Improvement to FB Friend Confirmation Email

Noticed something strange when someone confirmed my Facebook friend request. In the email that Facebook sent notifying me of the friend confirmation, Facebook suggests some people who are connected to this new friend who I may also be friends with.

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This feature is useful and definitely makes sense given the context. However, when I click on the link of each user’s name, I am surprisingly not taken to that user’s profile page. However, I’m taken to a more generic page that has three modules: (1) open friend requests, (2) people I may know, and (3) a Search for Friends module.

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This is really strange and an unexpected user experience. Ideally, I’d be taken to the user’s profile which I clicked on — and there I can decide if I know that person and follow up with a friend request.

Bug in Yahoo iOS Stocks App

Noticed a bug in the Yahoo iOS Stocks App. When viewing the detailed metrics for individual stocks, the field for average volume is showing wildly incorrect values. Based on the examples included below, there doesn’t appear to be a pattern or obvious root cause to the problem (i.e. simply missing the M for million) as the numbers are all over the place. 

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Google Maps and the BART Strike

One of my favorite features of Google Maps is routing using public transportation. This is extremely useful for anyone who doesn’t have a car. An interesting use case comes when a certain public transportation option is not available. Recently, BART, a highly utilized transportation system across the bay area shut down due to a strike by its union. So here’s what I saw when looking for directions into downtown SF:

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After clicking through the orange warning exclamation point icon, I saw:

bart2So here’s the interesting part. Based on the error messaging, the application should know (or should have a confident estimate) that this option is not viable for the user. Which is why the better user experience would be to include a different public transportation option in addition to, or instead of, all of the options that include a dependency on BART .

A Tactic to get Past the new Gmail Promotions Tab

Not too long ago, Gmail rolled out a new Inbox with customizable tabs which include notification emails from Social channels as well as a tab for Promotional emails. Some speculate that this new design may be a huge headache for marketers as it becomes even more challenging to get eyeballs on the emails that they send out.

I saw an interesting tactic to get past this challenge. In a fundraising email I received from JDRF, I was instructed to train Gmail to send emails from JDRF straight to the Primary tab instead of the Promotions tab.

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By dragging the email from the Promotions tab to the Primary tab of my Inbox, I have the opportunity to create a rule to filter future messages from JDRF straight to the Primary tab of my inbox and thus increase the chances that I consume emails from JDRF.

One could argue that this tactic is simply a modern day parallel of the already existing “add our email to your contact list so that future emails are not marked as spam” email technique. It’ll be interesting to see if other products employ similar tactics to optimize their performance for Gmail users.

New Feature for LinkedIn: Refer a Connection

One of the most prominent use cases for LinkedIn is an email from a recruiter who is pursuing you as a potential candidate for a role they are sourcing. Here’s an example: 

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In the event you respond that you are not interested in the role, recruiters will often follow up and ask you if you know anyone in your network who would be a good fit for the role. Here’s an opportunity for LinkedIn to automate this functionality by having a separate CTA that lets you refer someone in your own network. Consider the following draft mock: 

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By clicking through, the user would have the ability to specify one or more connections in his/her own network to be referred to the recruiter. On the other end of the transaction, the recruiter will receive a LinkedIn message including the profiles of the referred candidates. A classic win-win-win situation. 

 

Zappos VIP Points Store leads to a Very Nice 404 Page

While I was browsing on Zappos, I noticed that they have a Points Store for their VIP users (which I happen to be): 

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After clicking through, I was served with an array of redemption options: 

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Here, the interesting thing is, any redemption option that I click on, leads to a 404 page: 

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While this is most likely a bug, and not the desirable user experience, the 404 page that I’ve been served is very creative and should be applauded. There are three options: Try A SearchGo Home, and Get Help. The most amazing thing about this graphic is that for each button that you hover your mouse over, you get a corresponding image that points you to where exactly that button takes you. Almost like a meta-site-awareness. Take a look below at the three screenshots for the three mouse hover states: 

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Reebok.com Checkout Flow Needs Improvement

While trying to buy a pair of shoes from Reebok.com, I ran into a pretty clunky user experience for the mid-purchase suddenly out of stock use case. Here’s what happened: I added a pair of shoes to my cart and then was shown an error message.

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Unfortunately for me, someone must have beat me to the last remaining pair of this specific type of shoe at this specific size. This is fine and boilerplate e-commerce. Happens all the time. But how would Reebok.com design the user experience for me?

A bit clunky I’d say. In the top of the page, I see an error message saying that one or more items … are no longer unavailable and that I should check my cart contents before continuing. This page isn’t too clear because according to the top of the page there’s a problem with an item in my cart and according to the bottom part of the page there are no products in my cart.

Sure, I understand that the reason why the item was taken out was because it became out of stock, but let’s see how this use case can be improved. For one, we can have the error message be more specific and tell me specifically which item became suddenly out of stock – as opposed to the more generic “one or more” catch-all. Second, it would be very beneficial for Reebok’s conversion if they pointed me to similar shoes to the one that suddenly became out of stock. From browsing their site, I know that they already have this feature built out — so they just need to invoke it here. If they can make those two changes, this clunky experience of losing out on a pair of shoes you really wanted can be improved and thus improve their end-to-end conversion.