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Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Microsoft adCenter – A Little Beef

 

It is not rare for me to come across issues when working with PPC platforms that really bug me, but usually I just keep to my self.

There is one design flaw in particular at Microsoft adCenter however, that I felt I wanted to beef about briefly in hopes that someone at Microsoft is listening. It has to do with the calendar/custom date range selection, and two key points about it. I must say, that for the worlds leading software company, the lack of user-friendliness and functionality surprises me.

My first point is that the custom range is limited to a 31 day span. If you want to view history from a range spanning more than 31 days, but limited to a specific span of time, you are out of luck. Why is there this limitation? From the drop down you can select “Entire Time”, so this shows that they are capable of displaying more than 31 days worth of data, so what’s the problem with selecting say, a 32 day range – why can’t they display it? At times this can be rather inconvenient.

The second beef I have is in the selection of the custom date. First you are required to use the pop-up calendar and the option of simply typing in the date into the entry field is non-existent. Second, when you select the pop-up calendar, navigating to the next month requires a two click process (or three clicks if you are spanning a range starting in 2009 and ending in 2010). First you have to click the drop down, then click the month. I know this is a rather trivial complaint, but Google has figured it out (as have many other pop-up calendars I have seen) with a simply “next” and “previous” arrow. These arrows save a few steps and a trivial amount of time.

I know these complaints are minor, but it surprises me how Microsoft wants to beat out Google so badly but still manages to fall short on so many of the small details.

My wife always looks at how good a hotel or spa is by the smallest details; light fixtures, bathroom fixtures, moulding, miniature soaps, etc, and these small details often determine if we return to the establishment. It’s the little things that make all the difference – as a web marketer I look at the little things too – how many clicks does it take to perform a desired action, how is the navigation organized and is it easy to use, etc. MSN adCenter continues to fall short in these areas and when you are competing against Google, this is just not acceptable.


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