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Like Canberra? Yes. Like Like Canberra? Not one bit

Clunky ... the Like Canberra website.

Clunky ... the Like Canberra website.

Okay, enough of the cheering, marching band. I may be a born-and-bred Canberran and (mostly) lifelong resident, and I may spend an inordinate amount of time defending this funny old place with all its idiosyncrasies, bless it, but I’ll always stick the boot in where it’s needed.

To wit: the Like Canberra website.

I don’t like it.

Why is Hungry Jacks on the list of things we can like about Canberra?

Why is Hungry Jacks on the list of things we can like about Canberra? Photo: Marina Neil

And, annoyingly, the fact that I don’t “like” it hasn’t changed the fact that I’ve accidentally “Liked” it (in the annoying Facebook sense of the word) by trying to click on some of the things that other people have nominated – to find out more - and inadvertently casting my own “like” instead. Annoying!

The screen is too crowded, and the layout is clunky and slow and difficult to navigate. When you click on a category, it unfolds below or above the screen so you have to scroll up or down to get to the list.

And the categories make no sense. Why does The Canberra Times appear under “Only in Canberra” (der!), while “free newspapers such as City News and Canberra Weekly” get a look-in under “Ease of Living”, and Radio 2XX – a community radio station – under “Business”?

And why – why – do McDonalds and Hungry Jacks appear under “Restaurants”?

And under suburbs, why are only 26 listed, some of which have clearly been nominated by people taking the piss? It’s as though there was no editorial discretion exercised at all. Or perhaps there was too much editorial discretion?  

Look, Canberra is a quirky place. It’s filled with things that would make no sense to outsiders. Like, having to pay for parking at Dickson shops, and the ejaculating fountain in the middle of Lake Burley Griffin that is actually modelled on the one in Lake Geneva, and the Legislative Assembly, and the bus system.  

But much – so very, very much - has been made of the fact that the Centenary is a celebration for all Australians, and if that’s the case, the Like Canberra website just seems like a wasted opportunity.

Non-Canberrans are going to be looking at this website as well. Why allow it to basically enhance all the things that outsiders find so annoying about this place? Yes, yes, you can hear yourself saying, almost automatically. There are long stretches of nothingness between town centres, and yes, that’s right, there are very few places to eat after 9pm, and yes, okay, you do have to scroll as soon as you click. That’s the way it is.

But it doesn’t have to be!

I mean, are we still having website problems, now, in 2013? In this day and age, where absolutely everyone relies on, you know, websites as their primary source of information for almost anything, is it not possible to predict the very things that might irritate or confuse or flummox the average person and avoid them?

Surely I’m not the only one who doesn’t, like, like Like Canberra?

26 comments

  • I commented on the website being awful a few days ago. All I ask is "why?" because I came away from it feeling that I had been caught in a Gen Y nightmare and came away with a feeling that we have reinforced all the negative stereotypes about Canberra.

    But I do like the Belconnen Owl.

    Commenter
    Outraged of Palmerston
    Date and time
    January 16, 2013, 3:48PM
    • Couldn't agree more. As a born and bred Canberran I was more than willing to cast my vote, however, the ridiculous web design makes it hardly worth while.

      Commenter
      Maree
      Location
      Gunners
      Date and time
      January 16, 2013, 4:24PM
      • I agree. The site is much too cluttered, clunky and off-putting. I took one look and closed it. I love Canberra, but hate the ridiculous Like Canberra website.

        Commenter
        Canberran
        Location
        Chapman
        Date and time
        January 16, 2013, 4:36PM
        • Yes you're right, it has to be the MOST confusing Website I have ever seen! Complete rubbish and a very poor reflection of the kind of good technology and intelligence in the local community. Someone needs to lift their game!

          Commenter
          Provo
          Date and time
          January 16, 2013, 5:58PM
          • I could not agree more! It's such a terrible website. In an attempt to be fun and quirky, LikeCanberra has succeeded in being frustrating and cumbersome. I'd love to see how this website stands up to web accessibility standards!

            Commenter
            MsJ
            Location
            Canberra
            Date and time
            January 16, 2013, 5:58PM
            • “are we still having website problems, now, in 2013? In this day and age”

              It’s not hard to tell that this site IS NOT your average run-of-the-mill website. As a web designer by trade I simple can’t let this go uncommented.

              Web-design is a moderately new industry and a medium which changes quarterly (no exaggeration). I can assure you most of the technology used on the Like Canberra website was hardly talked about 12 months ago.

              Dynamic grids, animations, mobile and full-screen-width responsiveness are obvious even to a casual viewer. Not to mention the behind the scenes tech (HTML5, CSS3, font-face, AJAX) which is all cutting edge industry practice.

              Content aside - I for one am proud that a Canberra web-designer has created something this fresh, interesting, and industry leading. I’m not sure what you expected; maybe a drab center aligned form akin to canberratimes.com.au?

              So yes, we are still having website problems in 2013! And it’s likely we will for many more years because people will continue to push the boundaries.

              Commenter
              TrebBrennan
              Location
              ACT
              Date and time
              January 16, 2013, 6:57PM
              • TrebBrennan. Thanks for commenting on the innovation of the website. I think that most people have an issue with the content of the website so it is nice to hear you sticking up for the people that have created the website. It is simply unfortunate for the web designers that they had to fill it up with the junk ideas that are in there.

                Commenter
                Mike
                Date and time
                January 17, 2013, 7:58AM
              • Bollocks. It's just a lame website.

                Commenter
                WebMonkey
                Date and time
                January 17, 2013, 9:18AM
              • Actually, TrebBrennan, your comment kind of adds to my point. The behind-the-scenes content shouldn't be an issue, but it is. It's like a cutting edge garment with all the seams and loose threads showing. The site simply isn't user-friendly, and yet surely user-friendliness should be paramount?  And anyway - ANYWAY - format and technology aside, the site is filled with errors, both of judgment and of categorisation. It could be the most seamless and intuitive website in the world, but if you click on "bakeries" and find "Salads are yummy in the summer", the jig is up. 

                Commenter
                Sally Pryor
                Date and time
                January 17, 2013, 9:49AM
            • @Sally you don't get the website UI which is designed as 'Modern UI' as in Windows 8 UI. Most likely you are an iUser. iFeel for you ;-)

              The website does have it's problems. The concept is nice and innovative but the execution is abyssmal. I liked most of the things except action busses.

              Commenter
              ozyogz
              Location
              Mt Taylor
              Date and time
              January 16, 2013, 8:14PM

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