In the current era of Internet usage, it’s still amazing that some websites don’t understand how to serve their customers, and make people jump through hoops to get in contact with them. Combining that with an overuse of new technologies, it is a recipe for consumer frustration.
The inspiration for this post came from when the author was trying to discover the location of a Sydney based company with some 30 stores across the greater Sydney region. After battling through a poorly designed website to find the ‘store locator’ button, the real nightmares began. The store locator failed on multiple levels:
– You were forced to put in your postcode to find the stores
– After putting in your postcode, it listed all the stores across the state, on a crowded map
– There were no options to browse through the suburbs which had stores
– It took another 2 clicks to get to the phone number and address
I had already researched the company, so was willing to jump through these hoops, but imagine if I was only partially sold on the services. In what should be a simple task, the potential client had to input into a field, wait for a map to load, struggle to identify which locations are closest, then click to find the address.
A much more efficient method would be to have a list of suburbs next to the map. If people couldn’t see a suburb they could identify, they could use the map, as opposed to forcing them to work for information. Would you force a client to walk over hot coals to get to the payment system? Why should contact details be any different?
If you think this is just the poster being a grumpy, jaded Internet marketing expert, then feel free to leave a comment to that effect. If you have been frustrated by websites forcing you to do things that you don’t want to do, leave a note in the comments also.