I just want it to be easy to use and make my life easier. If it can be aesthetically pleasing that’s a bonus.
One could infer a number of things from the first two sentences in this post. Is it a new appliance I refer to? Maybe a printer or fax machine. How about a flat screen monitor? How about a website! Recently I spent 45 minutes on ADP’s website trying to file a Healthcare Spending Account claim. Why copy and fax or mail the documents when I can simply upload it through their website, right?
The bigger question is why do companies create websites, advertise to their subscribers to “visit us to get your questions answered”, and then not maintain the website or check to see if it is working properly? All too often my experience is very poor with the websites of companies that are used to using paper files and fax machines. “Hey look at us” they seem to say. “we’re so with the times. Like us on Facebook. Send us feedback. Tweet us because were #listening”. Ugh..
Websites from these companies should come with disclaimers: “We only have a website because if we didn’t we would appear behind the times. We really don’t want a website but someone, somewhere in our organization, said ‘create a website’, and so we did.” I would rather these companies said, “look, we really don’t want a website because we can’t afford, or don’t appreciate, what it takes to make it useful to our customers.
I would rather these companies said, “look, we really don’t want a website because we can’t afford, or don’t appreciate, what it takes to make it useful to our customers.
So if you want to do business with us we’ll add value the old fashion way with hard work and by listing to our customer’s needs (unless they want a website)”.
So after 45 minutes on ADP’s website, and after three attempts and countless error messages I was finally presented with the utility to upload the forms. “Perseverance”, I thought to myself. I hung in there because I’ll be damned if I am going to fax or mail anything now. Now that I see the “Submit” button on my screen. I clicked on Submit and….. the website logged me out and sent me back to the Home Page and directed me to log back in.
Years ago a friend of mine was crossing the street and got hit by a car. He was knocked down and scraped up but not hurt badly. The driver got out of his car, apologized, and asked my friend if he could drive him somewhere. My friend says to him, “What – are you nuts?! You think I would get in a car with you – the guy that almost ran over me”? That’s how I felt when I got logged out of ADP’s website and was asked to log back in. Why in the world would I log back into a website whose just delivered a terrible experience because their eyes are not on the road (or on their customers).
Company alert: This is not quantum physics. Don’t let your scientists and engineers talk you into complex solutions that aren’t necessary. It’s pretty simple: make your products and services easy to use and design them to make my life easier.