A Monday Series

Last Monday you walked the grounds. You’ve kept busy this summer with projects that have made a difference to your business in so many ways. This week, walk with me, deep inside one online Experience, then get ready to examine your own in the bright summer sun.

If you’re burnt-out, antsy, and need to revitalize your attitude as much as your business, this is the series for you. Experience Design for beach-dreaming business owners comes to your summer Mondays.

Summer Is a Great Time to Review Your Online Experience

So there’s this website that I’m a “member” of.

1. I hate when they say that. It sounds so bloody pretentious. It’s not a country club, for goodness’ sake, and if it were, I wouldn’t be a member anyway. It’s an email harvesting campaign. Just call it that.

I sometimes like the articles they write. So I “registered” (agreed to be harvested). Now and then they send me an email alert. I trundle off to read something ultra-fascinating once a month or less. The email says, “click here to read the full article.” When I click here, they pretend they don’t know I just came from the email they sent me, which means I am a doggone member.

2. Your emails will be smarter than this. When you harvest me, you’ll know you did, and not send me to some idiot landing page, pretending I just wandered in off the street. It’s so cold, man. I thought we were buddies. Just cold.

There I am, on the “landing page.” This is 2.0-speak for “time waster we hope won’t annoy you so much you click away, because we’re counting your clicks right now.”

It’s an endurance test to determine if I am a “true fan.”

I’m not. I’m a sap who likes their writing enough to jump through the hoops.

“Members sign in here: Member Name _______ Password _______.”

I’m kinda old, and I’m kinda busy. I know some of you may have a zillion login names because you have online stalkers dying to pilfer your massive bank accounts, and a sheet to decipher your codes so you can remember who you are where, but I’m a simple lady. I couldn’t remember all that, and I don’t want to. I’ve got only a couple of possibilities, all obscure, and none written down anywhere. In fact I only have more than one because a stalker did indeed attempt to cause me grievous electronic harm, and I had to diversify. So I type in my preferred membership name, and my password.

Here comes the punchline.

“Error: You did not enter your email address properly. Email Address _______ Password _______.”

Every. Effing. Time.

3. If my email address is my Member Name, and you CAN tell me that on the error page, why DIDN’T you tell me that on the sign-in page? Do you really think I stand, back against the wall, for you to ask me to dance each month, and that I will know what you mean by “Member Name” because it’s all been a breathless wait for you? That nothing might have pushed the memory of how to navigate your login out of my head in the meantime?

Wasting (potential) customers’ time: Bad. Making customers feel stupid: Worse. Ignoring the easiest fix in the world (what’s easier than phrasing it so I know what you want from me?): Absolutely incredible.

In case you were wondering: After the steam finished coming out of my ears (that would be, after I wrote this far in the blog post), I went back and gave them what they wanted. I logged in successfully.

Guess where it took me?

To a landing page with the title of the article, and the words, “click here to read the full article.”

I am not making this up.

Website or blog, logins or forms—What’s your online experience like? How many hoops do you want me to jump through?


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson