Dice.com Latest Upgrade Broke The Site

At least as of 6AM to 9AM, the job search website for tech, www.dice.com is not useable in my experience.

They went ahead and rolled out a major revision of their website today.  There actually were a few things in it that were kind of slick.

When you go in to do a search for a position, and it makes sense to do so, you have a slider for a criterion.

For example, when you are requesting a page for a search, you can tailor the number of results you want back by using a slider to change the number from 10 to 100 in increments.   The 100 is a big help.

Distance works the same way.

There are a few others, but the problem is that there should be a little box at the end for you to enter in a specific number.


Simple – I live in Wilton Manors, Florida.  I used to have a search that would look for a 27 mile radius.  That would include West Palm Beach but specifically exclude downtown Miami.  I don’t want that commute, nor would I want that for anyone else. 

If there is a slider, you need to be able to enter in a specific number.

They also deleted the ability to search for an Area Code or a group of Area Codes.  Broward County is 954 and 754.  Palm Beach County is 561.  Having the ability in a large urbanized area like this to simply search for something within a county is very helpful.  Otherwise, the distance must be used, and will slow one down with extra searches.

They deleted the ability to exclude recruiters.  Recruiters in my experience are unreliable.  I tend to look for direct hire only.

They clearly did not test their site when they went “Live” today – by the time I got to it.  It may be fixed later, even later today.  Much of this could simply be because they are rolling out changes at this moment.

When I get the results of a search, they come back with either “Relevant” or “Date” available, but the default is usually Relevant unless you caught the tick box and set it.  But the link is dead to change it back – normally, but not always.  This sort of inconsistency is very common within the site.

That’s the problem.  Things work sometimes but not always.

So basically their site is not useable as of this writing, 9:15 AM EST, 12/15/2014.

As for the way it looks? 

I personally am not a fan of the Web 2.0 Look And Feel for things where there are a lot of items to search. 

Dice.com is one of those sites.  They are presenting a database of links and a tight list format is the most useable. 

I understand that they want to look different than the other two big sites, www.Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com however, their search results in LARGE FONTS and lots of Whitespace means that you’re constantly paging when you do get the 100 results per page, if you can actually get things to work.

Thank you again for the 100, it helps.

But when you page through the site on a large monitor (1920×1080) getting only seven results per view until you page down is limiting.  Put as much on a line as possible.  I guess that means it’s first page with 4 links, then 13 pages of 7 links (or so) plus the remaining 5 links (or so) – that’s how the math works out.

Your User Interface guy must have missed that particular meeting.  The Testing folk are confused too – I got a page coming up using the old interface and immediately thought “THANK YOU!”. 

Then I refreshed the page and it was back to the new design.  There were no links though, kind of a surprise since I saw links on the Old Format Page.

I’ll be waiting.  The new design needs A LOT OF WORK.  The site has so many bugs in it that I simply closed every window that I had.   All my old links are no longer functional.  If I try to recreate them, the site is so buggy that I can not get anything even remotely like the results I expect.  I can’t page to the second 100 results.  Not even the old text search works properly.  If you want to search for Business Analyst, and put them in quotes, the new software thinks you are looking for “Business OR Analyst”.  It’s not the same thing.

For example, if I search for anything within 20 miles of zip code 33301 I am showing results in California.  California is a great place but a bit more than 20 miles away from South Florida.

Oh and one missing thing that is extremely important.  Dice removed the number of hits that a particular resume has.  It’s a metric that needs to return.  How else would you know if your resume is effective unless you know now many people look at it in a given month?

At this point, there’s nothing else that I could suggest other than telling someone who wants to use a job search engine to wait this one out and hit the other sites.  Dice.com is unusable due to UI, UX, and QA issues today.  

They tried, but … well, maybe tomorrow.  They went with a Big Bang Release and broke what they had before.  Would be best to roll it all back and try an Agile Project Management approach of gradual improvements instead of what they got here.

Dice.com did it right. I need more light.

I promise you this won’t be technical.


More “functional” – or the Way things work instead of What You Do To Get them to work.

A while back, I posted a detailed series of articles about the website www.dice.com when they made some changes to their website.  Many of them were picked up by Dice and used, some were not.  My observations were a little flawed since I aggressively block advertisements on websites.  When I’m working to find a Project Management Job, I don’t want some blinky or otherwise distracting piece of “graphics” slowing me down.  I’ve been online long enough to remember what the web was like before they started putting ads in web pages, and for the most part, that is my experience when I surf – I simply do not have time for that when I spend three hours a day looking for work.

Yes, three hours a day, every day, average, every SINGLE day of the year.  Add to that the actual time that I spend applying to jobs and it is well over a full time job of more than 40 hours a week.

I use Dice heavily, and it probably is the first one I hit every morning.

When you go to a page that you use frequently you have times where you have to change your information.  There are ways to protect that sign on, but the most widely known and used ones are called a “Captcha”.  They’re supposed to captcha the computers and let the humans do their thing.  It usually is text but it’s in weird fonts or colors and it makes it hard for a computer to scan. 

It also makes life tough for people.  The ones on Google Sites are the worst.  I have a lot of trouble guessing if “this” blob is a “cl” or a “d” because they’re so twisted around.  A quick jump to this link will show you what I’m talking about.  Just look at the picture and I’ll wait for you to groan “Oh God Those Things”.

Welcome back…

Dice had a system of around six different number strings in pictures so they couldn’t be scanned and it was stable – which is to say repetitious.  “MrVies” was one of them.  I have a theory that he was a farmer down the road from the folks out in Iowa that produce this website but I can’t really be sure.

I’m assuming they, Dice, knew this and realized something had to be done because it changed.

For the better.

You see instead of putting up an almost unintelligeable blue blob next to another, they went to something simple.

Well crafted questions in … GASP!… Clear Text.   You know, like you’re reading now!  The same size as any other text on your screen that you can make larger or smaller, copy and paste and so forth.

Oooo Text.

Repeat after me… “Oooo Text!”!

Ok so where’s the rub?

It isn’t with the website this time.  The problem is in what I heard described recently as the “Organic Biological Computing Interface”.  Yes, you guessed it, it’s that 224 pound slab of semi conscious meat that sits under the computer. 


Yours truly.

Yes, I’m a bit stubborn.  At 645 in the morning when I start, I’m also not completely awake.

Sure, I’m a morning person but even I have my limits.  The breakfast hasn’t boosted my blood sugar levels to “awake” nor has the little weak computing chip that I call my brain warmed up enough with some prime home roasted coffee and its subsequent jolt of caffeine induced energy.

In other words, yeah I’m half asleep when I start.

It’s also not quite sunrise yet and these homes in Florida are built to shade you from direct sunlight.  At that time of day, you frequently need to turn on the brass Orient Express lamp that you gave Mom back in the 1980s as a present and shed some light on the deal.

So as you are looking at a Clear! Text! question like “Enter the number twenty three thousand five hundred and thirty in digits” you are also running into a problem.  Where the heck is that number five on the darkened keyboard???

It also exposed a little problem, I got a little “ferhuddled” as they say in Lancaster County, PA.  I’d swap digits back and forth while I am going through my morning dyslexia and get it wrong.

Three or four times.

That is until I get off my duff and semi-close the lid to the laptop to shed enough light on the matter.

Score:  Dice.Com 1, Moose 0

Yep, I’m satisfied, and laughing at myself yet again.   I do a lot of that.

So if you’re listening Dice.com here’s a little Technical thought for you (You see I lied, but only a little bit, about that functional stuff!).

If the website was done correctly, you should have all these captchas stored in a database.  You should have an internal web page to add new questions as you think them up and delete out old ones that are stale, or just leave them in the database to cycle through.   All in all it’s a good solution that you came up with.

And no, I don’t really need access to that database. Although… hmmmm think of the power!  WOO HOO!

SimplyHired.com and User Experience

Wait, this isn’t going to be as technical as it sounds, trust me! 

Oh well, now that I have scared most folks off…

I’ve mentioned before that I am looking for a Permanent Position in Project Management in South Florida.  I also have mentioned how I go through 170 web pages a day in order to apply to likely positions.  Mostly I do that through www.dice.com, www.monster.com, and www.careerbuilder.com, but there are others.

I also have a weekly sweep of specific cities, counties, and companies that I do on the weekend that is another 170 pages.


Anything that slows down the way I use the browser effects how efficiently I can do this.

I’ve noticed a nasty habit creeping in the way many web pages are doing things. 

First some really basic instruction on what happens when you click on a link – VERY basic.

See a link.  Click on a link.  The link will take you to the next web page.

Simple, right?  That is how it is supposed to work.  If it happens that way, success.  Happy user and the “User Experience” is enhanced so that you are more likely to come back.  That “User Experience” is a very important field, many people are working on that sort of thing so that you really do come back.  After all they have ads and that is how you pay the web page – by your clicks.

Next Helpful Hint.  Control Click.  Also known as “Ctrl Click”. 

See a link.  Hold Ctrl and Click on that link.  The link will open in a new tab on modern browsers.  The old page stays there so you can refer to it.

Shift and Click work the same way except that it opens that page in a new browser window.

Go ahead and try either, I should still be here waiting for you.

See?  Wasn’t that helpful? 

I think so because that is the basis for my opening 170 web pages in 6 browser windows.   My little Core 2 Duo 12 inch convertible tablet is not going to open them all at once.   Too much for Firefox to do, so I broke it all up into roughly 30 tabs per browser window.

For example, I have a set of tabs that open up automatically.  That set goes to Dice.com and says “give me the first 10 pages that show any ‘project manager’ position within 25 miles of my current zip, and exclude the following companies”.  It will happily do that and more. 

The result is one browser window with those 10 dice searches, one page after another, loading in background for me.   Next I can go through those tabs, one at a time and look at the links. 

Remember that “ctrl-click”?

The next step is Ctrl-Clicking the links so they all happily open up in the next tabs.  All the other web pages stay there, it just creates a new one for the next click.

This works well for any list of links like the ones you find on a search engine like www.google.com or www.bing.com for example.  Find a recipe site with 10 recipes all of which include your favorite food?  Just Ctrl-Click and they will all open in tabs as you click them.  It’s really handy and it’s built in to the browsers.

Ok, so now you say what’s the problem?

Simply put, there is a nasty habit many web pages are doing that work fine if all you are doing is one thing at a time.  Who has time for that any more? 

Click on a link on some web sites, and they will put up an overlay on top of your web page that obscures what you had, and presents new information.  This is usually called a Light Box.  Here is why that can be a nasty problem.

www.simplyhired.com does this when you click on a link.  They’re so anxious to get you to log into their site that they put up a light box asking for login information when you click.  Then you have to stop what you were doing and click on the close “X” up at the top right corner of the light box so it will process your link.  Completely in conflict with opening up a bunch of links in tabs and working with these at your own time.

The way around that is to right click on that link and select “Open Link In New Tab”.  Yes, it is another step, and it is usually done after the second or third try.  

www.simplyhired.com is an aggregator of other people’s content.  They try to be a search engine of other job boards and achieve enough success that I have been coming back.  Major annoyance to go through that click-and-shock every time you find a link for this one site that is so different from normal.

A Better Solution is to use www.indeed.com as an aggregator for job postings.  They work “normally” when you click or ctrl-click on them, they don’t get in your way with weird light boxes and unnecessary web clicks.  I have even tricked the website to give me my 50 links in one tab which I do with Dice and Monster.  They’re completely configurable that way if you choose to monkey around with searches.

Another website that is guilty of this nonsense is www.facebook.com in the way they handle pictures.  Their User Interface at this moment is putting up a lightbox that covers up everything you look at with the picture that you were clicking on.  It also puts you back up at the top of the page you were looking at to begin with when you clicked on that picture.   At least links are being opened the correct way – the way you want them. 

Again, this sort of thing seems kind of small and inconsequential but there are many people working on this sort of detail.  When you change the way someone else’s browser works, there has to be a concrete reason for the change and it has to be done so that there is a concrete benefit.

Rarely if ever does that happen.

After clicking on one too many friend’s links in Facebook, and one too many links on Simply Hired, I noticed a review box in lime green with white text.  Lime Green?  White Text?  What were they thinking?   At any rate, I gave them my opinion above, in a condensed format.  I may as well give them feedback.  After all, I told them I would under no circumstances recommend them since there were too many sites that do it right.  I’ll probably keep using the site because I have some searches that once in a blue moon show what I am looking for that are not shown on the big boards, but I really wouldn’t miss them if I could get to the rest.

Just a Normal Hectic Morning

Yesterday was busy, why should today be different?

Today, getting up before 6am, there was a flurry of activity.

The Linens were put into the washer, and true to form it took longer than expected.  It’s a Bosch Washer, so while it gets the clothes clean, it has a problem figuring out how much soap actually needs to be in the water.   Add too little and you notice things aren’t quite right. Add the soap manufacturer’s recommended amount and the idiot washing machine decides it needs another cycle saying “Extra Rinse Foam” and delays another 30 minutes.

The morning mile and a quarter dog walk was done, we walked into the kitchen and begun the morning meal.  At the same time there was a long list of food and drink being prepared.

Coffee, Tea for Iced Tea, two bowls of Oatmeal all received boiling water and were steeping and soaking.

There was a batch of Decaf being roasted at the same time.

An English Muffin had just come out of the microwave, and into the toaster.

The Chicken Patty was dusted with Curry Powder and then warmed in the microwave.

Yes, all of this was breakfast.

When things settled after the coffee was roasted and cooling for later grinding, it was time to further complicate matters.  Banana Bread had to be made.  The bananas were not all black, but picking one up and you realized that they weren’t exactly holding up well. 

Ever have a limp banana?

(No, not that kind, a real Cavendish Banana and overripe at that so get your mind out of the gutter!)

Walking to the front room, the laptop was started, the recipe found, and the banana bread was prepared as above.  While all of this happened, the laptop was going to windows update and getting all the latest updates. 

Everything except Silverlight.  This laptop HATES Silverlight.  Silverlight is something even Microsoft has decided should die because they are no longer actively pushing it to people.  It is a “Flash Replacement” that does the same things Flash does but does not actually do Flash animations.  Yet another layer of software that you really don’t need.   It uninstalled from all my windows 7 computers since it slows the world … to … a … crawl.

The bread was placed in the oven and timer set for 30 minutes, which gave a nice breather to begin to eat some of that feast.  While it was only 600 calories, it is a lot of volume. 

The bread began to warm the house with Home and Hearth types of smells, and it rose beautifully to a proper density.

Pulling the bread out of the oven, the results were quite fine.  Thin crust of tasty creamy goodness.

It was time to let it cool, go into the front room and begin the morning Job Search.  170 Web Pages of work goodness.  Dice.com, Monster.com, and Careerbuilder.com all done in rapid succession.

Here is where it got … weird.

The search was going fine, but there were signs of strangeness coming from the laptop.  The poor little thing needs attention.  There is something not quite right with the software and nobody will be able to fix it but me.  There’s a driver that crashes when I shut the thing down so it never gets powered off cleanly.  When a disc check is scheduled on the boot drive, it never happens because there was not a clean shut down, so it simply restarts.

Add to it that those two pictures above were not available because for some reason the poor little HP decided it would take a vacation and not read the USB Drive.   Not good, there are pictures on there that are needed for the projects that are outstanding!

Fine, shut down the laptop, then it decided that it wasn’t shut down, the driver was still crashing, so it would restart.   This Time However it now is going to do that check.  Here we are an hour and a half later and it is still scanning its hard drive – no errors so far.

Time to get out the blog posting though, so walking over to the Video Editing Laptop, it was time to start doing some work. 

No problem, it is marginally faster than the little HP, and there are some Powerpoint animations that need to be made for New Divine Mercy so they can be married to the videos on the video page on their website.

Yes, that is me, Videographer as well as a Photographer, baker and all around Project Manager good guy.

Need help? I’ll give you a good rate.

Need proof that a guy can Multitask?  Join me in the kitchen, we’ll make coffee and another Banana Bread.  There is this pile of bananas that aren’t getting any younger.  

So shall we make it plain? 

Nuts?  You’d better believe it!

That bread by the way… it was underdone inside.  That is what you get when you think you know your oven!

Job Recruiters Amuse Me

Having my resume on Dice.Com, Monster.com, and Careerbuilder.com I get to speak with recruiters.

It is like saying you will get wet if you stand outdoors.  Underwater.  Repeatedly.

Yesterday I had two things happen that had me amused.  

I have a Lot of Project Management experience.  I’m doing some consulting for New Divine Mercy church where I have migrated their website off of LAMP and Joomla to Google Sites.  I also act as their videographer, and handle their technology needs.  I also have been the treasurer for a political campaign, and a webmaster for two campaigns.  I have written advertising copy and have been a speech writer – all of which in the last year.

I am also the social media director for Wilton Manors Main Street, maintaining their facebook group and their blog, as well as producing the monthly newsletter.  I produce the newsletter and the embedded newsletter site with content from Krishan Manners and it was my idea to get content from other organizations within the area so that there would be one central place to find the information as well as one newsletter going out instead of five or six.  It is well received and is growing each month.  If you would like to get our next newsletter – click on this link. We don’t sell the email addresses to anyone else.

Yesterday I got an email from someone at Robert Half International about a position.  I had read it, shrugged since I thought I was a little “short of the qualifications” and moved on.  A couple hours later I got a phone call from the same “associate” who sent me the email.  After her interviewing me and going past the elevator pitch, I told her my opinion.  I also told her how they typically do their interviews.  After being in the market as long as I have been , I’m a bit more wary of agreeing to go in to talk to recruiters.   They have a habit of wanting to see you, a Meet and Greet, without anything concrete behind it.   Robert Half is guilty of this as are some of the other firms in this field.  I have a hard and fast rule if I have done the Meet and Greet before, I won’t do it again unless you are ready to send me out on an interview.   I told her this and thanked her for her interest but since “gasoline is $4 a gallon and this would take two hours out of my day to get there and back, I was not inclined to come in for a face to face but would consider it ‘if there was something concrete’ involved”.

You see if you are interviewing your time is free, theirs is not.

Nothing against this particular recruiter, she was knowledgeable and understanding, she was polite, and she was willing to listen.  I just didn’t want to play by the script.

The other wrinkle I found over the time of interviewing is that most recruiters are fairly useless.  There are some exceptions and I write THEM, directly.  These are the ones that after going the first meet and greet contact me about specific opportunities.   I keep their emails on a spreadsheet for easy access.  There simply are too many folks in and out of that career for me to bother with the fly by nights.

Why I consider most fairly useless is that there is a pattern.

First the company needing the new hire will post a direct job specification either on their website or on one of the job search boards.  In Technology, Dice.Com is probably my favorite – I can submit a resume in under 5 minutes, a little more if I have to tweak my resume or my cover letter. The State of Florida has a page that is utterly useless, and the Federal Government’s is bad as well but better than Florida’s.

After the company posts the specification, recruiters will spot this and contact the company and find out if they are open to recruiters.  That may be as simple as Recruiter A sees Company Posting B at 8AM, claims it as their own and posts it to Recruiting Company internal website and then onto Dice/Monster/Careerbuilder.  That happens usually by 8:01AM.  It can be that fast.

If it is a Project Management or Business Analysis position I know I will have a busy day because I will notice multiple hits on my resume on those boards.  I keep a spreadsheet that tells me what the raw counts are and how many hits there were since yesterday. 

Usually after the local boards send me a feeler, a couple days later the Out Of State recruiters start calling.   They’re much later because they’re “fishing” for a hit.  The problem with the Out Of State recruiters is that you will never have any kind of a relationship with these peoples.  It is like a door to door contractor showing up and asking if you need your driveway sealed.  That’s a call I get every other week, the recruiters are daily.

If there is a phone call on my cell I immediately look to see the caller ID.  I have a definite priority of who I answer.  If you have called me, I add you to the SIM list.  If you haven’t then it shows as a raw phone number.  

First Priority are people who I have spoken with before – Friends, Family,  Business Contacts and former recruiters who I have dealt with.

Second Priority are those who have a local area code.  954, 754, 561, 305, and 786 area codes.  I’ll consider my own time constraints as it is usually easier for me to go on and let them talk to my phone and I can screen it later.

Lowest priority are out of state first time callers.   If they are from places like NYC Metro, specifically North Jersey I will always let them go to the answering machine.

The lowest priority calls are invariably someone calling from India as a recruiter on a scratchy Voice Over IP phone line trying to pretend that they are here.  If I make the mistake and actually speak with one, I can’t hear the accent over the static and tell them that they need to email me, they have my email address on the resume, and that they can expect an answer “shortly”.

Then I forget they ever called.

After all, there are people here in the United States who need the jobs more than shipping them overseas.  I know one, intimately. 

So if you need a Project Manager, Business Analyst, COBOL Programmer, Web Developer, Social Media Director, Software Development Manager, or one of about 30 other hats I wear or wore, let me know.  We can work something out.

Did I tell you about the telecommuting organization that I built using Skype and functioned as it’s CTO with help from my business partner?

Yeah, I’ve done it.

Dice.com Redesign – User Interface

More of all of this Web User Experience and User Interface “stuff” coming.  On the other hand, it’s a shorter article and there are pictures to illustrate what I’m banging on about.  It’s shorter because they fixed most of what I found wrong with it.

Over the last week, Dice.com decided to do some changes to their site.  The last discussion was on Friday and you can read it here.  There was a redesign to the search that made it less useful.  On the other hand, after taking another look at it, they decided to reverse most if not all of the changes.

It made it better.  Well to be fair, it made it better for me to use, and hopefully for others.   It is now much more useful and much more useable.  What I have now are more on the line of Suggestions than major problems.

Think of it as a “Design Concern” than a “Full Stop”.

Any time you are going to write a web page, or web site you have to make some decisions, whether or not you realize you are going to do so.  You are setting your boundaries.  One major boundary is what size of a page will you be writing for.  There are a lot of people running around with little netbooks.   If they were pink, I would call them “Barbie’s Computer” because they look like a little thing that hasn’t grown up yet.  I am assuming that this is as small of a screen you will write for, because when I write for my own clients, I use that width.

I call this “One K Mode” because it is 1024 pixels wide. In my case, the page I’m looking at has drifted to a wider page because I have a wider monitor, but when I develop I develop for 1024 as my standard width.

I promise I won’t get “too deep” here for my non technical users.  Consider this as a “standard” width.  Anything more gets into numbers that are more like what you see when you are shopping for a TV.  Since most people have a computer to do serious work that are this size or larger, this is your benchmark.

Dice.Com “Detail” search results

Dice has a page with three panes.  A Left Control Panel, the search results in the middle, and the Right Control Panel.

Suggestion one – Merge the Right Control Panel onto the bottom of the Left Control Panel.
Reason – it gives you more room to grow for the search results.
Why should you care?  Because the individual fields displayed are variable in width and you end up with weird truncation if the field has a lot to show.

Suggestion two – For Summary, limit each column in the center pane for the search results to one line.
Reason – It allows the web page to pack more results onto one vertical page.
Why should you care? Because more results on one page increases ease of use for the person looking at the results and makes one more likely to return.

Suggestion three – Consider reducing the white space.
Reason – It allows for more pertinent results and information displayed to the user at one shot.
Why should you care?   More results are easier to manage just like in suggestion two.

Dice.com “Summary” search results

Suggestion four – if you are going to truncate a long description, if you really feel it is necessary in the summary, go ahead and add an ellipsis to the end (the three dots)
Reason – we are used to seeing those three dots in Windows Explorer or Mac OSX Finder.  It is comfortable and useful.
Why Should you care?  It’s really just a nice to have.  I’d lop it off at an arbitrary useful length but definitely not go on to a second line.

The ironic thing is that Monster.com has just done the same thing that Dice.com did back on April Fools Day.  I’m still working my way through recreating my links and my sorts.  The problem is that with Monster.com, I can’t really easily work with their sorts.   Dice.com is head and shoulders above what Monster has done for usability, and in 10 days went from a horrendous mess to something that’s pretty close to where I’d want it to be.

Obviously I am a demanding user.  I’m also stubborn enough to make something work for me by fiddling around with it.   I have to, just like many other folks who are using their services because they are in the job market.  I just am the kind of guy who won’t sit back and complain to myself, I’ll do it here if I find something wrong or if it is right I’ll praise it.

Dice.com Redesign – Getting Better

On April Fools day, Dice.com showed the world their then latest search page redesign.  I didn’t like it.  At all.  You can read about all of the changes here.  In the intervening week, someone, actually two people in Urbandale, Iowa hit my blog and read the article.  There were more hits in the last few days.  So I know that Dice is listening and for the most part agreed for now.  After all this is whining I am doing considered “real” work.  It’s called “User Interface/User Experience” and that’s going on my resume since this is the third time that I’ve had an effect on a website because of a blog article I wrote.

Not tooting my own horn, but hey if you’ve got it, flaunt it, right?

The picture that you see here is the result of an advanced search on Dice.com this morning.   I logged into Dice.com with my email address, clicked the advanced search link, went to the boxes and typed the following:

Keywords:  Project Manager
Location Options Zip Code: 33301 (for Wilton Manors, Florida) and Include Jobs within: 20 miles.

I really don’t want to spend my life on I-95 behind the wheel of my Jeep cursing at someone with a 10 year old Camry driving 45 mph in the fast lane with a Haiti sticker on the back. Been there, done that, started taking the back roads as a result like all the locals and found I can get to Pompano Beach faster on Powerline than on the interstate….

Exclude:  Entire Job Detail the word “Sales”

(If I were a salesman I wouldn’t be doing this at almost 8AM)

Job posted was 2 days
Results Displayed: 50

Two comments so far…
1) this could be because of Firefox or that I’m not awake but the Zip Code Field did not clear when I typed the first 3 in it.

2) Results Displayed.   I’m in a Major Metropolitan Area.  I want either “1000” or “all”.  My results on this search should be around 500 jobs.  It was in the other search that I did… on the other hand it only returned 32 jobs.

Ok, so what did I do wrong?  I know that in this area there are more people looking to hire now than there were six months ago.  Went back into the advanced search and removed from the “Exclude” box the word “Sales” and amazingly I got 3644 positions… Hmmmmm Not Quite Right.

After playing around it turns out that it was the zip code and distance that was holding me back.  Going from 3644 jobs to 15 was … jarring.  This is all a part of getting the search “just right”, and takes some time to finesse the website and the data so it’s “Perfect”.   It may actually be completely correct since I tend to aggregate my Project Manager search with other things that are similar.  My Mileage Did Vary.

Assuming that I want to look for every position that Dice knows about for Project Manager in the US, excluding “sales” anywhere in the body, it goes down to 3080 positions.   Clearly I have work to refine this query.  I have no problem with this … or do I.

I still want my “All” but realistically since I do this every day, I don’t want to look at 3080 positions.  My biggest Dice Search today yielded the picture you see above.  Ok, so it’s from yesterday afternoon, but it does have 491 positions.

The point I am making is that I should be able to save the search as is and as a link, and have it remain.   I can do both, but if I do by the web page, I have to save each page as a link.   With 491 positions, I will have to save 10 pages plus 1 for “growth”.  That is how I work Careerbuilder – I couldn’t figure out how to break that one up properly using an “All”.   The time for “All” is when you are happy with the breadth of your result and want to save your search.  I just drag the link into my bookmarks for “Open All In Tabs” and have all my searches open up semi-automatically.

Leaving “All” alone for now, there’s a problem that I spotted with the search results.  This is why I said it’s “Getting Better”, you can’t re-sort everything on the page.   While I can sort by Location or Date, I should be able to further break down the search by saying “everything in Fort Lauderdale”.  That will exclude the neighboring cities of Wilton Manors or Oakland Park, but this would be a “Special Search”.  I guess it isn’t a major problem since I can specify it in the Advanced Search instead of a zip code.  The point is that it seems missing – more of an annoyance than a must have.

I still want my “All” though… or “1000”.

The nice thing is that Dice does put this long string in your Address Bar that you can save.   Most websites that use Ajax technologies (Don’t worry I won’t geek out on you here non technical readers) wipe out the URL web address and replace it with that of the home page.  Here it would be http://www.dice.com and you’d be forced to use the RSS reader to do what I’m doing.  Not a good idea since the RSS readers are meant to be simple, and I haven’t found an easy way to configure that whole kettle of fish.

Make mine with chips and a side of Guinness please.

So for now, and for the last couple years, Dice has been easy to use that way… and I hit it within my 160 pages that I load daily and 320 on the weekend.

For now, I won’t give instructions on how to reconfigure (or hack) the resulting URL.  I think that with what you have here, you can get your results configured how you like.   Even configured how *I* Like, and I’ll admit I’m a demanding user.

On the other hand there are some issues with how the display of the data is done, and this posting has gone on for 1038 words.   Check back Monday for more.

Dice.com – Was your redesign an April Fools Joke?

Boy do I hope so.  Yes, a rant on someone’s design of a web page.  I hope to find out that tomorrow (the day of posting for this) the changes have gone back to the old “condensed” view…. it wasn’t.

When ever you change a web page, you will annoy someone.  In this case www.dice.com annoyed me.

Don’t get me wrong, Dice.com is a great service for job searches if you are looking for technology, but this last redesign says to me that they are not looking at the actual “useability” of their data.  After all, the site really is just producing a database or a spreadsheet for you to read.

There’s a simple solution, the old format was much more useable.  This one was obviously written for people of restricted vision since everything is BIG.

In the course of every morning, my ritual is once I settle in, I look at 160 web pages.  The vast majority of those pages are on one of five different job search webpages.  www.Dice.com, www.Monster.com, www.careerbuilder.com, www.indeed.com, and www.simplyjobs.com are the five that I hit the most, but there are others.  It takes me a minimum of three hours to go through all of this, every single day.  Weekends I have an added 160 pages to go through of very tailored searches of many cities, companies, the state and more.

Anything that slows me down is not allowed.  I take the page that I am looking at, break it up so that it can be bulk loaded into tabs, and split all of the web pages into five sets each for the Daily search, and the Weekly search.

I tried using the RSS Feeds for simplification but for the vast amount of what I am doing, they’re just not showing enough data.  They cut off, for example on the view above, somewhere in the “I” positions.  I need the rest, so I have to do it through the web interface.

This morning, after experiencing at least five April Fools Jokes on websites that wanted to waste my time with things like games to place an order, or blinky things where normally data would reside, I finally hit the view above.   That was my first Dice page.  Notice that there are 414 results.  Not all of them are pertinent, however I allow for a little extra “slop” so I can include those that may not be strictly within my field.

My field is Project Management, but that should be taken broadly.  I have six years experience developing web sites under three different disciplines, Joomla, ASP Classic, and Google Sites.  To make a long story short, I can spot a badly designed website in an instant.   This redesign left me with the opinion that their team of developers and especially the person who approved the change should be forced to “eat their own dog food” by being unemployed and have to look for work in a large geographic area.

I’d suggest Siberia but that would be cruel.  To the Siberians that is, its tough enough to live in that climate than having these new people bumping around.

414 results.  The old design would have in a line columns for each individual job advertisement, and you could sort on the columns.  Very easy to skim over those 414 jobs and place them in just the order you found the best.  The link that I had to load this page, early in the first set of five for the daily job search, is very long with many parameters that specify where I am, how far away, companies to exclude, job titles to exclude and so forth to make this an automatic process.  Now, the sort is gone, the summary/detail link does not work, and it’s broken on Firefox and Internet Explorer on three different PCs here in the house.

I was confronted with this … slop before I had my second mug of coffee and said some very rude things.  I decided to think about it and am writing this late in the afternoon… why?

Take a good look at that picture.  You will notice that there are exactly four positions on that page.  When I paged downward, the inflated font and the layout allowed me all of eight positions to decide on.

Eight.  Out of 414.  Are you kidding me?

Now, a large font could be excused.  I can make it larger or smaller to fit my needs by doing a ctrl and + or – (minus sign) in Firefox.  It’s easy to get around that.  The problem next is that they decided to slam all of the data into one column.   Now, not only can you not sort it easily by loading it all into Excel (Yes, I am also a Data Analyst), but they took away all the handy little sorts.  You can sort by date which is useless for my purposes – I only care if the job was posted since the last time I looked, or something nebulous called “Relevance”.

I have never used “Relevance” since it has no bearing on what I am doing… yes, Relevance is Irrelevant.  In fact it’s also pretty much irrelevant on any website I’ve ever seen it including leading eCommerce websites but that’s a different story.

After clicking on the sorts and trying to change it to make it more useful by going from “Summary View” to “Detail View” and getting absolutely no difference… I gave up.  I was beat.

Now, Dice which was one of the more friendly to view and search for large metropolitan areas with many positions open, has become a burden of sloth.  I have enough searches in Dice that the morning Job Search now takes an hour longer.

So here are my suggestions, and they are simple:

1) Reverse the changes.
2) Fire everyone who approved this slop.
3) Don’t do it again.
4) OK, I’ll say it… hire me, for a lot of money preferably … I can telecommute from South Florida and tell you when you’re making a mistake.   In fact… that is just what I have done, for free.