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Wednesday, May 25, 2016


What's under my skin this morning?  The fact that the Form 471 certification page does some processing after I check every box.  See, for someone who does a lot of certifications, that page is: space-tab-space-tab-number-tab-n-tab-n-tab-space-tab-space-tab-space-tab-space-tab-space-tab-space-tab-space-tab-space-tab-space-tab-space-tab-tab-tab-space.  That page is done in seconds.

But with the new form, the little "Working..." box pops up for a split second every time I check a box.  No biggy, except if I hit the tab key before the page is done working, it ignores my tab and when I click the space bar, it unchecks the box.  So now that page is: space-wait-tab-space-wait-tab....  It's like a demented waltz-tango hybrid.  And the page's Working doesn't always take the same amount of time, so it's like a waltz-tango with a 2-year-old setting the rhythm.

My time on the page is easily tripled because of this one little thing.  And why?  OK, it's schmancy that the "Certify" button doesn't go live until all the boxes are checked, but it's bad interface design.  Why not just have the system verify the checkboxes after the person clicks Certify?  That way, you can tell the user what they missed, and tell them to go back and fix it, rather than having the user just stare at an inscrutable gray "Certify" button and wonder what's going on.

How many calls will CSB get tomorrow because a panicked applicant has reached the last page, and cant figure out why the Certify button is gray?