Stupid, Stupid!

Web forms should be designed to minimize data loss. Let me explain two scenarios in the past 24 hours:

  • I spent a while getting the wording just right on my Craigslist post. I found one minor thing to fix, so I clicked back. But stupid, stupid Craigslist dynamically generates the names of the forms (probably to combat spam), which meant that none of the data showed up when I clicked back, since, as far as Firefox was concerned, it was a brand new form. So I had to rewrite it from scratch. Grrr! This is a really bad design idea.
  • I spent even longer crafting a reply to an e-mail in OWA. I finally got it just right and clicked “Send.” And got the login screen. It seems that, even though I was actively working on the e-mail, I timed out due to inactivity. Of course, the e-mail I wrote wasn’t sent, and wasn’t even saved as a draft. It’s just gone. To me, this is a major bug.

I can’t do much about Craigslist, but it’s a “Fool me once…” thing with OWA. I think this was the third time I’ve lost an e-mail I spent a long time working on due to the inactivity bug. So I think I’m just going to start forwarding my school mail to GMail.

3 thoughts on “Stupid, Stupid!

  1. I don’t trust web forms – not one bit. Never have, never will. I wish people who build them more robustly but the fact is that robust takes more work and people like short cuts. Its just too easy to pretend nothing will go wrong.

  2. Web browsers have become quite good at saving information for you. UNLESS the site randomly changes the name of the form behind the scenes, or just ends your session and takes you to the login page.

    In Firefox and Opera, at least (I suspect IE7 is the same way), you can easily preview something and then click ‘back’ and get the form with your data still intact.

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