Bad interaction experiences, blogged nationally

23 Oct 2008 - 1:03pm
5 years ago
1 reply
464 reads
DrWex
2006

In the blog entry titled "A fine wensleydale?"
(http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/10/fine-wensleydale.html) Neil
Gaiman relates his experiences attemping to buy a G1 phone from
T-Mobile. I'm tempted to give this as a sample case to my first-year
students and ask them to enumerate all the things wrong with it. Not
least of them seems to be the left hand not knowing what the right is
doing.

At UI13 Jared talked about how many usability problems are rooted in
lack of foreknowledge. I wonder who didn't know what in this example.

Finally, I'm having trouble tracking down the origin of the "general
wisdom" that people are more likely to write about, or tell people
about, bad experiences than good ones. Last I looked, Gaiman's blog
was getting somewhere north of 1.1 milllion unique visitors per day.
If I was a T Mobile exec, I'd be cringing severely right about now.

Best,
--Alan

Comments

23 Oct 2008 - 4:24pm
Scott Berkun
2008

> At UI13 Jared talked about how many usability problems are rooted in lack
of
> foreknowledge. I wonder who didn't know what in this example.

This story strikes me as a tale of the mathematics of bureaucracy. One
imagined explanation is this: whoever at corporate headquarters who decides
what marketing posters go into all stores doesn't mind the fact that 5% of
all stores can't sell whatever is in the posters if the other 95% can. The
hell created for those in those 5% is outweighed by the win for the 95%.

Or even more cynically, the dude at HQ who picks the posters doesn't really
care about the stores, since his/her performance reviews don't include any
evaluation for how well their marketing materials help or hurt sales at
individual stores.

> At UI13 Jared talked about how many usability problems are rooted in
> lack of foreknowledge. I wonder who didn't know what in this example.

I think much of what we point out as design failures (e.g. thisisbroken.com)
has more to do with organizational failures (cause) than it does the lack of
design quality (symptom). I'm sure there are people at T-mobile who know
better, but the organization hasn't put them in a place or enabled them to
do anything about it. And this includes the sales guy at the store Neil went
to: I'm sure if he was given a big red button labeled "Marketing HQ has
screwed my local office" to push that would alert the CEO and reward the
sales guy for making a stink about such things, he would have.

-Scott

Scott Berkun
www.scottberkun.com

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Alan
Wexelblat
Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2008 10:03 AM
To: IxDA
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Bad interaction experiences, blogged nationally

In the blog entry titled "A fine wensleydale?"
(http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/10/fine-wensleydale.html) Neil Gaiman
relates his experiences attemping to buy a G1 phone from T-Mobile. I'm
tempted to give this as a sample case to my first-year students and ask them
to enumerate all the things wrong with it. Not least of them seems to be
the left hand not knowing what the right is doing.

At UI13 Jared talked about how many usability problems are rooted in lack of
foreknowledge. I wonder who didn't know what in this example.

Finally, I'm having trouble tracking down the origin of the "general wisdom"
that people are more likely to write about, or tell people about, bad
experiences than good ones. Last I looked, Gaiman's blog was getting
somewhere north of 1.1 milllion unique visitors per day.
If I was a T Mobile exec, I'd be cringing severely right about now.

Best,
--Alan
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