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.

Nokia Sports Tracker (or Why I Strongly Believe in Nokia Being Stronger in Mobile Markets, Not in the Internet)

Now, I’m a pretty active person when it comes to recreational sports. I jog, inline skate and so on.

Major problem in past has been the measuring part: how to measure distances, paces and speeds? How can one go through the workout later?

Well, having gone through various different solutions (step counters, heart rate monitors, Sport Gps‘s and so on), I ended up with N82 and Nokia Sports Tracker. N82 has a built-in GPS receiver, which is nice. It’s also nice that Nokia Sports Tracker is quite good (the beta version).

IMHO, the mobile application is easy to use, clear and usable. Works fine, font is big enough so you can check out the readings while running or skating. Uploading to service works well.

Now, the problem and the title.

Nokia Sports Tracker Website is not that good. Again, flash where there’s no need for flash. Annoying things. Clearly not that good a grasp at social software. Usability hindered by small things (like the login page and disappearing usename if password wrong). Accessibility? don’t even mention it.

First things first: login (and usability).

  • Login without JavaScript?
  • If password wrong, username disappears.

Lost my Password -functionality:

  • no clear indication of mail sent (just the same form presented). Password is always reseted with the feature (hey, you can reset someone else’s password, how cool!)

Friends -page (after login)

  • Thought this page would include all the routes and workouts from my friends. No, actually an admin page for friend functionality.
  • Friend list: no choice to view my friend’s details, only to remove (them from my list). Is that odd or what?

Well then, how does one get to see friend’s workouts? Choose Community, choose person > friends. Simple as that, eh? All my friends at the moment being from Finland, would be nice if the zoom level of the map would be something else as the whole world…

Dashboard?

  • Ok, this one is pretty good. Shows one’s latest workouts on map (zoom level!) and as a list. Works fine. Small list with latest workouts from friends.

Other points:

  • Favourites -link shows a page with text “No data to display”. What kind of data this could be? Tips, anyone?
  • My Profile -page: ok, shows some useful data. Curiosity: “Joined the service in the beginning” (Phee!).

Summary:

  • Sports Tracker is an excellent mobile software and a good service. There still remains a lot of work to do on the website, though. Still waiting for the first good Nokia Website!

Opera Mini 4.1 (or my mobile browsing, revisited)

As some may know, I’m a big fan of Opera Mini, perhaps the best mobile browser (imho).

I first installed Opera Mini 3, I think. That was way back when my phone was Nokia 6125. It was good, although had some annoying features. Upgraded to 4, better! Although 6125 is not by definition a smart phone, my phone got a lot smarter.

Anyway, now my phone is Nokia N82 (there be flash, beware!)and the browser?

Yep, Opera Mini. It’s fast, reliable and comfortable. Ok, lacks some nifty Symbian OS native features, but still. It’s my choice.

Now, the version 4.1. Tested the beta version for a while, was quite happy with it. Then  the memory card  broke, had to install everything again and didn’t have the time to get the beta. Installed the stable version. Disappointment was great.

Now, fortunately, the features I so much loved are back:

  • it should be faster (don’t know about the 50 %, though)
  • You can find text in a web page
  • URLs are auto-completed (nice!)
  • Downloading and uploading works…
  • and you can save pages for off-line viewing.

(Source: http://www.operamini.com/features/)

Perhaps more later…