How many popups does it take to get your health benefits?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I find that internal sites and "logistics" sites (e.g. travel) tend to have a crazy number of popups for no reason. Seriously, don't the people at these companies use the Internet? There is a place an time for a popup, but these guys go nuts. Here's the popup count for a typical "view my claim status" on Intel's (outsourced) health benefits site:

  • Go to the home page. Browser reports that a popup was blocked. Whatever this is, it's irrelevant to what I'm doing. I've never viewed this popup.
  • Click login. A popup window appears to collect my user/password. The original screen is not used again.
  • Click "manage my account". Another popup. At least in this case, the old screen is marginally useful, as I could go back to it to get to another transaction (like changing my address vs. managing claims, where I am now). Of course, I've never gone in to do more than one thing at a time, so leaving this window is useless to me. I'm now at 3 pages open and haven't even gotten to my claim yet.
  • Click my account (flexible spending account), and claims, without popups. Awesome. These are 2 out of 4 mouse clicks on the site that did not generate popups.
  • Click the claim to see details. Another (blocked) popup, but this one actually is important and the only popup that I might make an argument to keep, as it is intended for very detailed information, has a 2D barcode and is generally printed out, then closed.
For those that are counting, I now have 4 windows open, and generally, I will never do anything except print the last window and close everything. My absolute favorite has to be the popup on clicking the login button...there are more things wrong with that than I can even count.

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