For my second day at Voxxed Days Thessaloniki, I talked about the different kind of issues I encounter while using the web as a user with a “é” in her name. The talk is not just about me, it’s also about people with kanjis, Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek and any special characters in their names. It’s about user experience and how encoding and database decisions about formats and characters can create an awful experience.
The experience with have today doesn’t start on the web. What happens if you can’t get your parcel because your name was so poorly encoded that the postman can’t read it and find your address? It’s a awful experience to almost miss a flight because the name on your passport doesn’t match the name on your boarding pass. And what happens when you apply for a visa, can’t enter the special character in your name but might get denied access to the country because again, your Visa application doesn’t exactly match your passport?
I think it’s time we discuss encoding, diversity and user experience and stop putting the needs of our systems, database, before the needs of our users!
Slides are available on Speakerdeck and here