Paul McAleer

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Paul McAleer

Something to consider. This past week I was reading an article at a newspaper site which included a supplementary PDF. The full link in the sidebar read, “Click here to view the master plan in .pdf [sic] format.” Below that was an icon for Adobe Reader and a link which read, “To view this document you might need the free .pdf [sic] reader from Adobe. You can download it by clicking here.”

All I wanted to do is view the master plan. So why is this newspaper letting technology get in the way? There’s so much jargon and baggage in those links that I was immediately put off - even though I fully understood it. Even the fact that “.pdf” was in the text includes a high degree of baggage with it: computer file systems, file extensions, file associations…how ridiculous.

Alternative: include a link to the master plan with the text, “View the master plan.” The technological onus belongs on the browsing device and its operating system, not the user.