A site I frequent has a nice little local weather update shown on its sidebar. Now, I get my local weather forecasts delivered on my desktop through a Konfabulator widget, The Weather, and have been reasonably happy with it. Also, considering that in the web design circles, not too many bloggers are from Mumbai, I thought it'd be a nice touch to add to my site.
After some digging, I discovered that my weather feeds are coming from weather.com. Over at their site, they have tools to display the current local weather on my site, and was very pleased with it at first glance, until I discovered that I have to register to use it.
I have to say, I have issues with registering for services, especially free ones. I can cite various reasons why I do not and probably should not register. Most web designers must know that users do not like to register on a site. If they don't, they don't make for good web designers.
Aaagh! Let me get to my point.
Have a look at this form I had to fill to register. Done? Now, let me list my peeves out.
- The form says that fields marked with the red asterisk are required fields. Is it just me, or do you find it funny too that every field has this red asterisk next to it?
- Really, do they need my first name, last name, date of birth (what?), and gender (whaaaaat???) so that I can sign up for a weather service?
- The address (and its various fields) are also marked with that asterisk. However, the state I belong to here in India is Maharashtra, which isn't listed there. In fact, none of the Indian states are listed there at all! Wait, it's only American states listed there? Maybe the developers forgot that The Internet is a worldwide network, and America is not the only place in the world? Wonder why they hired developers like that! Required field, you say? What do I select now?
- Oh, hang on. They have a option where I can change the country from USA to India. However, I found that only after I found the 'State' dropdown box. Smart layout, I must say!
- Oh, I am wrong again. Changing the country is of no consequence to the list of states. Even if I select "India", the states shown are all American! Smart!
- Here in India, our pin codes are 6 digits long. However, I can only enter 5 digits in that box they have on their page. Let me guess, America has 5 digit pins?
- Notice, I have not talked about concepts like accessibility yet. Obviously (or, the impression that I get without doing my right click > view source is that) the form is not the least bit accessible to other kinds of browsers.
Sorry weather.com. I do not like you any more. I know you'll probably say "So what?", but that doesn't help improve your image. Quite the contrary, in fact.
May the web design community use that form as an example of badly designed forms. When you see forms like this, you can put one hand your stomach, point the index finger of your other hand to the screen, tilt your head backwards slightly, and laugh out loud with your stomach bobbing rhythmically up and down.