Mar 05, 2014

How Do You Create a Bad User Experience?

How Do You Create a Bad User Experience?

For the last 2 months I’ve been working on a full-scale redesign of a website built in the late 90’s. It’s a simple ecommerce site that generates millions of dollars every year. It is by no means state-of-the-art, in fact, the current site is awful. Why is the site such a success? Simple, there are no real competitors. Why are we working on a redesign? Simple, the current user experience is awful.

This brings us back full circle, “How Do You Create a Bad User Experience”? That’s simple too, make it better, yes you heard it right, make it better. When we kicked off the project our first task was to clean up the mess that was the home page. It was riddled with broken and redundant links, it was full of random graphics that had been added over time and in tern had never been removed, there was no clear hierarchy for the company’s products or navigation. It was bad folks. To me the remedy was simple, get rid of all the crap and bring back some clear hierarchy.

Within a few weeks we’d updated the site with a new and improved home page. The task at hand was to make the change but make sure that we are sensitive to the company’s legacy users. As a result we simply updated the current template by maintaining the basic structure and getting rid of all of the noise. The new homepage was leaps and bounds better then that old mess. Simple, clear and direct right? not so much. We actually upset quite a few of the company’s long-time users. It was abundantly clear why. Users, people, all of us, hate change.

After conducting a few customer interviews and reading the array of complaints via email my partner sent along this little nugget. It’s a great article from the folks at Medium. The article “Users don’t hate change. They hate you.” by Christina Wodtke taps into the ethos of why users hate change and relates, in so many ways to my experience with this current project. Good Read!!

#userexperience #ux #webdesign #uxdeisgn

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