First, Project Aware is a great concept. But, if you are going to put up a website that you want a lot of people to join it has to be intuitive and that means easy. Let’s take it from the start:
Being a PADI professional, I have been automatically a member of project aware (or so I thought). When I went to log in I found out that I was not a member. No worries, I would just start a new account and like most new membership accounts I could log in using my Facebook account – beautiful! Not really…
After logging in using my Facebook account I now had to give myself a “username.” That is not so hard except that there were two places for a username and one was already filled in. What does this mean? if I put a different user name in one slot which would be used to sign in? This has to change – one username Project Aware webmaster, okay?
Now I will fill in my account info. As with any social network it would be worthless without being ale to put up a picture. This was not forgotten here. But when you go to upload your profile picture you are told that is has to be no larger than 85×85 (pixels?) and 30kB. I hate to break this to Project Aware but the 30kB digital picture size was broken in 1991. Cameras today don’t even have a setting for that small of a size picture.
Finishing my Edit Account Settings I save them only to have some html code display across the top of the screen. This is never good. First, html makes those that do not work with it think they have done something wrong. Last, it indicates you have done something wrong. HINT: Project Aware, we are trying to join this site – it cannot be made difficult or we will just move on and that will be the last time we visit the site.
Next: Edit My Ocean
First thing we face is the “Diver Photo” upload. Didn’t we already do this? This one can be up to 50MB. This makes it much easier. I don’t know what the 50kB photo was all about and I am still confused. Anyhoo, next is an area to add a bio. This is all good. Then it asks for where you live. This looks optional but I filled it out anyway, all but the longitude and latitude of where I lived because I do not know this. I hit SAVE and guess what – longitude and latitude are requirements! WHAT? So now I have to use a map and click on it to locate this missing info. Not terribly hard but I wanted to just click a spot in the middle of the ocean. Why make this a requirement?
Once you get past this then it is a matter of finding friends and organizing things. There is a place for files, picture galleries, and dive buddies. This has great potential but definitely needs some “refining.”
After I logged out I tried to log back in without success. It asked for my username/email address and password. Here is where the confusion on this issue comes to a head. After two attempts I gave up. I went to complain on Project Aware’s Facebook page and it was blocked because it will not work on a secure setting. Project Aware may be wondering where all the divers are – I will tell you. They are out there on Facebook and WordPress and other sites that do not take up any significant portion of their lives just to sign up (and then be blocked from logging back in).