Conversations with Corporate Websites

Why do some companies go to such lengths to make their sites terrible to use? Shopping online for something, these are some typical experiences. I imagine the website and its designers talking to me:

Be My Friend

(website loads, get a brief glimpse of the site, which disappears behind a popup…)
Hey! sign up for our newsletter!
Um, I don’t know anything about your company yet. How about I get to know you a bit first? (close popup)
Ok, let me click on this link…
(Page loads, interrupted by…)
Hey! sign up for our newsletter!
(leave site)

I’m Too Cool For You

(website loads, and loads, and loads. Land on a page with huge images)
Hey! Look at how great our site design is!
Yeah, cool. Where’s the product you’re selling?
Oh, we don’t sell PRODUCTS, we sell LIFESTYLES and EXPERIENCES.
Look, do you have what I’m looking for or not?
Well, do you want something from our Joxer line, our Callisto line, our Panexa line, or one of the dozen other lines we have?
Those words mean nothing to me. Do you have something that explains what they are? Better yet, do you have a page that lists your products and lets me filter by their traits, or are you going to make me click through over a dozen different links to find out if you have what I’m looking for?
But think of the EXPERIENCE…
(leave site)

Crossing Boundaries

(website loads, landing me on a page where a promo video starts playing…)
Ahhhh, shut the fuck up! I didn’t ask you to talk to me. Make it stop! Where’s the volume control? Easier to just close the tab…
(leave site as quickly as possible)

No There There

(website loads…)
We’re working on our site at the moment.
Please check back soon.

Hmmm. Site has probably been this way since 2010.
(leave site)

Your Guess Is As Good As Mine

(website loads, lands me on product page…)
Great! Finally a company that actually sells what I’m looking for! This looks interesting (click link)
Sold Out
Oh well, back to the product page. Hmmm. Doesn’t say it’s sold out in the main page. How about this one…
Sold Out
Oh for fuck’s sake. Let me back up and try this one instead…
Sold Out
You seriously expect me to click through to each individual product to see if it’s available or not? How about no?
(leave site)


(website loads to a familiar Amazon screen)
At least this site will show me products. Ok, I’m looking for an Illudium Space Modulator model Q-36.
Sure! Here’s an Amazon Basics space heater, followed by two dozen other things that have some of the letters you typed.
How about something with the letters “Space Modulator” in that order?
Sure! Here’s an Amazon Basics Spice Rack!
(leave site, log off, go and pour a drink)

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