Australian IT published this little gem today: Australian IT - Sunbeam polishes its e-image (case study | Sunbeam Australia, JANUARY 31, 2006). It's a bit of advertising dressed up as a "case study". Basically it's a whole lot of fanfare about an average website and the people who built it. For added annoyance factor... "e-image"? Ugh.

Sure, the site looks nice. But it really isn't all that usable, it lacks key information, it's quite slow to load, meets only rudimentary accessibility requirements and it's not standards-compliant. To my mind, there's nothing about this site that sets it apart from any other corporate website.

As a Standards Guy™, it's incredibly irritating to see the site held up as a shining example for all to follow. I'm also wondering how you get your business's name splashed all over the paper for free. Enquiring minds want to know.

As a recent user of the site, I can also say it can be confusing to navigate (tip: the best way to get information on Cafe Series coffee machines is to ignore the "Cafe Series" section) and if you want product support, just ring them. Which is a pity, since one of their stated goals was to reduce phone calls. Considering the operator's icy tone of voice I suspect they get my particular question rather a lot, too.

I keep waiting for the day where I'm no longer peeved by old-school table-based websites being praised, but so far it hasn't happened. It's a pity that Australia's IT media are still unable to do anything other than look at the pretty graphics and read a product's marketing blurb.

I suspect I'll stop being peeved before they stop reading marketing blurbs...

Tags: (in the joe clark sense), , .