When the Mind Leaders Say No to Progress

The Inquirer had a very interesting piece of news yesterday, something that really reminded me of the already famous Web Pages That Suck. I think Braclays and MindLeaders’ website has won its place on the wall of shame there. How can a 21st century company that promotes e-learning display such a message when you try to access the page with a browser other than Internet Explorer?


Photo Courtesy “The Inquirer

Thank you for attempting to claim a free Small Business Training Licence – brought to you by Barclays and MindLeaders. The service is only accessible using Internet Explorer on Microsoft Windows, and unfortunately it appears you access the Internet using another browser. Please try entering www.barclays-skills.cominto an Internet Explorer browser. We are sorry for any problems this may cause.

Let’s analyze, shall we? They start by thanking us for “attempting” to actually get something from their website. This is not so bad, but from the perspectives of usability and accessibility, this scores many minus points.

Plus that saying to a visitor: change your browser to view our sites can easily be interpreted as “At Barclays we don’t respect you enough to provide for a good user experience.

Then the SEO perspective was completely ignored. The first SEO rule: design a site that is all browsers compatible. This makes me think that:

  1. The website architects of Barclays’ Small Business Skills Training have missed a few classes at the web design school,
  2. Barclays doesn’t really want that the visitors attain a free Small Business Training Licence (the word “attempting” – bad, bad PR)
  3. Barclays is a Microsoft company ;) – but then again, even MSN is accessible with Firefox.

It is interesting to see the comments of the users, both on the article published by the Inquirer and on the corresponding digg page. There is a general trend into commenting against Internet Explorer and also against Barclays unwillingness to solve the browser issue.

My advice, for any web developer: create an all browsers compatible website.


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