Why Would The User Use A Native Browser Feature?

I know, as a Web developer, you automatically assume that your awesome Ajaxy Web-service lovin’ application is better than anything else ever devised in the history of mankind.  Ergo, it’s impossible that you would think that a user would use something outside of your browser to perform a function that you have specifically coded into your application with all the deft, loving care you could between 4:10 and 4:30am the morning the application was scheduled to go live.

I mean, a user who is accustomed to the CTRL+P keystroke to print something, what a backward rube!

Right, Bing?

Say, for example, you need a Bing map to the Cambridge Hyatt.

Here’s that map on the computer screen:

On screen!  I typed that in my Jean-Luc Picard voice.
Click for full size

Now, CTRL+P and:

That's, uh, where am I?
Click for full size

Gee, that’s handy of them to tell me in a bit of text that I wasn’t doing it right, but here’s a thought: you’re not doing it right.

You need to account for things the user can do to your site with the browser.  Even if it’s just a little text marring your beautiful screen layout that says, “To print, use the icon we provided because we suck.”

Bonus points to the person who can identify the other defect with the printed map.

2 Responses to “Why Would The User Use A Native Browser Feature?”

  1. CMLalley Says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Ctrl-P should be honored along with other commands we have all been using for years.

    Another defect is that the error message says to click on Print in the upper right corner and this ‘Print’ they speak of doesn’t exist in either the printed map nor the original page. There is a print in the lower left.

    I’m sure there are more defects to be found ;o)

  2. The Director Says:

    You got the other defect I mentioned.

    But, the developers would say, no user would ever see that message since no user would ever use CTRL+P instead of the use path they envisioned and wrote the code to accommodate.

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