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click here, you idiots July 13, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Experiences, Observations, Technology Trouble.
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One of the many “oh Lord this is the biggest headache I ever have to deal with” moments for a web designer is making sure visitors know exactly where to click to get what they want. I’ve fought an often-losing battle with clients on countless occasions to get them to understand that even if you put a gigantic flashing button on your homepage, you’re still going to get e-mails and phone calls asking where something is. It’s unbelievable, and it will drive you absolutely insane.

Even more so when your co-workers can’t figure it out either, and they’re supposed to be the smart ones! (In their defense, they usually don’t even bother looking at the website; they just transfer the calls to you and forget about them.)

So I was pretty amused when I read about a recent webcast Domino’s Pizza did to announce upgrades to their website. According to Gizmodo:

There are 10, count ’em 10 ways to get to online ordering from the home page. Just in case you’re retarded and can’t click the “order” button.

I actually went to the site and counted. There are ten, all right.

dominospizza

Consumers are idiots. Or, more precisely, the squeakiest wheels are idiots, because they’re the ones who glance at the site and then call for help. Those calls for help get put in a file and eventually some genius up in corporate decides that what we really need are huge graphics. Then it becomes the designer’s job to find a way to fit them in without completely ruining the rest of the look.

This isn’t a knock against Domino’s; they’ve managed to make it work and built a pretty good site. But when you don’t have an enormous creative and design team like Domino’s — along with the budget they undoubtedly applied toward their website — you have to make do with what you have. And if that means putting a huge button that says “click here, you idiots” on it, then so be it.

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