Wednesday, August 4, 2010

See something? Say something!

3 comments
When we make major site changes, we keep access to the old pages available, in case there's some unusual situation that causes the new pages to fail for someone. But minor changes can sometimes bite just as hard.

Site changes are tested in IE, Firefox and Safari before they go out in public. But differences between versions and setups, and the fact that our testers reload style sheets religiously means that, sometimes, what you see is not what we see. Here's an example I got just the other day:



We removed the Login text boxes from the top of www.pobox.com. (This change was the result of changes to Internet Explorer 8's security settings, which said that page was insecure because it was loading the blog headlines.) Looks fine, right?

But the next day, questions started coming in about the login box being "missing". We thought people wanted to know where the text boxes to put in their username and password went, and we told them about the reason for the change, the security alerts in Internet Explorer, etc. After almost a week, someone sent me the following:



Ouch! That was all it took to realize that all those messages about the "missing login" were not about missing text inputs ... people couldn't see the button! (Thank you again, Debbie.) Most people told us, "I assumed you knew, and you just hadn't gotten around to fixing it."

That's why we love to ask for screen shots when people report a problem. It's amazing how many questions/debugging sessions can be short-circuited by simply seeing what you're seeing.

So, if you're seeing a persistent display problem with the site, please let us know! The grass may actually be greener on our side of the fence, and we just don't know about the issue you're seeing.