Posts Tagged "process"


I just want to book some spa time. How hard should that be?

What are the services and what do they cost? Well, they’re both PDFs. Seriously? Nobody considered that someone might want to look at this on a phone?

And yes, that the word, “both,” was on purpose. The service descriptions and the price list were two separate documents. I’d have to review services, say OOOOO sounds good, then look at the separate pricing doc, and see if it’s in the budget.

Or you could write the pricing contextually with the services. Does this spa believe that people will book without knowing the pricing? Why make this harder for me? Uncool dark pattern. Get rid of PDFs. Have a responsive site with prices after you describe the service.

In an age of online calendars and endless appointment systems, I would imagine that most spas have some sort of online booking. This spa does not have online booking, making it look like it’s not keeping up with the times. Heck, even I offer online booking and I’m not even a spa. (And I recommend Acuity for scheduling/online appointment systems.)

They had an email address. I emailed them asking if they can fit me in on this day for these 2 services. Ten minutes later, I got a final bounce message. Email can’t be delivered.

It’s 2016. Nearly 2017.

And you have no online booking. PDFs for separate service description and pricing. An email that’s a dead end.

The harder you make it for me to do business with you, the more likely I am to choose a competitor. I have before chosen spas based on who could do online booking. Saves me a phone call and tells me right away if I can get what I want when I want it.

I would choose a competitor but I was at this spa before and it was nice. I liked it. It has decent Yelp reviews as of when I’m writing this (62 reviews giving it an average of 4 stars). I would like to go back.

It was nearly empty when I was there. And this may explain why. Businesses, make it easy for me to give you my money.

Bonus tip: make it easy to read

I’m looking at a competitor’s PDF spa menu. It’s white text on a light cyan background. Ouch ouch freaking ouch not easy to read. Please, people!

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As a Disney Vacation Club (time share) member, I go to Walt Disney World in Florida at least once every other year. You may laugh but it’s my happy place.

Even when I am there, I am still wearing my UX hat. Today I want to look at a UX flaw in trying to make some online reservations ahead of your vacation.

When can I do this?

Let’s say there is a restaurant where you want to eat or a special tour you want to take while on vacation. Many of these book up far in advance. It can sometimes be hard (if not impossible) to get the restaurant you want on a certain day and time.

Additionally, not all events and tours are available every day. Some tours are only given on certain days.

This means that when you are planning your vacation, once you have “what do I want to do/where do I want to eat” decided, the next question is, “when can I do that?”

Disney booking interface

That’s the current interface

The above screen shot is how it currently looks if you wanted to try to book a restaurant. The interface for booking an event is similar except it doesn’t ask how many. You just select the ONE date you’re hoping to go and it says available times or not available.

What’s missing here is the idea that most of us aren’t on a WDW vacation for one day. We’re there a bunch of days. Many people are there a week. Some people are there even longer, taking an extended vacation in a place the size of San Francisco.

How should this look or work?

Disney booking interface

This is about 100 pixels taller than the original but the width is the same.

This interface could offer more flexibility knowing the actual behaviors of vacationers.

1. Let me choose a range of dates. When I pick the first date, make the second date the same as the one I just picked in case I only want that date. Or I can choose a second date and have a range. And let’s say we let people search an entire week.

2. For events, we’re now done. Show me every time this event, tour, or special thing happens during my whole trip. I can then easily plan which one I want.

3. For dining, you now need some more information. How many in the party? I guess we can keep the droplist format for that. Defaulting to 2 only makes sense if Disney knows that most dining reservations are for two. If the average dining reservation is for 4, they should change the default.

4. We can include one more optional parameter for dining reservations. Which meal do you plan to eat at this location? How about checkboxes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with all selected by default. There are some places in WDW I’m happy to get ANY reservation at… won’t be picky! Some I only want a certain meal.

5. Since I started on the individual page for a certain restaurant, I can now see every open time for up to a week. How about we see this in an overlay since we’re now hopefully in the middle of a process (committing to one of these times and making a reservation)?

Disney booking interface

Better than one day, one time block at a time.

Perhaps for space’s sake, only one accordion opens at a time. But this would easily show when I can eat at this place over my whole trip.

And that’s a real life use case. On my last trip, I wanted to eat at Be Our Guest. I would rather eat there at dinner. I was on a 5-day trip and had to keep checking each day, one by one, time block by time block, to see if any spots were open.

It turned out one spot was open. Lunch at 10:45am on a Saturday. An interface like this would have saved me a lot of time, searching, and a little vacation stressing over getting a booking here.

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I’m a paying customer of a meditation app. How does it work? You have a long screen where you pick the topic. Then you pick which one, then you play it. Easy process, right?

They also have a few special series on one topic. So it might be the 7 Days of Something. You can download one meditation for each day. The process? Pick that off the long list on the main screen, pick the day, and play it.

Until a recent app update.

And I sure hope they change this back. Now let’s take a look at the NEW process to listen to a meditation track.

Step 1

Let’s listen to something from the 21 Days of Calm series.

Step 2

Oh, this is a little about the series. Well, the problem is that I’m shown this every time I go in. Want to listen to the next day? I have to see this first as if I have no idea what this series is. I see this no matter what my intention is: start the series, listen to the next day, re-listen to a previous day. 🙁

There might be a reason to explain a series more deeply, but it probably shouldn’t be a forced step every time I want to listen to one of these.

But pressing “start” will get us started, right?

Step 3

Am I ready to commit? Is that important? Is a meditation app judging me???

Do you care how often I listen to this? Who cares how long I take to do this or if I stop and never come back?

But you have added another step and click to what could have been and used to be a short process.

On a side note, the app should know that I have a paid for a year in advance. It shouldn’t act like it has separation anxiety or co-dependency issues just yet.

If I say I’m not ready, I don’t get to listen to the track. So let’s say we’re ready because this app might be a little needy. 🙂

Step 4a

I can re-listen to a previous day, or…

Step 4b

I can download a new Day of Calm meditation I haven’t heard yet.

What happens after you listen to a track?

Very often, I don’t listen to just one track. I like to listen to 2 or 3, sometimes in the same series, sometimes in different series.

By the way, you can’t back up during a track or restart it. You’d have to end it and go through that process again to restart it. 🙁 🙁 🙁

Here is what it looks like when the track is done.

Step 5

I’m congratulated on having listened to a track. Can’t do anything other than click here. Don’t need the congrats, but thanks, it was easy.

Step 6

Without choice, I’m shown a record of how many days this month I’ve listened to at least one track. Not important.

Not part of this process. I’m in listening mode. Don’t care about how many I’ve listened to recently.

Never important or relevant. I’m not in some sort of meditation competition against anybody.

6 steps to listen to a meditation track?!

It should be 2. Pick the series or topic. Pick the track you want inside that series or topic.

When done, leave me on the track screen with a replay option. Or take me back to the main screen to pick another series or topic.

Two steps. This could be really efficient. I don’t understand the reason to add all the extra steps here.

We’re not dating so stop asking me to commit. There is no penalty for NOT listening more often or coming back to a program, so why stop me every single time I want to hear a track and put two screens in my way?

Do you need to give me a series explanation every time I want to hear a track? Even if I JUST heard a track from that series? Do I need to commit every time? How about if I already listened to all 21 Days of Calm and want to re-listen… still need me to agree to commit? I’ve already done it!

Good UX is often about streamlining processes. Keep the user’s needs in mind and see how efficient you can make things.

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