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Thread by @gravislizard: "this paypal website menu is extremely useless and bad. it takes you to this page, which is full of GIGANTIC "cards" that tell you nothing an […]"

23 tweets
this paypal website menu is extremely useless and bad.
it takes you to this page, which is full of GIGANTIC "cards" that tell you nothing and do nothing.
There are multiple pages of these cards. There's absolutely no reason for this asinine waste of screen real estate.
The cards can be favorited, but the favoriting does almost nothing.
The only thing it does is allow you to make the favorited ones appear higher on the page. But you have to manually select that.
The default sort order is "Popular", and it doesn't store your preference. So every single time you go to this page you have to change the sort order.
This brings up a CRITICAL observation I've made in UX: People will not use affordances of this sort because they don't match thought processes.
I promise you nobody uses this box. Maybe one in a hundred thousand people. The rest just scroll and use their eyes.
This is a tremendous waste of time, but it doesn't matter. I've watched people search through lists of hundreds of items by eye.
They don't even use ctrl+f and I know why that is too: Browser ctrl+f is fundamentally broken.
Case in point, search for a phone number on a webpage. What format should you enter it in?
(425) 606-1303?
(425)606-1303?
425-606-1303?
425.606.1303?
4256061303?

And here's what's important: The moment you have to ask that question, it's over.
People won't use something that isn't 100% reliable. The first time it fails they walk away and never look back.
If browser text search defaulted to ignoring punctuation and spacing, this wouldn't be a problem and everyone here would use it.
The way the cognitive feedback works though, we condition ourselves VERY rapidly out of actions that produce false negative results
I've been at this company for five years and I've consistently seen this behavior over and over and over when we introduce tools.
Employees start using it, and the first time it fails when they KNOW it should have succeeded, they never trust it again.
So, the first time that someone sets a favorite on this paypal page and then discovers it doesn't stick, they abandon it and go back to The Old Way
Okay, let me sum this up differently: Do not offer "options" to users. Users don't want "options", they want a good UI.
Users will SAY they want options. That is because they have been mistrained. Any UI can be objectively done Right.
How Paypal could have done this well:
This makes the Favorite concept useful; by appearing in the menu - one less click! - it gets you something you can't get any other way
The icon allows you to rapidly locate what you want, and when you DO go to All Tools the entire list will fit easily on one page.
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