Web 0.1: Canon USA

FAIL #1: Website denies existence of products, broken cookie-“cleverness”

Canon recently (last few months) launched a new “prosumer” DSLR – the EOS 550D, a.k.a. Rebel T2i (because Americans need to feel “cool” and “rebellious”, apparently. Hmm. Marketing fail there too, perhaps?).

According to Canon’s website, this does not exist. Try for yourself:

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products

…UNLESS you’ve been to the site before. Second time you go to the site, you get an entirely different “product” page. First version is a list of approx 7 cameras, second version is a grid showing 11 cameras – which does include the Rebel T2i.

FAIL.

FAIL #2: Javascript navigation: webpage has “no content”

So, you finally find the camera page, and select the “Drivers and Software” tab, e.g.:

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/slr_cameras/eos_rebel_t2i_ef_s_18_55mm_is_kit?selectedName=DriversAndSoftware

What do you see?

1 firmware update, and no drivers, and no software. How come?

Well, you have to select a value in the tiny dropdown near the top of the page, and only then will the page magically update itself in-situ with the ACTUAL list of “Drivers and Software”.

Is the resulting page bookmarkable? Nope; it’s not actuall a “webpage”, it’s a temporary piece of javascript. ARGH!

FAIL

FAIL #3: Javascript navigation, breaking basic web standards

Fine. So, for Windows, or for OS X, there’s a dozen or so downloads – once you spot the “trick” to reveal them.

Ah, but – are you allowed to simply click and download them? “NOOO!”, says Canon USA.

If you try to follow any of the links, you discover they aren’t actually links, but instead are proprietary Javascript routines that are masquerading as links. (BAD web designer! Why did they do this? What possible advantage is there? Where the heck did Canon’s web team learn to write HTML?)

I wouldn’t mind, except … they implemented the Javascript so badly that each download link isn’t even a URL.

Which means … when you click on a download, and download it, then hit “Back” in your web browser … you get put back to the page BEFORE you even went to the Canon website.

FAIL.

Go to JAIL. Do not pass GO. Do NOT collect $200

Yep – that’s right, time to use that stupid drop-down again, before you’re “allowed” to see the list of files.

And then, for each file, you’ll have to repeat:

  1. click file link
  2. scroll to download link
  3. click download link (3 clicks to download – Amazon, eat your heart out!)
  4. click Back (NB: Canon’s web team couldn’t be bothered to provide a javascript “back” function)
  5. click Forwards
  6. select your OS from the drop-down list
  7. scroll back to where you started

SEVEN steps to download each file? For half a dozen files? Canon USA, congratulations – that’s Web 0.1!

UPDATE: … I worked out a trick. If, after you download each file by clicking the “I Accept these terms and conditions” button, you then click the “No, I reject these terms and conditions”, it surreptitiously puts you back to the previous page. Canon’s web team apparently has no issue with you simultaneously Accepting and Rejecting their legal documents – I wonder what Canon’s lawfirm would say about that?

3 thoughts on “Web 0.1: Canon USA

  1. Riftforge

    The Rebel brand name has been around for at least 15 years. I shot my first pro photos when studying at my university with a US-imported Canon Rebel, 50mm lens.

  2. Taemojitsu

    Well, it is a lot of information to display. Personally I have always found navigating forward/back in history to be more time consuming than javascript if the browser doesn’t cache and pages take a long time to render or return to the previous vertical position on the page. “Everything is important, or nothing is important?”

    Not sure what the cookies thing was. Navigating to the ‘Digital SLR Cameras’ page from the one linked seems to show 11 cameras even with all cookies cleared, but maybe it was different three weeks ago?

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