Thursday, March 18, 2010

Exit stage...still left

I recall using KSRTC’s online ticket booking facility some years back. That had been my first (and only till date) visit to their website. The reason I still remember this is not quite due to any technical/functional wizardry of the site, but for reasons a little more notorious. Among all the websites (or for that matter any user-interface) I have used or seen so far, I think this one could take the top spot for housing some of most un-friendliest of messages/comments. Now sample these:

'We cannot display the list of buses if we do not know your destination of travel.'

'How can we show the ticket availability if you do not enter the date of travel?'

No, these aren’t my exaggerations. They might not be the exact messages but I’m pretty sure they were very much along the same lines. Whatever it was, one thing very evident was that a bunch of IT dudes (or who ever was responsible for developing it) had taken the customers (most possibly a bunch of lousy gourment-aapiss uncles) for a ride and neatly got away with it. An easy opportunity for some payback they had reckoned, I imagine.

Drawing inspiration from this, combined with the effect of facing ‘Do you want to save the changes you have made’ and ‘Are you sure you want to exit’ a minimum of 150 times every day, I thought - why not take these modest questions, sprinkle some uppu, melagu and kaarapodi and make them a little less boring? And thus born was this list of ideas.

Are you sure you want to exit?
(User: Yes)
How sure are you? Enter value in percentage.
(User: 100%)
Invalid entry. This value is applicable only to Carnot engine’s efficiency and George Bush’s idiocy. Please enter correct value.
Yoooser thambi!!! (pop-up box does 3 quick rotations)
Nee ‘No’ button amtheeteena onnume illaama poodum. (rotates thrice)
Konjam miss aaidichna unneyum onnume illadhavana panneeduvaanunga (rotates thrice)
Nalla yoschi sollu… parava illiyaaaa? (rotates thrice again)
We are currently unable to perform this operation as you have opted not to save. We believe that precious effort might go wasted due to irresponsible decisions that can be influenced by an unclear state of mind. To perform the operation you desire, it is necessary to prove your clarity of mind. Kindly contact any Govt. hospital and enroll yourself for an alcohol-level-check blood test. The closure of your file will be decided upon the receipt of your report from the hospital.
Is you shoorly want exit?
(User: yes)
Just a minut for 2 minuts. You not doing saving. Reyally ok?
(User: WTF)
Oh, not understanding? I telling clearly no, not save mean gone case. Govinda Goovinda
(User: #$%#$#)
What problem man? You want helping?

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