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Strange website behavior from a large company

Posted on by Clive Walker in Web Development Website Review

I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may not be available.

Sometimes, the largest companies make mistakes with their websites. I used to assume that big corporate enterprises have large budgets and teams of website developers that are fully aware of cross-browser problems and the latest techniques. Perhaps not if my recent experience is anything to go by.

I have an account with a large UK-based bank, who shall remain nameless (but they are owned by a large Spanish bank with a red logo), and they kindly provide me with an online service to monitor my account. That's great. Not so good is the following message that I get on the log-in screen.

Our software shows us that the browser you are using to access the xxxxx online service is not one of our supported browsers. You may continue to log on if you wish to use this browser, however we cannot guarantee optimal performance. If you would like to receive further information on the browsers we do support, simply click the link at the bottom of the page.

Silly me. I was using Firefox which is hardly the most popular browser. Still, it has about 5% to 10% of the browser market. Oh well. Perhaps I'll try the latest version of the most popular browser, Internet Explorer 7. Surely, there will be no problem. But no! I get the same message.

A bank website that does not support two of the main browsers

So, here we have a major UK bank website that does not 'support' two of the main browsers. This is crazy. Of course, I click on the 'link at the bottom of the page' to see what browsers are supported. Another problem, the page cannot be found. Oh well. Not really 'optimal performance' either.

It got me thinking. First, why have a message like this in the first place? Surely, it's possible to give 'optimal performance' to all web users regardless of the browser they use? In fact, I can still log-on with either of my chosen browsers - and I have not seen any of the problems that are alluded to by the log-in message.

Secondly, the web department here seems to be behind with the latest news. Internet Explorer 7 has been available for download for a while now and it was available for ages as a beta version for web developers to check their websites. No excuses guys.

I suspect that the log-in message is some kind of 'legacy message' that has not been deleted. Certainly, it has not been updated for IE7.

The whole thing does not exactly inspire confidence. Luckily, the rest of the service with this bank has been good.

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  • 18 Dec 2006 13:16:17

    Think of the ‘load of old pony’ the developers will give the bank to justify another big contract to ‘revise’ the website. ;)

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