But does it work?

IMG_0570Some objects and systems are so well designed that they’re beautiful; some work so perfectly they’re virtually invisible. Others are so badly put together that their flaws are obvious.

Then there’s the upgrade process from Windows 8.0 to 8.1.

This is a system so poorly thought through, so appalling executed, so brutally ugly and inefficient that it must have been designed by a vengeful Greek god. Sisyphus, Tantalus, Prometheus – all condemned to vicious and recurring punishments – would consider themselves fortunate never to have had to endure the torments that Microsoft have inflicted.

To begin at the beginning. (more…)


Delivery Fail

The regular reader of this blog will know that I’m quite keen that customers get their products swiftly. It matters not that your site is a paradigm of UX if the goods someone orders turn up three weeks late.

So even I got excited when a colleague in the office said that Oasis were doing 90 minute (90 minute!) delivery to selected postcodes and that it cost only £6.99 and was free for orders over £100. This surely, is a game changer.

Egged on by me, said colleague ordered a pair of boots, selected 90 minute delivery, paid, and got the confirmation email. There was even GPS tracking of the order so you could watch it driving towards the office.

Except. 15 minutes after placing the order she got a voicemail message from Oasis. The 90 minute delivery is fulfilled from the nearest store and although “the system” had said that particular style and size of boot was in stock, it wasn’t. So the order was being cancelled.

Oasis turned the game changer into a spectacular fail. Not only was the promised delivery not made, there was no alternative – why not give the customer the option of getting the goods the next day (from other stock) and having all the delivery charge refunded? Or passing the order to a store that has stock and letting the customer know that the 90 minutes might now be 2 hours (and refunding delivery).

90 minute, same day, next day delivery is great – but what is your contingency plan when something goes wrong?

Going mobile – web links this week

This week’s reading list is to do with making sure your sites are optimised for mobile. Why? Because this is where your customers are moving, a trend that will accelerate over the next few years. Half of the UK population now owns a smartphone, Morgan Stanley estimate that there will be 10 billion mobile devices in circulation worldwide by 2020, Apple sold 37 million iphones in quarter 4 last year, Samsung did almost the same for its smartphones, 27 million iPad and android tablets were sold in Q4. (more…)