Broken links

A major web site of my acquaintance just got a makeover.

I’m not going to deny it was due for a revamp. Or that (eventually, when it’s all working) the new functionality will be worthwhile.

But apart from the list of data errors (which is as long as your arm), and the functionality they should be providing in this day and age but aren’t, they’ve also changed every single page address, apart from the home page, and so they’re writing to people who link to them to ask them to change hyperlinks.

I’m really trying not to lose my temper and say to them:

“Well WTF did you let your programmers change your URLs in the first place?”


“WTF don’t you get your programmers to set up page forwarding so all the old links work?”

I mean really… it’s like changing all the internal phone numbers and telling everybody to ring the switchboard.

Oh, I should mention that this is a public transport information site, with timetables… they have partially-numeric URLs that bear no resemblance to the route numbers.

8 thoughts on “Broken links

  1. Peter

    I agree, but there is a certain order to it. Eg trains in
    alphabetical line order from 001 upwards. Trams and buses mixed.
    Between 699 and 700 is 70 tram for example.

    I’ll no doubt be an expert on this once I’ve updated my site 😉

  2. glen

    Broken links are the least of my complaints.

    They used to have a fantastic feature (implemented with AJAX, I’d say) where you’d get a drop down of stations when you start typing. So you’d type ‘sou’ and see ‘Southern Cross’ station. It’d take out a whole server round trip. Now, I type ‘darling’, hit search and get another screen presenting options like ‘Darling Railway Station’.

    Grrr. Don’t take away the functionality I liked. AJAX-like functionality is the only thing that makes the web bearable and they remove it???

  3. daniel Post author

    Peter: Alphabetical? Pah. That has no relevance to users. The URL is visible, and does. See Jakob Nielsen’s point about hackable URLs.

    Glen: hmm. I don’t remember seeing that. Though the V/Line site has it. Was that what you were thinking of?

  4. Tim McVeigh

    I miss the old one.

    I want just ONE page, with ALL the train times on it. Not this piddly “page 1 of 7” crap.

  5. Tim McVeigh

    …er, that is, all train times per train. Having one page of absolutely every train line would be silly.

    … at least, *that’s what they WANT you to think!* o_-

  6. Andrew

    Try this one. Click, click.
    “It said Malvern to Melbourne Uni but it only goes to Orrong Road. What happens then? I walk the rest?”. There is no info on the page as to what happens. And while technically correct, the terminus is in East Malvern, why list the terminus as Malvern East? Surely that will create confusion.

    The destination person who decided on ‘Moreland via Lygon Street and City’ has been seconded to the web timetable division.

  7. Peter

    Daniel, I agree it’s irrelevant for users and breaches
    Nielsen’s rules.

    Having spent some (too much?) time looking
    at it last night there are some interesting oddities in
    the numbering. For example, routes that have recently been
    withdrawn have a number allocated but you only get an error
    screen. And some don’t have a sequential number at all. As
    a result my bus route list still isn’t 100% linked.

    It’s almost as if they’re using a 1-year old route list off a
    certain other site as a basis!

  8. daniel Post author

    Andrew/Tim, don’t get me started on all that stuff. List as long as your arm, I’m telling you!

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