Sensis is an Australian search engine company. They’ve only recently come on the scene, with what seems like pretty big advertising budgets. They’re actually owned by Telstra, our half government owned telecom company, who have been trying to work out how to make money out of their stock pile of underground copper wires, and who have spent much of the last decade trying (and failing) to understand what leading edge technologies they should be investing in. Not unsurprisingly, in 2004 they’ve decided in a moment of dumb arse brilliance, that a search engine might be a good new technology to spend our tax dollars on.
Anyway, I had a referer this evening from a Sensis search come into my RSS feed as if it were a web page. Dumb. Just plain dumb.
Want some more dumb? Here’s a quick 5 minute review of their results page:
- there’s no hyperlink on result URLs
- there’s a text input field labelled “In this location:”, which makes no sense until you click on “Australia only” and find out is some free form text location field
- the aligned “Australian sites only” radio control gives the impression that it affects the location box. check the radio and enter “london” into the location field. who knows what happens, as the controls don’t reinforce or support each other
- “worldwide sites” radio control isn’t aligned to indicate it’s affiliation with “Australian sites only”, or anything really
- the sensis logo takes you to the main entry page, which apparently has this URL: http://www.sensis.com.au/siteEntry.do;jsessionid=3gbwt2ri5pmbf.server2-1. why not www.sensis.com.au? they can’t use www.sensis.com, because there’s already a U.S. based defence company called that, which makes you wonder how they decided upon the name
- there’s a strange blue curved arrow in front of search result text. i’m guessing it means “abstract”, but there’s no alt/title text, and it is bright enough to indicate that it serves some more significant purpose. oh there we go, a legend which means it is “web only”. huh?
- the “Search within your results [SEARCH]” is confusing all on one line, and doesn’t clearly indicate that this is a search refinement
- the site uses greys and other pastel colours, making it harder for people to do what they’re ultimately at the site to do: find information quickly