in Email

Yet another example of the cost of bad email usability

Just got an email from Wimbledon Live containing the following

Dear Anders,

As a previous Wimbledon LIVE customer we are contacting you about your preferences. If you would like to be notified about the 2008 Wimbledon LIVE service, please take the following steps to update your preferences:

1) Go to www.wimbledon.org/LIVE.
2) Click “My Account/Login” on the left navigation bar.
3) Login with your email address and password.
4) Click “Change preferences”.
5) Check the box to sign up for the “MediaZone mailing list”.
6) Click “Save changes”.

We thank you for your continued interest in Wimbledon LIVE.

Sincerely,
MediaZone

I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. I feel so sorry for the people who run the Wimbledon Live site, who are stuck with this horribly inept solution to something that should be very simple, such as

As a previous Wimbledon LIVE customer we are contacting you about your preferences. Please click on the link below if you would like to be notified about the 2008 Wimbledon LIVE service.

[here, there would be a link the user can click on which takes them to a web page where they can click on a button to confirm their preference – in other words, take the user directly to the last step above]

So what is the cost of those 5 extra unnecessary steps? Probably that a lot of people, such as myself, couldn’t be bothered to deal with them, which in turn means that less people will be notified about the 2008 service, which in turn means lost business.

This is just such a great example of designing without thinking holistically. In other words, just looking at the design of the individual web page or whatever as if it were its own little island, when the reality is that its part of a larger flow, a larger context.

On the brighter side, really looking forward to Wimbledon as always – though I don’t think he’ll do it, would be incredible if Federer pulled of six in a row.

  1. Do you mean the anchor *link* to comments? The actual comments, clearly, are after the post. The way I have it is the same as the original K2 theme and pretty much standards for most blogs.

  2. Speaking of usability, it doesn’t make sense to have the comments BEFORE your post. That means the user reads the post and then has to scroll back up to read the comments, or add their own comment.
    Ironic :)

  3. Hi Gretchen – yup, planning on watching Wimbledon online this year as well. I usually end up catching some of the early rounds, which take place on weekdays, while still at the office.

    Oh, and glad to hear my little posting might have an impact on improving email usability :)

  4. I work at MediaZone and not only read this but shared it with our entire team. We appreciate your input and take our members opinions very seriously.

    Are you planning on watching Wimbledon online again this year? What has your experience been so far with the service?

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