Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Beware assumptions

Assumptions pave the road to hell. It's often assumptions that stop us doing things. We assume things have to be a certain way, so we don't break out and do something creative. But I have been driven to this post by a silly little assumption I'm always encountering in software.

These days, many websites that need your address will let you put in your postcode. You then simply select which is your house from a list and it fills in the details for you. Brilliant stuff. HOWEVER. The designers of this software make a fatal assumption. When it fills in my address, it almost always does it in such a way that the website rejects it.

The problem is, we don't have a street name. Just the name of the house, followed by the name of the village. Almost all web forms insist on a street name - so we put the village in as the street name. But the automatic software dumbly slots the village name into the following field, leaving street name empty - and the website rejects the input.

Grrr. Get your act together, geek persons.

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