Another way to annoy your site visitors: PDF filenames

Do you have PDF’s on your site? – if so when they download to your visitors machine do their names help or confuse?

I’ve lost track of the times I have downloaded somethign that seemed significant at the time, only for a day later to be looking at my desktop and find myself thinking “what the hell is map_version7b”?

Why do people still insist on using filenames that mean nothing outside the context of their own computer – let alone outside their own organisation?

Why is it so hard to call these files something like “Map for Company B updated Nov12 2010” – how much more meaningful would that be?

The reason this happens is because there is the typical disconnect between the person maintaining the site and the people visiting it; they never meet at all – not even by email.  The frustrated users cannot vent their frustrations – and even if there was an avenue of communication it would be such hard to articulate frustration that most people wouldn’t bother.

However – for the users of your site it is one more item of annoyance, and when the sum total of annoyances hits the critical threshold, bang: they’re gone: and they’ll never return to your site.

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