Why edfringe.com sucks …

They’ve outdone themselves.

They’ve actually introduced new bugs into the edfringe.com this year.

You may recall that last year I ranted about the dismal state of the Edinburgh Fringe website. Pretty much everything I said then still applies although the examples and the links obviously don’t work the same. More of that in a second, first we have to address their brand new-for-2007 screw-up.

The title of the site, shown in your bookmarks and at the top of all the pages is “edfringe.com : official site of the edinburgh festival fringe”. I’ve only just noticed the trendy lack of capitals on Edinburgh, woo. But anyway you’d expect just tapping edfringe.com into your browser would get you there … just like last year … no?

Not likely. Try it, you’ll get a 503 error. Oh no, the site must be down. Nope, they’ve just committed one of the worst web sins around — you need to put in the www. I hate that.

It’s that sort of touch that screams “professionalism”.

To be fair, I imagine that’s just a launch screw up that’ll be fixed soon but it’s not a great start, is it? Edit: And it’s fixed. Only took ’em four days. The ranting after the jump still applies …

Last year I may have rambled on for longer than necessary, since it’s mostly the same this year I’m just going to give a few examples of how goosed their system (still) is.

First, let’s try a nice general search for “Shakespeare“. Excellent, lots of reasonable looking results, so lets try the ‘M‘ page, I’ll go for “A midsummer nights dream“. Oh, it’s free, well it would have been nice to indicate that on the results page (they have a ‘2 for 1’ icon but no ‘free’ icon). Well I love a good freebie as much as the next grouchy web-user so I’ll add that to my wish list. Done, and there’s a nice one-click link back to my search. Now last year that link annoyingly took you back to the ‘A’ page of search results (making it faster to click the ‘back’ button twice if you wanted to return to the page you were on). This year it just nukes your search and takes you to the ‘A’ page on a full search. Your search has found a total of 2055 results. Fantastic. You’ve actually made your website less usable.

Now let’s say I want to see Richard Herring’s new show — he’s normally good for a chuckle. So let’s search for “Richard Herring“. Hmmm, ditched on the ‘A’ page again despite the fact that out of the three matches two are on the R page and contain my search in the title. One of them being an exact match. And the match on the A page is an article. From last year. So their search is still pretty ropey.

Finally, to show how truly screwed the search is try searching for “Naive Girl. No results? Bit of a problem if you were looking for the show “Naive London Girl“!

I could go on, but the bottom line is that the site is impossible to browse, the search is annoying at best and broken at worst.

But to top it all they’ve actually managed to make it even worse than last year.

Bloody good show.

::golf clap::

3 Responses to “Why edfringe.com sucks …”

  1. Edinburgh Grinch Says:

    Take a moment to view the very first few words that come up if you View -> Source on the edfringe.com site.

    Pure class.

  2. SpaceDog Says:

    Yeah, they’re complete class through and through.

    You have to wonder if they’ve got protection against SQL injection attacks in place. Maybe next year I should launch an art exhibition they displays looped video of various bits of furniture falling from great heights.

    I would call it “; drop table shows” of course. 😉

    Maybe I should do a quick search to make sure no one is doing it this year …

  3. UnorthodoxY » Blog Archive » Older Says:

    […] You idiots. You’re supposed to be making it easier for people to link to your site, you want more visitors, even if the site is worse than last year. […]