The problems with ireland.com

Considering my line of work, I want to state at the outset that the following opinion has nothing to do with my employer and is mine alone.

The Irish Times is reporting that the re-development of ireland.com, the domain bought by Tourism Ireland for €500k late last year, has cost €2.5 million. That’s a combined total of €3 million for the entire project. I’ve attached a screenshot of the homepage below:

ireland.com screenshot

You can click through to see the actual site here. The Irish Times piece claims that the site was “specifically designed with touch-based tablets in mind”. How is that the case when the site isn’t responsive? 2013 may be the year of The Gathering but it’s also the year of responsive design, according to Mashable. Spending that amount of money on a site in the first place is, to my mind, simply excessive but not building it to the standards we’re adopting around new devices is crazy. Add that to the fact that:

This would sound like nitpicking but when you’re spending €2,500,000 on a product, I would expect that it would shine from top to bottom. I’d have user tested it inside out to ensure it was fit for purpose because I believe this site will not enhance Tourism Ireland’s ability to attract tourists. If anything, it will do the opposite.

Note: This is a blog post written quite quickly and isn’t comprehensive in terms of the site’s issues. I’d recommend reading @cloudsteph’s constructive feedback here and also searching Twitter for ‘ireland.com

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