The Web 2.0 hype machine is in full swing. YouTube is supposedly worth a billion dollars. Fantastic websites are popping up left and right. And for many, you are just a registration away from the gloriousness of social nirvana.
And yet while these massive valuations and VC investment numbers fly around, it seems like finding decent programmers is still a challenge.
I remember reading a gripe about this on the last page of Business 2.0 before, but it made sort of sense. It was extended to large corporations such as UPS and FedEx, so stuck in their corporate ways and accounting mannerisms that the obviousness of this would be lost on them. But the latest wizz-bang 2.0 sites? You should know better.
People are different. Color and colour, while spelled different, are the same. So when you ask for my bloody phone number, don’t just ask for it, have me input it, and then reject it because I didn’t put it in a certain format. Beyond the idiocy that such a site does not even warn me what format it should be in, the 5 minutes of usability/programming required to be able to extract the digits from a string are worth it.
It’s stunning how many sites suffer from this. You are already sanitizing all user input (or should be), extending that to sanitize unwanted characters from phone numbers, postal codes, and so forth is rather trivial.
What spurred me to write this was a job search site I ran across. It actually rejected the postal code with spaces, and demanded you re-enter it without spaces.