Monday, October 06, 2008

Voting in Arizona -- morphing to ranting about poorly designed websites

Beware a whiny, whiny rant.... with some valid points :-)

Today's the deadline to make sure you're registered to vote in the upcoming General Election.

Of course, we moved in October last year -- and I just today changed my address via
ServiceArizona's EZVOTER.

It (meaning the EZVOTER website and its services) wasn't advertised in the paper, on the radio or tv that it could be this easy (to change your address or party affiliation online). But I remember seeing the option when I changed my driver's license address (online) a few months ago... and I totally meant to go back, but didn't write it down, so of course, forgot that it was that easy.

But, as it has been publicized last week on my radio station, and on the news Friday night -- that today is the deadline, I dutifully went online with a vague memory of knowing it could be easy... a couple weeks ago -- rather than having to go to a (gasp) building (horror!) during business hours (oh the inconvenience...!) to the police station, the voter place, the library etc... and for whatever reason (like maybe it was too late at night for me to be coherent using a search engine), I couldn't find the right websites. All I got was Pima County blah blah blah.

Well -- THIS is the site I was looking for... easy-peasy lemon-squeezy! Easy, intuitive, informative! So thank you Jan Brewer, Secretary of State in Arizona!! No thanks to Pima County... where this page gives nothing simple or easy -- very small and hard to read if you're over 50 -- and I just noticed the small link with absolutely no explanation for EZ VOTER at the very bottom of the page.

[pet peeve: if you don't know........., you don't know to ask. Put another way -- if you aren't aware that there is more information to be had, and you don't know enough about what it is you're doing and/or how to do it... sometimes you don't have a question -- because: you do not know that you don't know... make sense? I'll talk about Benidorm and travel brochures for package holidays in the UK in another post!!]

*Make the connection in my seemingly unconnected pet peeve and stupid web page-- if you don't know EZ Voter exists, you don't know what you're looking for, and there isn't a simple wee explanation that says something like "Change your address or party affiliation online with EZ VOTER" -- I know I sound like a big whining baby -- and perhaps I am -- but seriously, why go to the bother of putting the link on the page without some kind of publicity about what it does. I'm sure the employees in the Pima County Recorder's office do NOT mind if LESS people call them or come into their office...!*

Which brings to me to a general pet peeve about badly designed, user-unfriendly websites... Don't these people know that if we're looking to do something online we want it spoon-fed to us? (DUH!!) Don't they know we can't be arsed to look it up, drive anywhere, pick up the stinkin' phone.... puh-leeze!! If I wanted to work at it I wouldn't be sitting in my underwear, drinking coffee and eating my breakfast bagel while doing serious work ;-) !!

This website does a valuable, wonderful service and I truly believe in it's mission, cause, the people who work there etc.. but Oh. My. Stars. what a nightmare to navigate. [Of course, I just went there to get the link and it is under construction. hrmph. we'll see....! ;-) ]

All that to say -- I'm quite relieved that I am now legally registered to vote -- because folks, it's gonna be close!


Baroness Insomniac said...

Yep yep. Sending off my absentee tomorrow without fail.

I think the essence of what you're saying is, "If I am not informed about something, I don't know what questions to ask." ... or something similar.

Think this is what is called "cba" on the part of the website designers/developers and they're probably making a fortune. So ya boo them!

Now where's my chocloate?

Ann(ie) said...

YOU are not kidding. This election is gonna be incredibly close! I have a knot in my stomach!! =/