When I Grow Up. . .

I recently visited the Discovery Museum in Newcastle and had a great time. I was particularly impressed with the ‘Newcastle through the Ages’ exhibition; personal highlights included the Roman years, the war years, and the swingin’ sixties!

However, in another instalment, members of the public were invited to fill in a four question form detailing the following:

What did you want to be when you were young?
What is your current job?
What is your ideal job?
What would be your nightmare job?

My answers were as follows:
A dog;
Web Administrator;
?;
A bird keeper (yes, I really do not like birds!)

I struggled to answer the ‘ideal job’ question. I thought about being a full time musician but decided against it as it would involve too much time away from home. A footballer seems a good choice but I would not want to be subject to such media attention, potential hatred, and to be honest, I’m really not that good. Another potential was a farmer. But then I remembered I don’t like farms.

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Web Usability: What Not To Do

Here’s a quick run down of my personal bug bears when it comes to website usability and my internet enjoyment.

This list is generally focussed around eCommerce and transactional websites but could also apply to most customer facing sites. It’s by no means exhaustive, but is a cathartic exercise in helping me vent my grumpy old spleen.

Enjoy and feel free to add your own gripes via the comments below.

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12 Months of Administration

When the mass sing-a-long of the 12 Days of Christmas is just around the corner, yet another retailer and their merry band of elves faces the misery of going into administration.

Borders UK is the latest in a long list of casualties over the past 12 months as it enters administration this week.

Over the last year the high street has lost some household names, retail parks are becoming a white elephant, shop units sit empty, and some of the nation’s favourite, most well-loved ‘institutions’ have been lost to that cancerous word; ‘administration’.

Having discovered the news about Borders on Retail Week, I started digging around to see who else had faced the chop over the last 365 days.

No less than 30 retailers made my (by no means exhaustive or comprehensive) list of those that we’ve loved and lost.

It’s worrying to think what may come over the next 12 months. A few companies have come close to the brink this year and may find themselves the wrong side of the administration tight-rope this time next year. The likes of JJB and Blacks’s days may be numbered.

Have a browse and rekindle memories of pic’n’mix in Woolies, bargain hunting in Zavvi, getting trollied on cheap plonk from Wine Cellar, and being left bedless, cupboardless, and sofaless from the likes of MFI and Land of Leather.

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