Wednesday, 20 October 2010

I'm still waiting...

Loads of web experiences out there attempt to make things easier by using services to source data and populate fields with information on the users behalf. In principle this is a great idea - ask the user to provide one or two bits of information and then return multiple populated fields back, sounds great! In reality even simple #PAF look-ups often take an age to return addresses or there are silly little mistakes in the #UX which mean that users still have to sift through a huge drop down to find the information that relates to them. Worse still the wait for the information to return takes forever and then sometimes only a couple of additional fields are populated leaving the user asking - 'was it worth it!'

These problems are still common and with some #UX planning these can be avoided. I think E-business professionals need to start or more often identify user thresholds for these sort of things and take a lead in driving the system / operational planning as well as optimising the front-end experiences.

The key here is to maintain user momentum, if something acts as a stumbling block or takes time and means the user is likely to start up another online activity you have increased your chances of losing them significantly.

Reference: #UX = User Experience


  1. I think there is still an issue with systems/sites not trusting what the user has entered.

    In the case of things like delivery addresses, a site might want to make sure an address is valid before they send the stuff out. The site doesn't trust users to enter the delivery address correctly 100% of the time, and thus try and full-proof the process.

    There has to be a trade-off here between customer experience and the cost of a miss-typed delivery address.

  2. In the case of address look-ups I think you are correct in suggesting companies want accuracy, and there is indeed a trade-off here. However, the UX and how the address is returned can still be optimal with a little thought. Also, with other types of look-ups this perspective isn't so relevant and there are in fact no excuses.