A week ago I lost my UL card that I use for commuting to work. Luckily it was possible to block it on the UL web page. So I did. It said that they would send a new card within five days. So far so good.
However, five days passed, and today I went to the UL office to ask what had happened.
The person at the desk said to me that I had probably forgotten to ask for a new card after I had blocked the old card. This is a very common thing that people very often missed.
Many customers don’t do this the right way! They miss that you need to do it in two separate steps. First block the card, and then order a new card. The second step is very much further down on the screen way, way past all the other information.
He then showed me on my screen. After I have blocked my card I need to scroll down around one full screen of empty space to an icon of a man with a text. If you click the text on this icon (non-visible and I didn’t even find it when he showed it) you get a form where you can ask for a new UL card.
I said that this was really a hidden icon and scrolling was completely non-intuitive in the design. One could even say that it was really a hidden part of the web page.
He said I was wrong, and that the design was made for a proper big screen, not my Mac-book ( 15”) and not for the screen that he used at the UL counter work either. The screen to use was a much bigger screen than these two, and the system worked perfectly if you used it with the screen it was intended for. I said that my 15” computer is quite a standard laptop, and that designs should be made for many kinds of devices and screens nowadays. He didn’t answer but looked a bit embarassed.
I tried to say to him that this was not me being stupid, and that this is really bad UX design. He looked a bit puzzled.
I then asked him if he could give me a new UL card straight away instead of me ordering one at the web page and wait another five days. Of course, this was not possible, and I need to pay extra ticket to get home, and wait another five days for my card. He did not know if the 30 day ticket that I had on he card would be put on hold during these days, or if I simply lost 10 days from the 30 days.
Please UL and other service organizations:
- If many customers do the same wrong thing, it is a sign of bad UX design. It is not a sign of lots of incompetent customers.
- People use many kinds of devices, and you should design for this. There are no excuses!
- If the UX design is so crappy that normal people don’t understand it, and you cannot do anything about it, then you need to have a good service design around it. Do not make the customer pay extra tickets in situations caused by bad UX design like this one.
- Do something about the UX of your web page if it is a disaster!