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770 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 89939 12-Sep-2011 10:25 Send private message

The maxx.co.nz mobile website has been updated recently and is now useless for anyone with less than a smartphone.  Take a look for yourself at http://www.maxx.co.nz/departure-board-mobile.aspx .  It works fine on your desktop, and will no doubt work fine on an iphone too.

I was an grateful user of the mobile site, generally reliable and a nifty service, but it's now useless for me.

1 - I would have thought a business requirement for a mobile site would be that it would work with mobile web browsers - the native browser on nokia or sony erricsson, or opera mini 4. 

The page doesn't even load on the native browser of sony erricsson k750, and on Opera mini 4 there is no way to specify the bus number you like, as it's all controlled by javascript when the enter key is pressed in that field.  There is no submit or refresh button to commit your change. 

The only bus times I can view are those to Blockhouse Bay, which is great if I lived there, It's a nice enough place but not where I need to catch a bus to very often.

2 - There is no refresh button, as it expects that your browser can auto refresh

3- There is no way to save multiple bookmarks, e.g. one for your home bus stop, one for your work bus stop.  There's only the one url you can save with presumably a cookie to remember your last stop.  This also requiresthat you can remember the 4 digit numbers of multiple bus stops.

4- The layout is totally screwed on smaller screen sizes.  The old maxx mobile site held its proportions and just required scrolling to move around. On opera mini, the times are overlaid over the bus number.

5- All previously saved bookmarks for different bus stops go an error page.  No message why, alternate site or whatever.   Previous urls for the mobile service were  www.maxx.co.nz/vpid.cfm?stopNumber=1234


In my opinion, there have been multiple failures in the this project:

Requirement stage: No requirement for a mobile site to work on mobile web browsers

Coding stage: wanting to use fancy ajax controls when not required and not compatible with simple mobile browsers.

Testing stage: No exploratory testing outside the requirements, different phones, missed requirements.

To sum it up - everyone in this project must all be equipped with smartphones, and know there bus stop numbers off by heart, as that's the only explanation for stuffing it up for everyone else.

If anyine from maxx web development reads this - sort it out!

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2491 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 240

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  Reply # 520327 13-Sep-2011 09:54 Send private message

It gets worse. Since that complaint, they've made YET ANOTHER update. The correct link for it is now http://m.maxx.co.nz/mobile-departure-board.aspx

Pluses:
1- You can bookmark again. The stop number is appended to the URL.
2- It doesn't use a silly javascript enter-key event to submit the form now, there's a "Go" button (and it's a normal, plain, honest-to-goodness )
3- It displays status information (e.g. "trains are delayed today")

Minuses:
1- Text is huge. Like, Xbox huge.

Edit:

I just noticed they actually have a mobile site like the old days too.  Go to http://m.maxx.co.nz/mobile-home.aspx and you can search for your stop, plan a journey, and view the departure board all from there.

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