The Curious Diary of Mr Jam.
Just call me yellow

Stupid

I came across this truly terrible website from Page One.  Then I read this (from the BBC) about websites being user-friendly (or not):

Web usability consultants Webcredible assessed the websites of 20 of the UK's most popular High Street retailers. It cited confusing search results, poor navigation and complicated checkout procedures as the worst mistakes.

Independent research shows that as many as 83% of internet users leave a website because they can't find what they are looking for," said Trenton Moss, director at Webcredible.

That would be me, then.  Whoever designed Page One's website has totally lost sight of what users want, and instead has tried to be far too clever.  If there is any useful information on this website (like, for example, addresses and opening hours of their bookshops) I certainly can't find it.

The lesson here is that if you really insist on using Flash, you should also offer a simple (i.e. HTML) version of the site.  That way, people might just be able to use the site rather than cursing and then giving up.

On a similar subject, I am getting very annoyed with Amazon.  They seem to have "enhanced" their service by adding third-party vendors, but it's only after you've added the item to your basket and tried to check-out that they tell you that "there seems to be a problem" - namely that this vendor doesn't deliver to Hong Kong.  But Amazon, you know that I live in Hong Kong, so why even bother to show me anything from this vendor, let alone allow me to add their merchandise to my shopping basket?

Comments

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Jonny

Hey Mister Cheese, have you tried ordering books from Paddyfield.com? If you haven't heard of of them, they're a local version of amazon. I came across their site in August and have since taken to ordering 5-6 books per month from them. Good prices, postage is free in HK, and my orders come through in around 10 days. Some of my tastes are pretty obscure but they seem to have access to an amazing variety of stuff. Check 'em out (no, i don't work / have a stake in them! - just thought you'd be interested!).

Richard

Wow, that has to be the most egregiously awful Flash-based web site that I've seen this year. Why do we need animated aliens to help us read about the history of the brand? Who thought it would be a good idea to make the user sit through all the broken-horizontal-hold wibblings every time they return to the home page? And how is one supposed to know that the seven little green dots with no text by them are the menu?

Every little click pops up another bloody window with no toolbars. And bits of the site don't work at all (e.g. the "customer service" desk, and the "book club and special offers", which gives you a window stating only "Please visit this website again for future updates." Yeh, right, I'll do that.)

What an appalling waste of money this site is. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a dozen Firefox windows to close.

Chris

It's good, isn't it!!

Yes I am aware of Paddyfield, and they are often cheaper than Amazon after taking account of the postage charge. I mainly order DVDs from Amazon. CDWow can be good for CDs

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