You know those old-style websites like Networksolutions.com and GoDaddy.com? Why are they still in business? They are such an utter nightmare to use, and completely pointless with the burgeoning new cloud-based, user friendly sites like Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram. I just can’t understand why they still exist.
First We Kill all the Legacy Websites
All the big old legacy websites, anything from before 2005 like GoDaddy and Network Solutions (especially GoDaddy and Network Solutions!) should be completely redesigned and rebuilt from the ground up. JMHO.
I know, I know, it will never happen. But it should. Here’s my tale of woe: today I got the bug to redesign the corporate site for Zazuminc.com. It was designed 3 years ago, needed freshening, and I really liked those single-page, vertical scrolling sites. As I was designing something in Illustrator, it occurred to me that I was making the very same mistake that I warn people about—I was reinventing the wheel. Today, there are so many great tools out there for building technology, why start anything from scratch?
I hopped online and found a list of gorgeous website templates. The Design Buzz has this great list. Tripwire.com has another great list here. And the themes available from Themeforest.com are just amazing!
Here’s one I love. You have to play with the parallax on this one.
Mercurial – One Page Parallax WordPress Theme
Studiofolio: A Versatile Portfolio and Blog Theme
Many of these are for WordPress and had just the kind of Look & Feel I was thinking of. Plus, they included all the contact forms, responsiveness, and some bells and whistles that made them a whole lot of fun. Why would you ever start from scratch again, with all of these templates out there to customize?
Then, the Hell Began
Not with WordPress, but with GoDaddy and Network Solutions. First, I went to Network Solutions, where I’ve been a customer for about as long as they have been in business. Take a look at their website. Go ahead, click the link above and then come back. Wretched UX!
After purchasing their WordPress hosting package, I seemed to be at a dead end. I clicked back to my account page, but no hosting package was there. I got an email confirming that I’d just spent $49.95 but got no access to that product. And worse, not even a notice that I would get access. No user feedback to speak of.
After clicking around in growing frustration for about 20 minutes on the Network Solutions site, I went over to GoDaddy, where I also have an account. (I know, I know. How the hell did that happen?) At GoDaddy, for $14.95, I could buy another WordPress package. I did that, and GoDaddy at least gave me a feedback page that said I would be notified when I could set up my package. They even told me that it would take about 30 minutes, and gave me a link to keep checking back. Good! Some small semblance of user experience design.
But Wait . . .
After 25 minute, I checked the link and it said the package was ready to go. Great! Now to install my easy Wordpress theme. Hah! First I had to set up my new WordPress hosting account—even though I was already logged into GoDaddy, I had to set up an ID and Password for this account. Why the double login? I already unlocked the front door and got into the house, I have to unlock the kitchen door too?
In trying to set this up, the site required my user ID to have numbers in it (two). The GoDaddy ID didn’t require that. Again, why the difference? Things that look the same should act the same. This means I have to remember two different IDs for the GoDaddy website. Do these people have any idea how many IDs I have to remember?
Finally, I got an acceptable password and ID, but instead of now being logged in I was taken to a login screen. Didn’t I just do this?
Again, I entered my newly minted ID and password, and after a minute of spinning wheel, a Captcha popped up. So I copied that into the box and… “WRONG ID OR PASSWORD” (or Captcha).
I tried again.
I tried again.
And again. Very. Carefully.
<Put gun to head, pull trigger.>
Maybe in the time between setting it up and entering it, I’d forgotten it. But there was no link on the screen to email me the password or to reset it.
I went to my main GoDaddy account, where I now also couldn’t correctly enter my ID/Password/Captcha. After the first attempt, I was locked out of my account.
I am the masochist. I should have known better.
I won’t put you through the hell of what entailed as I then tried to call GoDaddy. Suffice it to say that by the end of the evening my dog was hiding under the bed and I had cancelled both my NetworkSolutions and my GoDaddy accounts, never to return again.
Which leads me back to my initial question, which is, Why are website like this still in business? Why do we allow ourselves to be abused by such malevolent UX? These sadistically bad sites deserve to die a swift death for refusing to give any consideration to what their customers go through in order to use their services.
Viva la Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter and the rest of the new sites that actually like their customers and give a damn about their websites. Plus, my Hostgator account (my third hosting site!!) had an instant WordPress installation button. One click, I’m done.
Now that is good UED!