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Incomplete Web Views

Here’s the panel listing of SXSW Interactive. Pretty typical. Most other conferences do basically the same thing.  But it’s totally wrong. It doesn’t list speakers or more importantly, the room number for each panel.

Is this too much information? Sure! But the loss in usability is outweighed by its sheer convenience of having all the information  on a single page.  I’m printing this page out, but without page numbers, it is practically useless.  Now, each view of the schedule and panels is incomplete, requiring several clicks.  This is wrong, plain wrong.

This typifies the thinking of web developers, especially those writing for database-backed sites. It’s expensive to put all this information on a single page–all those database calls. Never mind the sheer convenience of having all this information in a single view!  Also, the page includes banners and navigation bars at the side; Who really needs that? This is a case where a printable PDF would be exactly what is called for.

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