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shewhomust

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Invalid [Dec. 30th, 2015|12:45 pm]
shewhomust
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Screen grab

According to my automatic reminder system, recycling will be collected tomorrow. durham_rambler thinks that this will not be affected by the holidays, but I thought I'd check.

There's a jolly Christmas image on the front page of the County Council's website, of stockings hanging by the fire, and it promises "Festive info - opening times, bin collections, events and more". Bin collections - that's what I want, so I click it, and it takes me to a page with a number of paragraphs, each one headed with a link. The top one is "Festive period closures", which isn't how I would have put it, but the text says "Over the festive period, there will be changes to our services. This page gives information about these changes." That sounds about right. But I can't find the information I'm looking for, not on that page and not by following any of the alphabetical links it offers...

There's a feedback form, though, so I decide to be helpful and give feedback. I select the answers 'no, the page wasn't helpful' and why, from drop down menus, and in the box for comments I type: "I'm looking for information about waste and recycling collection over the holiday period. Should I assume that if there is no information, there is no change? Or is that information somewhere else? Not under T for Refuse, W for Waste or B for Bins, but something I haven't thought of?" Then I click 'submit', and the screengrab on the right shows the result.

Luckily, I'm a web design professional. I know that when the County Council tells me my opinion is invalid, the chances are that what it means is 'tl;dr'. I delete the last sentence of my comment and click 'submit' again, and yes, this time it works.

People, if your form has a maximum length for comments, why not say so?

But look on the bright side. In the process of composing this diatribe I found the answer to my question. If I had scolled on down, below "Three months free if you join a gym in December", below the fold, I would have found an item about bin collections over the holiday period. Apparently "People in County Durham are being advised of arrangements for bin collections over the festive period."

Don't know how I missed that, but of course durham_rambler was right. Better go and sort the recycling, then.
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Comments:
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-12-30 03:49 pm (UTC)
The wheelie bins of Bordeaux, the lords of the city, stand proudly on the pavements, foecing pedestrians out into the roadway where they must take their chances with the cyclists...
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: cellio
2016-01-04 12:04 am (UTC)
People, if your form has a maximum length for comments, why not say so?

Or, better yet, if your form has a maximum length for comments, don't let me type more than that! Or, if you do, indicate a problem as I type past it, like Twitter's red "-3" (or whatever).

Also, size your textbox to match; showing a textbox that supports 500 characters when your limit is 50 is all kinds of wrong.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-01-04 11:01 am (UTC)
Indeed.

And if you are determined to let me enter something which is invalid, why not give me an error message which relates to the place at which I have gone wrong, and tells me what I've done.

I spent several minutes looking at the word 'invalid' positioned under the words 'It didn't answer my question' wondering how I had managed to select an invalid option from a drop-down menu.

So many ways this could be done better...
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