February 3, 2020

I post from afar on a topic actually computationally relevant in the scheme of consumer happiness: UX/UI. The three examples I wish to use were unexpected user experiences of the web shops as a buyer of Cole Haan and Converse All-Stars and then of Boot Barn a week later.

I originally went to Cole Haan’s site through a Twitter link to a sale– so their Social Media driving potential customers to their site works though it probably costs a lot of money for advertising, but it works. However, once I got to their mobile site, I found it nearly completely unusable due to the insistance of a search bar that scrolled with the inventory and took half my screen, and the inventory was not easily browsable. If I were their boss I would fire the mobile web guy and promote the advertising guy who put the sale on Twitter. But I left due to poor usability, came back again for a second try, and left again. And now as a potential customer I am so non-plussed, I use their company as an example of how to lose customers.

Second Converse All-Stars, Chuck’s, you know their iconic brand since the 1960’s. In the late 1990’s you could buy great, unique Chuck’s and I did so in my size: Men’s 14. I bought a pair of black canvas high tops with a yellow skull on the side at Oshman’s, seeing a drummer friend with hers. So I went to the Converse site to see what they have now. How their UX/UI lost me is, to browse for size 14 I Ihad to make an account and log in and put my size, then when I searched for my size after all that work, with a filter set to size 14, they would show me bland shoe after shoe non of which was over a size 11. So rather than openly state: “For the sake of corporate profitability we now only market to children and the parents that buy their shoes, but not any parents larger than a size 11,” they wasted 30 minutes of my life at a site that has no value to me as a customer because they carry nothing that will fit my body no matter how much weight I lose, unless I amputate part of my foot.

To follow up, despite not being available on the main Converse url shop, they DO make up to size 16 available at an unaffiliated web shop for people with big feet: bigshoes.com which has great customer UX/UI. Kudos to bigshoes.com. But I would like to kick the designer of the Converse web effort in the goddamned face. And that is the impression that site left me with as a long time customer.

Now to the completely unexpected epic UI/UX success. After deciding that design medocrity was endemic browsing for purchasable goods online, and I should simply lay back and wait for the Wuhan Corona Virus to make it’s way to my person, I browsed for men’s cowboy boots.

And from the Google search: “Mens Cowboy Boots Size 14,” I clicked on a link to Boot Town which ALREADY had filtered their inventory to my Size 14, whatever I looked at directly from Google was already Size 14 and all I had to do was click the Purchase button.

3 Clicks to a literal, cash money Buy from a Google Search.

I don’t think they can easily top that via UX/UI, and Boot Town, like an unexpectedly skilled surgeon in a Hemingway novel despite the pervasive medocrity elsewhere, has brought joy and a return of some little faith in good design.

Boot Town has made me a customer for life.

Have a good day.