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Do you know the difference between the biggest and most profitable companies and the ones that belong to the same domain but aren’t as successful despite their numerous efforts? The answer lies in two words – User Experience.
The success of companies like Google, Apple, Amazon is fuelled with user experience design, something their competitors must incorporate in order to walk down the same path.

“Good design, when it’s done well becomes invisible. It’s only when it’s poorly done is that we notice it”. So let’s take a look at some of the obviously bad designs, learn how to improve them and distill some lessons from them.

There are 7 factors that describe user experience, according to Peter Morville a pioneer in the UX field who was written several best-selling books and advises many Fortune 500 companies on UX:

  • Useful
  • Usable
  • Findable
  • Credible
  • Desirable
  • Accessible
  • Valuable

3 websites with evident bad user experience

1. Times of India: Auto Play

Auto Play on Times of India
Auto Play on Times of India

Where do I even start with auto play? So I’ve come to read a story, possibly in an environment where I want to remain quiet (I’m not the only one who reads them in bed, right?) and these guys think, “No, I think what she really wants is to hear an ad for the debate”. Sometimes, they even play auto play news videos, which are equally embarrassing. I came here to read! This is not YouTube; if I want to listen to a video, I can click play on the optional play button.

One of the greatest benefits of being online is that there is no one else to interfere or bother you. Why not keep the experience intact?
Wireframe1 to improve TOI UX
The wireframe shows an arrow to bring the advertisement video on the front page. On clicking the arrow, a video pops up, which does not play either. Instead, there is an option to press the play button to watch the video. Everyone wins – you display your ad and the user controls when to watch it.
Arrow brings ad video to the front page
Arrow brings ad video to the front page

2. Forbes: Quote of the day

Unnecessary quote of the day
Unnecessary quote of the day
I specifically typed “ www.forbes.com ”, which suggests I want to visit forbes.com! Instead, these guys say, “No, let us redirect you to show a quote of the day and an ad and make you wait!” Guys, come on! This is just awful and nobody ever sees this. It also reflects on how much better off they are, as a result.
So, instead, when I type “ www.forbes.com ”, redirect me to the actual site and show an advertisement on the site with a quote if you insist on showing me a quote of the day.
Alternative to quote of the day
Alternative to quote of the day

3. Ajio.com: Unstructured Information Overload

Unstructured information overload
Unstructured information overload
No correlation among categories
No correlation among categories
While it’s absolutely a steal to buy stuff on sale, how confusing are these templates? Imagine you want to purchase a smart watch. You’d be happy to see smart watches on sale but you’d also wish for a similar category, say, fitbits, placed next to it.
Myntra has perfected the structured template. Categories on sale are placed next to each other, not necessarily with a correlation. However, since every category is boxed separately, it appears neat to the user and doesn’t really overwhelm the user on where to browse.
Category correlation and neat display
Category correlation and neat display

A few (Dis)honorary mentions

1. Myntra search

Direct mapping of search query to category
Direct mapping of search query to category
Stemming not considered in the system
Stemming not considered in the system
While “lace dress” is searchable, “lacy dress” isn’t! Come on, guys! Stemming? Adjectives to noun? The first form? Enough said.

2. LinkedIn Notification Panel

 

Page re-direction from notification panel
Page re-direction from notification panel
If I want to check my notifications, I’d like to check them in a drop down box and click on the relevant one in the same tab or different. However, redirecting me to a different page where all my notifications are listed, is no less than annoying.


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