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Vodafone PXTworld: Anti-usability

All too often during my hours of performing daily web tasks do I uncover great examples of anti-usability, but they’re usually not to the extent of what I’m about to show you.

One would imagine that such a large company as Vodafone, claiming to hold 200 million proportionate customers in 27 markets across 5 continents would at least provide a human-usable experience for a common user path. But alas, they seem to have failed… and not too gracefully.

When I am sent a Picture Message (MMS) on my mobile phone, instead of receiving the image itself, I get a SMS message with a link to download my MMS from the Vodafone website. Now, as irritating as this is, this isn’t actually what my post is about. You see, apon visiting this URL in my web browser I am presented with the following.

Vodafone PXTworld

When viewing the aforementioned page at full resolution, my focus is drawn to the absurd flash movie (which actually serves as a menu, unbeknownst to the user) rather than the navigation at the top of the page. After a couple of double-takes and head scratching, I (the average user) finally can avert my gaze from the pretty colours in the middle of screen and make use of the actual navigation bar to get that one step closer to my goal of collecting my “PXT”.

Upon further investigation, it turns out that the flash “thing” in the center is actually a navigation menu itself. But, the user can only find out this by hovering over each picture to see what link it holds. On top of that, not every picture is a link, and it feels like a “lucky draw” to get the one you want.

Vodafone

Due to the top menu utilizing some sort of whacky Javascript navigation technique, with scripts disabled it simply doesn’t work! Even though Javascript is quite commonly enabled for most users, there still are a number who either don’t use a browser that supports it, choose to disable it or have it disabled by their antivirus application. The only other navigational alternative to this is the little Flash movie, which also could be hidden to those users without the Flash Plugin.

So, a certain percentage of this page’s visitors won’t even be able to get to their destination, and even the ones that have all the plugins enabled will still spend more time than they should trying to figure out how to use the thing!

When I visit this page, I’m confused as to its purpose. I should be given exactly what I’m looking for, ready to be used. Instead I’m given this convoluted, confusing and unusable page.

In summary, if I were to be tasked to redesign/realign this page, I would probably do the following:

  • Focus on the typical user path. Provide a clear focused link to “Collect your PXT”. As well as the other actions.
  • Completely trash the pointless flash animation.
  • Use a hover state on the navigation, to let the user know that it’s actually clickable.
  • Use real links, rather than Javascript tomfoolery, to allow for direct linking to the proper page and accessibility for those with JS disabled.
  • Ditch the annoying “TXT Speak” (“Collect yr PXT” – what a joke!). It’s insulting to the user’s intelligence.
  • Instead of sending the user to a “splash page”, get them straight to the form they are looking for. The user shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get their image

14 Responses to “Vodafone PXTworld: Anti-usability”

  1. Every web designer should learn the basics of accessibility. I totally agree with everything you would change.

    They should only use javascript as a experience enhancer. If the user doesn’t have javascript enabled they should still be able to use the links.

    I can’t believe this actually. This is really basic stuff.

  2. julian watson says:

    holy cow wow thanks I thought i was just retarded trying to figure this out, been trying to ‘collect my pxt’ from a friend in oz for the past 2.5 hours now and getting nowhere! the link I was sent to retrieve it doesn’t exist and others don’t work or give me a big page of bright red with the vodafone symbol on it and nowhere to go. think I’ll abandon the quest and move on to other things. grrrrr!!

  3. Triff says:

    Completely agree, cannot get into website, like it doesn’t exist, absolutely ridiculous. We are in the 21st Century now aren’t we?

  4. jean says:

    this is fuked lol u cant find it wat waste of time braz lol

  5. mazza says:

    i have been trying for a week to see apic od my gr8 grandson sent to me from a mobile phone via pxt. i don;t even know what that is lol. but i had 3 tries at getting it up friend succeeded eventually but it seems i have to sign in somewhere or join up to get the pic
    I give up!
    at least i am not alone TG

  6. alison mews says:

    I have been trying for over 30 minutes to view a VodaphonePXT message without success. it shouldn’t be that hard. I will advise the sender not to bother again. AM

  7. Michelle Beck says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous. What the hell does invalid key mean? I mean honestly…I was sent a message from Italy. I didn’t even get a website just a message in Italian telling me to go to vodafone.it and get my message using this pass code. When you go to the website all it says is register…login etc etc. Well I live in the US I obviously don’t have that service. You go to MMS and it wants you to sign in. Then I found this site and thought oh…how stupid they don’t even have a link. It says “invalid key”…whatever that means. So, I told them to either email it to me or just forget it. VODAFONE SUCKS!!! Honestly, I know how much they charge people, the service sucks, at least make your SITES user friendly and break on into the REAL WORLD!!

  8. mo says:

    lol jesus christ i thot it was just me and then i read this, i recieved a PXT from someone i live in england and im on O2 the txt i got from vodafone gave me a temp password but it had not username or nething telling me how to logg in and i was sitting for hours trying to figure out to how to let me logg in and its failed for the past 3 hours so basically i give up lol its bloody useless

  9. Charlie says:

    Can’t agree more – this site is a prime example of a load of rubbish.
    The thing is they must knowt that now and it’s been like this for over a year.
    How much money do they make? They must be able to make one better than this.

  10. Cathy says:

    Vodafone, time waster, people/user unfriendly, annoying,inconsiderate,inadequate.Adds up to,puts me off vodafone forever. I have wasted 20 minutes to try to see my pic, have totally lost interest in trying any longer:(

  11. Rae F says:

    This site is a disaster cannot in any way shape or form access my pxt from my daughter better shape up Vodaphone you are turning into an international JOKE

  12. carly says:

    FAR OUT!! that website was driving me nuts! thank you for posting this … after googling vodafone pxt to try (as a last resort) to retrieve an image, this post came up and is more helpful unfortunately than going to vodafone. idiots!

  13. Mike says:

    I can even log onto this rubbish – what a joke – no wonder 3 will take them over and completely stuff the rest of it up – its not like they had an idea – the new CEo from 3

    The rumors about the mobile industry are that the man is a complete tosser – will completly match the Idiot from Crazy Johns – a tosser and a back stabber. great combination.

    The new CEO is loser. has the People skills of a peanut.

  14. roz says:

    What an annoying, crazy site..I am in despair trying to get to collect my pxt..it’s a joke right!! Get your act together it is a terrible site..make it user friendly..unbelievably difficult and stupid..

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