Scallions, User Experience, and Ease of Use

Bunches of scallions / green onions (Allium fi...

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You’re probably wondering what scallions have to do with marketing or user experience failures.

I was at the  market the other day, and wanted to buy some scallions.  I looked and looked, but couldn’t find them anywhere.

It was a new store, so I didn’t know where everything was.

Finally, I asked an employee.  The scallions were right in front of me.

Poor User Experience

I didn’t see them because I was looking for the whitish bulbs and the roots.   They were stacked the other way around.  The green leaves were facing out, not in. It’s not a web site, but it was still a user experience failure.  The produce department was failing “ease of use.”

Ease of Use Matters Both Online and Off

Something can be right in front of your client or your customer, but they may not recognize it.  A big label saying, “scallions.” would have helped.  Or, putting them the “right” way around.

Your menu, your navigation, and your site setup may make sense to you and your team (since you built it), but leave your visitors scratching their heads in confusion.

Here’s another example.  Have you seen sites with “hamburger” menus?  Those are the three straight lines usually on the top of a site.  It looks like a  burger with a bun (if you squint).  The trouble with those menus is that they’re not obvious.  Some older users don’t know what it is.  And, it adds an extra step.  You have to click the menu before you can see the options. They’re especially problematic on mobile, where it’s hard to type a tiny icon.

Skip the hamburger and use small icons representing each option (like a pin pointer for locations, a rectangle with a currency sign for gift cards, and a cart icon for shopping).

In a store, someone can ask.  Online, they’ll leave.