Do You Make These Malaysia Government Website Mistakes?

Disclaimer: Remarks or comments made by me (Danny Foo) from here onwards is my personal feelings and experiences using selected website mentioned or not mentioned in this article. The published content here has no intention to degrade the Malaysia government or related parties mentioned or not mentioned inside it. I; Danny Foo, can not and will not be held responsible or liable for the comments left posted by third-party authors if it were to happen.

Do You Make These Malaysia Government Website Mistakes? 1Now, most Malaysia web designers know some of the worst websites in Malaysia are the government related ones. And if you visit them often enough (if you can stand it), they repeat the mistakes over and over again. Thus, it’s easy to know if you make any of these Malaysia government website type mistakes.

The list below is in no particular order arranged but some of the obvious things I’ve picked out from visiting and viewing some of the websites. And to not publish an over lengthy post, I’m going to summarize the descriptions for each point.

  • Browser incompatibility
    Okie, everyone may be using Windows XP or Vista. But not everyone are using Internet Explorer. The smarter (or geekier) ones prefer Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari and etc. So it should be a requirement to test on several browsers.
  • Unnecessary Flash media usage
    So what you’ve got a nice introduction on the front? All I want to know is who won the election or how can I check my MyKad application online. And, what?! you want to force me to sit and see your introduction by disallowing me any method to skip the movie.
  • Formal jargon written content
    Hmm, I think this phrase means I can’t renew my driving license if it has expired 30 days before I’m suppose to renew it. Seriously, copying the whole official formal legal document to start a business in Malaysia is good but it becomes an unnecessary hurdle to someone who just wants to know if he’ll need RM500,000 or RM1million to start a business in Malaysia.
  • Forced browser resize
    OMG! What happened?! The window suddenly resized itself. Do I have a virus? Is it something the Romans called a Trojan? WTF?! Who the hell is controlling my computer?! In less words, in down right unfriendly and so unnecessary to intrude the space I’ve allocated for my browser. Plus, I can’t imagine what would happen to someone running dual monitors. 😛
  • Uninvited popup windows
    Ahh, here’s the information I want. Then at the click of the mouse, I get a fright of my life because the computer just did something I never intended it to do. I’m also wondering if popup windows are the cause for making users forget they have a button on their browsers to go back to the page they previously visited.
  • No direction information highway
    The last thing I remembered, I clicked on how to find out more about applying a Malaysia MyKad but now I’m reading about illegal immigrants without a Malaysia MyKad. Hmm…must have made a wrong turn somewhere. Oh wait, I think I clicked on the wrong menu button. Hmm…that’s not it either. Argh, which is the menu I’m suppose to use.
  • Bad color contrast
    *Squints eyes* I think it’s trying to say where I can find out more about e-government services. But after clicking, all I get is a whole bunch of logos and the names of the government departments.
  • Distracting animated elements
    I think since the news is happily moving from top to bottom and I can’t read it properly, I’ll just ignore it. But suddenly…oh, cool! It stopped when I rolled over on it. Starts scratching the thing like a DJ. Now, what was I looking for or reading earlier again?
  • Not web standards compatible
    I wonder why I can’t understand a single phrase from this website. I know I came to the right website address. However, every time I ask JAWS to read it its telling me, “header, header, header or image, image, image” and even the sentences don’t make sense to me.
  • Implement first…think later
    What do you mean it can’t be done like that now? But it did what it had before so how come I can’t just make it do a little more? Hmm…nevermind, we’ll just do it your way so we can get this over and done as the deadline is around the corner now.

Does any of it sound all too familiar to some of you? Fact is, a lot of us want to use the convenience of the Internet to access and manage our errands online if possible. However, obstacles which are often repeated every time the website goes through an upgrade doesn’t help improve the experience on the user level. Thus, we ignore its existence and continue to face the crowds and visit the related offices to accomplish our errands.

So what other common mistakes have you experienced and found in Malaysia websites?

13 Replies to “Do You Make These Malaysia Government Website Mistakes?”

  1. It’s a shame that many (or almost ALL) of the Malaysian government websites are pretty useless. Most of them are not cross-browser compatible – most of them can only be viewed properly with IE and nothing else. To make it worse, some of the pages even break when displayed in IE, now that’s really some cheese!

    Most of them leverage on Flash, and for browsers that have older versions of flash or for visitors that have a slow connection speed (let’s not forget that there are still people who use dialups!)… it’s a perfect remedy for frustration and disaster.

    Some websites have horribly horrendous colour schemes! I’ve ran out of words to describe my utter disgust.

  2. I’ve always, always been wondering exactly who or which company design those sites?

  3. i totally agree with compatibility issue, the flash thingies. Some of them even say to use certain browsers to use the forms.. damn it..

  4. WTJ:
    You may have forgotten easily hacked. 😛

    Teddy:
    It’s even worst when some functions only work if you’re running on Internet Explorer. And to add to the dialups, if the person’s computer can’t handle the processing power for the Flash movie it’ll slow to a halt.

    Chee Aun:
    You and me, buddy. You and me…

    Ikram:
    So much for accessibility. But that’s all going to change hopefully soon. 🙂

  5. well said, Danny. you pointed out everything that gov websites do. I dont understand why do they make such websites. I just can’t understand. who designed those websites?

    my friends always give me links to the ugliest goverment website. once, my friend gave me a link to a gov website that uses lime colour as the background and grey for the font. not just that, the ‘ artistic graphics’ are painfully eye-poking. we laughed all day about it. isn’t that embarrassing?

  6. Chee Aun:
    I was saying you and me would definitely want to know. -__-

    Aisyah:
    Wow, you are here! 😛 Anyway, I wonder who else internationally could be laughing at us.

  7. Lime background and grey font are one of the WORST combinations! I’ve seen yellow background and white fonts though, it’s horrendous.

  8. Hehe, one thing I realize is that they seem to use some form of “M’sian govt website template” standard:

    1. Must be BLUE in color, or predominantly blue
    2. MUST have scrolling marquees
    3. They usually don’t load if you don’t type in the “www” in the URL
    4. At the footer, it must have a “best viewed in IE6 at 800×600” or something to that effect

    However, having said that, the standards are definitely improving. The MSC website (www.msc.com.my), for instance, looks great.

  9. Mike, those are very good points made especially the best viewed one. ROFL!

    As for the MSC website, despite development in XHTML / CSS I noticed there’s a major issue in the main navigation. They’re using images and there’s no text behind it. Therefore, if you turned off the stylesheet you’ll notice Home, Rakyat, Businesses and Government goes missing.

    And I’ve a feeling whoever is updating parts of the website isn’t familiar with web standards. I just found a webpage which content isn’t consistent with the rest of the website: http://tinyurl.com/4nsj33

    Oh well.. good effort still. 🙂

  10. One will be the flash intro page. Second will be the difficulty i face to navigate – i just can’t find wht i need to find! Third, of course the compatibility issue – i use firefox.
    *sigh

    ammu.

  11. aha..I guess i found similar cases in Indonesia gov sites 🙂

    most problem of malaysia (and indonesia 🙂 ) websites are:
    – web standards (no doctype, not safe in any browser)
    – semantic web (deprecated X/HTML tags-attributes-elements, CSS)
    – accessibility (flashy, javascript based, absence of alt attributes)

    I made a list of indonesian websites/weblogs which use some of web standards rules (valid X/HTML and/or CSS and/or ATRC; see my blog’s sidebar)…

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