Usability and the Olympics

So the Olympics are starting today ( or was it yesterday. That darn date line), so I decided to visit the http://www.nbcolympics.coml to find out when various events are on since I am going to be out of town for a few days. So I head to the Olympic site and easily find the TV Listing section.

Ok, so you need my zip code. That’s expected. Nice touch in not making the Cancel button the same weight as the Next button.

Next I am presented with a list of cable options. Why a scrolling list? Unless someone can show me a huge list, why? why? Cable, Cable-Ready, Digital? What to do if I don’t know?

So on to the next screen: Here is the instructions

You’re eligible to receive programming from more than one NBC station in your area. Please indicate the station on which you plan to watch the Olympics:

However, there is only one choice listed below. Opps.

Now on to my main issue, the actual TV listing page.

NBC Olympic TV listing

NBC Olympic TV listing

Ok, being a kayaker, I want to see when the paddling events are. I see the nice listing of the sports on the left, and click the canoe/kayak link. Instead of the TV listing being filtered to this event, I am taken to the Canoe/Kayak event page. What?!?!

So, I navigate back to the previous page and try again. Now I see the menu option to filter by sports, and select Canoe/Kayak. Ok, no events today. Now how to locate when they are paddling? I finally notice that the date bar across the top has changed slightly. Days that do have some coverage are now clickable. You noticed that the background image had changed right?

Now, I am thinking that I am going to have to click through each date to locate what sort of coverage I might have. In talking this over with a colleague, we noticed that there is a item on this bar, labeled “All Days”. Ah, perfect. This is page that I need.

To me it would have been a lot easier to query the user at the beginning if they are interested in the schedule for the day, or are they trying to plan out their recording schedule for their DVR?

Just some thoughts.

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