5 August 2008

A tiny communication problem in Beijing

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Beijing 2008
So what is the weather forecast in Beijing for the next few days? At what time is the opening ceremony going to take place? And what is the competition schedule like when viewing the Olympics from Europe?

Don’t expect to find answers to these “strange” questions on the Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Meteorological information is absent. I couldn’t find any information about the opening ceremony. And the schedule is very much a non-interactive Excel-like table (don’t ask me why some cells have blue text, others not, because nothing at all is clickable).

But worst of all: even the actual sports information is missing. When you click, let’s say, on artistic gymnastics, and you want to find out the times or events, nothing like that actually shows up. And what does show up doesn’t even contain the main site navigation anymore.

In short, some user-centred design wouldn’t have harmed the Beijing Olympics. A pity, because there are some seriously strong Chinese companies delivering these types of services.

Maybe I overlooked something. But a good site is built in such a way that people like me shouldn’t have to overlook something.

Oops.

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