this is feedback that I just sent to IBM, re their web site. (nicely bracketed for consumption on E2). You might want to open a web browser and follow along on my journey....

Subject: "How am I supposed to navigate this site?" or, "I'm scared, mommy!"

I am trying to find information about ViaVoice for Windows.

So I navigate from the front page, to Products, to Software, to Voice Systems, to ViaVoice for Windows.

Then I close the annoying popup window.

"Try it... Risk Free", says the spiffy graphic, on the right hand side of the page. Wonderful! Click.... oh wait! That's not a link? Hmm.. Perhaps if I surf around some more?

Pro Edition.

"Available from ShopIBM on September 5. (US & Canada only)"

Ah, maybe ShopIBM has what I am looking for. Now... how do I get to ViaVoice, in ShopIBM? There must be a direct link from where I am, to where I need to be, somewhere... The "Shop IBM" button at the top of the page just takes me to the root of shopping; oh well, I guess I'll just have to find ViaVoice again.

"Fast Access to Popular Products"

ViaVoice is a popular product, I think.. it's not in the list though; I guess not.

Ok, menu navigation time: "Software"

"For work, home, or play"

I wonder what category ViaVoice falls under?

Let's try "operating systems". hmm... "IBM ViaVoice Dictation for Linux".. not quite.

Ok, how about under "Groupware Productivity and Lotus"?

"DirectTalk Speech Recognition for Windows with ViaVoice" looks promising, I'll try that.

hmm.. prices range from $190 to $665,000.00, all apparently purchasable over the web. Still, I don't think this is the right place.

Back to where I was, before, looking through the "Groupware, Productivity and Lotus" list.

"IBM ViaVoice Dictation for Linux" again.. still, not quite what I want...

AH! here we go, third from the bottom of the list: "ViaVoice for Windows"

ok, this is looking promising, it seems like I could order something.. but I sort of wanted to download something to use, right now!

So much for technology....

One does wonder why "Lotus" does not fall under "Groupware" and "Productivity".. perhaps "Lotus" does not allow for better grouping, or more productivity? And why did they prefix "IBM" to "ViaVoice Dictation for Linux"?



At the risk of sounding like DMan, by responding to someone else's writeup... mblase, Finding info on the software was straightforward. Getting from that point to actually being able to purchase said software was maddeningly convoluted. You must not have followed one of my steps... understandable, I guess, given that they were in the form of a semi-coherent rant. Oh well.

Dude, you were right there.

Navigate: Home page -> Products -> Software -> Voice Systems

There's a handy popup menu to select different versions of ViaVoice, and right below it a link to "IBM ViaVoice for Windows, Release 8!".

Lotus software is listed under "Software" because it's, well, software.

The reason it's sometimes difficult, but by no means impossible, to navigate IBM's Web site is because there's so much information there. Microsoft's is the same way. When I was first working as a web programmer for NCSA, though, that was the definition of a navigational nightmare.

Besides, when all else fails, you're expected to use the search engine. That's why it's right there, near the top of the page.

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