As one of my many part time jobs, I do Random Website StuffTM. My most recent brief was for another department, who wanted me to create a Google Maps-based application for their website that shows the fieldwork locations of everyone in the department, along with little info bubbles giving the researcher's name and some other details.
So I did this.
Then I released it to a small group of their profs to get some feedback. Here's some snippets from the emails that ensued:
1. "Please remove the titles "Dr, "Professor" and so on before our names. This looks wanky on a website."
[I do so]
2. "Please put "Dr, Professor" and so on before our names. A website is a public face of the university and needs to look official."
[Sorry dude, over-ruled: the guy in #1 was your boss]
3. (From the guy who originally requested I base the map on Google Maps because he likes the way it looks): "Can you make the sea less blue?"
[I'll just ask Google to dump some bleach into the ocean before they snap their next satellite shot, shall I?]
Then yesterday I made the page live and sent an email to the whole department that prominently (i.e. right at the top) included the following:
If you wish me to move the location of your marker on the map, I need you to send me the latitude and longitude of where it should be located. (Small villages in the Pacific are generally not marked on Google Maps, and sometimes I had to guess about the location.)Today I received nine requests to move markers. Guess how many gave latitudes and longitudes? (If you guessed "one", then you're giving them too much credit.)
Here are some representative samples of how much information they included in the requests:
"Can you move my marker a bit further south?"
"My marker should be about halfway between [two villages that aren't marked on the map]"
"My markers aren't quite in the right position. Can you fix them?"
"I think [other prof's] markers are wrong. I don't know if they should be further east, but definitely they need to be by a river. One of the big ones."
I replied to these, saying, "Can you please send me the latitude and longitude of the correct position?"
So far I've had one reply: "I think it's probably in Wikipedia."