eBay Made Me Think…But Not In A Good Way

[Note: this is a repost from the old UsabilityBlog. I'm just moving some "greatest hits" over to the new site.]

Disclaimer: I am a user and fan of eBay. Just check out my profile – I’m a long time buyer/seller. When it comes to user experience, they do lots of things right.

Here’s one thing they did wrong: They provided half-hearted, linkless “help” in the form of “to do x, go to [place A] or [place B]“, without including links to those locations. This is a no-brainer and should’ve been coded ages ago.

safe_image.phpAs a result, I had to hunt around for a small but still-annoying period of time before I found where I needed to go.

Somebody please add that to the eBay UX fix list.

Don’t Make Me Register First

It’s 2014. Does anyone running an ecommerce site really think it’s a good idea to make people register for an account before allowing them to shop? I mean c’mon, any e-tailer with a lick of sense knows about lazy registration and guest-only checkout, right?

Not this company.

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Here’s how I found this gem: while wasting time on Facebook I noticed an ad for mid-century furniture and (gasp) actually /clicked/ on an ad. First time I can remember doing that. And you know why I did? Because we’re actually shopping for furniture right now and we like mid-century stuff.

Here’s the ad:

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It’s attractive. I wanted to shop there. So I clicked it. But when I was brought to the site, up pops a modal dialog with no escape hatch. It was either sign up or leave. I left.

Online retailers: This is a bad user experience. Don’t do this. If you do, I guarantee you’re losing customers and money.

Hi Again

Consider this the relaunch of UsabilityBlog. I’ve been meaning to get back to it for months. Enjoy.