We have all run into a poor user experience at some point in our lives. Most of us have run into multiple. Whether it’s the DMV or your own companies website. We know there is a system to create good interaction design incorporating learnability, efficiency, memorability, errors, and satisfaction. Yet, there are numerous systems, organizations, and companies that fall short of these marks time and time again. The worst user experience I have encountered on an e-commerce site is Zara.
Zara is the first website that comes to mind when I think of a frustrating user experience on the internet. Zara is global retailer based in Spain, specializing in clothing, accessories, shoes, swimwear, beauty, and perfumes. As a user we have established a certain expectation for our experiences. We expect grocery stores to have cashiers in the front of the store with shopping carts located outside, we expect banks to have a maze before waiting for the teller, and we expect e-commerce websites to include a shopping cart tab in the top right-hand corner. Okay, Zara at least does this but they break our expectations across their site in numerous other ways. This makes it difficult to find the product you are searching for, and all in all it makes it difficult to make a purchase.
I think at the end of the day the Zara website places importance on visual appeal and design over the user experience. The layout has an editorial, high fashion feel that lends to focus on the photography but lacks to give attention to how the user is experiencing the site. One has to scroll endlessly to see all the products, due to the spacing and large-format photos. Although this does make the Zara site stand out, and enforces a perception that they should be grouped with high fashion labels it adds time and confusion to online shoppers. As a user, I have gone to the site multiple times, felt frustrated due to the time consumption and lack of product organization, and left to find a product from another retailer with a better online UX/UI. The worst user experience I have had was attempting to the online shop at zara.com and it led to me experiencing frustration, not making a purchase, and going to another retailer for my product needs.
At the end of the day, the core of my negative review is a disconnect in the digital process on the site. The process flow has multiple pain points, which directly impacted my experience as a user. I think the Zara team needs to perform a process analysis and create a model in order to identify where things are going wrong. Utilizing user testing techniques of card sorting of session recording the team would be able to pinpoint areas that need improvement, and directly interview their users for feedback. This analysis strategy will then lend the team to make backend improvements, increase their customer’s satisfaction with the e-commerce experience, and in the end increase sales.