for Tampere United  already last season (news and such). You can find it here (made with Feed43.) (direct URL: http://www.feed43.com/tampereunited.xml).

Now, Antti Pohja, my favourite footballer, blogs at TamU.

Again, no feed. No comments. Blog? IMHO, no.

Anyway.

Made a feed for Ato’s blog (“Pohjalliset”, get the pun? Thee hee), too. You can find Pohjalliset-feed here (direct URL http://www.feed43.com/pohjalliset_tamu.xml).

Again the same applies as last time – I will gladly remove these unofficial feeds when TamU provides me with their own ones.

Don’t think that will happen any time soon.

Valio.fi – anna elämän maistua.

Continuing my series of (re-)design reviews (Tampere United, Nokia Sports Tracker), I’ll present Valio.fi (a finnish company “that secures milk production in Finland and the vitality of the nation’s countryside by processing milk into tasty products that promote well-being”, source), which published their redesigned pages some time ago.

Home - Valio.fi's front page

Home - Valio.fi's front page

Above is a screenshot of Valio.fi, front page (in english).

The english version of finnish site is somehow empty, so I’ll use the finnish side instead (sorry!).

I’ll review the site shortly on three two aspects (as I’m lazy, this is my blog and the third category, usability, got me bored):

  1. Design and looks
  2. Technical side
  3. Ad Hoc usability and Information Architecture

Design and looks

In my opinion the new design looks good and fresh – as it should when advertising dairy produts;)  Compared to old design the contrast is great, or what would you say? (Screen grab using Archive.org below)

etusivu_1237120224698Especially the orange compared to new blueish theme is somehow annoying in the old version,

Flowerish logo theme is repeated at page background and images, nice!

Technical side

Platform

On technical side the site uses Oracle Portal as platform (as did the old one, too). Oracle’s platform is sturdy enterprise level publishing platform which suits high traffic sites like Valio (although according to TNS Metrix it isn’t one of the 250 Top Finnish sites).

HTML Validation

Opera Mini Simulator Test (mobile use)

  • works pretty well

Styles

  • What site at 2009 uses document specific styles (with <style> -element)? Ah, I remembered, Valio.fi.

Random

  • Page naming is awful (simple SEO, Search Engine Optimization,  anyone?)
    • example 1, front page is titled “Etusivu” (front page)
    • example 2, Tilauspiste page is simply titled “Tilauspiste”
    • would it be better if it read Valio somewhere?
      for example:
      Etusivu – Valio.fi
  • URL‘s are quite pretty, no page ID’s used, nice.
    But:

    • technical platform is visible in every URL:
      http://www.valio.fi/portal/page/portal/Valio
    • so, get rid of the /portal/page/portal/ -part and yes, better!

Conclunsions

  • Redesign looks good and sports some nifty new contents.
  • Quite good a redesign on top.
  • Technical side of the site is sturdy and working, but doesn’t validate.
  • It’s generally good idea to select a CMS (Content Managemment System) to suit one’s needs. Perhaps Oracle Portal is the best solution here.
  • URL’s are are important, too. They get printed on magazines, on milk cartons (sic!) and sides of cars.
    Try printing:

    • www.valio.fi/keittokirja in stead of
    • http://www.valio.fi/portal/page/portal/Valio/Keittokirja
    • See any difference?



Pretty URLs (or Aamulehti redesign)

My almost weekly series of (failed or bad) finnish redesigns continues. This time my local newspaper, Aamulehti, decided to jump in the social train, big time.

Social software and Web 2.0, yeah, great things. But – should be applied carefully!

First things first, I use Firefox as my browser. I also have the marvellous adblock -plugin installed and basically all the finnish ad servers blocked.

Anyway, pretty URLs¨(Uniform Resource Locators). What does it actually mean? URL is “in normal” use the address for certain web page. (I’ll use URI, Uniform Resource Identifier, in this posting as almost the same as URL). For example URL for this page is:
http://ilkka.kaikuvuo.com/2008/06/pretty-urls-or…lehti-redesignpretty-urls-or-aamulehti-redesign/
, where http is the used protocol, kaikuvuo.com is the domain name and stuff after it represents the structure of the site (used to be folder structure, nowadays is something completely different).

Anyway, pretty URLs? Human readable URLs?

The above example is pretty clear, domain is ilkka.kaikuvuo.com, then comes the year, month and the title of this posting. Pretty pretty? (Also nice for search engines!)

Sidenote: do read the “Cool URIs don’t change!

Ok, back to Aamulehti.

Why do I think the redesign sucks?

  • URIs are not that pretty. For example the front page’s address (cool URI is http://www.aamulehti.fi) is:
    http://www.aamulehti.fi/cs/Satellite?pagename=KAL_newssite/GoToHomepage
  • Front page is full of ads (except that it isn’t, thanks to Adblock) or empty space (using Adblock)
  • Site is very, very heavy with all the AJAX goodness
  • Lue lisää (Read more) -links used heavily on every page – WTF? Basic thing: don’t use phrases such as “read more” in links. Is bad for screen readers, is bad for search engines is bad for (list continues)
  • News on the front page are cropped automatically, which results in awkward sentences and so on.
  • Redesign caused the pages to crash (hey yeah, lot of requests? Get used to it!) for hours.

Bah. I don’t seem to have the energy to rant anymore, I give up. (Could go on and on about the blogs and everything).

There are some good and nifty features too, at Aamulehti.fi. But as the Site is down, no report on them. Perhaps later.

More redesigns that suck:www. hel.fi (the city of Helsinki) reports as follows:

15.06.08 Hel.fi pages were transferred on a new technical platform

The City of Helsinki web pages www.hel.fi were transferred on a new technical platform during week 25. All the URL addresses of the pages changed.

Did I say something about cool URIs earlier?

Could someone please, please, give me a great redesign? A finnish one?

Please?

Pretty please?

(Small editorial comment: I’ll add some screen grabs if the site works for an hour or two in a row…)