A national epidemic

Since I’ve moved back to Denmark and started to use more Danish web sites, I’ve been busy adding shortcuts. Why? Because the interfaces of Danish web sites generally look great but are poor in use.

Today, I’ve just added a shortcut to track packages over at Post Denmark. (Why they call it track & trace I don’t get—as far as I can tell, those two words mean the same thing. Cut out “& Trace”.) If I’m eagerly expecting a package, what I want to do is track my package, and then bookmark that page, so I can check back frequently. But of course, with frames and POST forms, you can’t do that. With my shortcut you can.

This isn’t the worst offender. The worst i Krak. They offer a map service much like maps.yahoo.com or mapquest.com, except their interface is much poorer. A few clicks just to get to a form where you can enter the address, and then you have to manually separate out the street number from the street name, the postal (zip) code from the city name. Why? With just a few lines of code, the computer can just as easily do this for us. But no, not at Krak’s.

There’s a clear difference in mentality between Danish sites and US sites, perhaps not so much in how they actually are, but in what is perceived as the ideal web design: An ideal US site may not look as slick, but they work with the medium (you can bookmark pages and send links to your friends), whereas Danish sites still think that the GUI or the printed page is the ideal. Just compare Yahoo! Denmark to Jubii, a direct clone.


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