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When bad UX design is a deal breaker

Bad user experience can be as costly as bad customer experience — just ask Designer Adam Elovalis, whose patience was tried by an insurance website.

Maybe it’s just that life is too busy for delays. Maybe it’s my millennial nature, or that my life is all about design. Whatever the reason, I know I’m not alone in bad user experience being the reason behind abandoning business or consumer relationships.

Here’s my story.

I had been a policy-holder for several years with an insurance company, paying my monthly bills, and using their card to claim benefits without an issue. Sure, finding out I wasn’t covered for as much as I thought left a bad brand-taste in my mouth, but that was more my fault than theirs.

But it was when I had to accomplish a simple task on their website that I made the decision to seek another insurer.

What I thought would take me five or ten minutes, ended up being a 40-minute time waster. Then I got mad. Then I got out.

The problem is that there is so much good design.
You may eye roll and denounce fickle millennials for their inability to wait or work through frustration, but the truth is we’ve become familiar and even dependant on great design as an expectation.

Every day we use dozens of apps and services in the digital space and know these apps simply can’t survive if they have poor user experience.

In addition, organisations like airports, churches, shopping centres and music festivals have been gleaning data from user habits and preferences for decades, and most are beginning to learn what customers are trying to tell them.

When you are able to glide effortlessly from an Uber into an airport check-in while checking your Bitcoin balance and texting your loved ones – suddenly hitting a website or app with clunky and cumbersome user-experience design really jars.

Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes. Please.
If you don’t want your brand associated with feelings of anger and dislike, then it’s a good idea to stop and take stock of your customer processes.

It’s a great idea to try putting yourself into your customer, client or prospective customer’s shoes. Write a list of tasks they need to complete in their dealings with your business, and then try to complete those tasks. Even better, get a family member or someone unfamiliar with your business processes to do the tasks.

Make some observations about the process: How easy do they find the tasks to accomplish? How long do they expect this process to take? How long did it actually take? Which parts of your process were unclear?

We’ve seen the future, it’s well designed and it’s not too late or too expensive to get on board.