Christopher tm Herdt (cherdt) wrote,
Christopher tm Herdt

Rant about e-commerce sites

Does User Annoyance Matter?

The article above basically says that putting a selection of state abbreviations in a select menu (a.k.a. a "drop-down menu") is annoying. Seriously, you know your state abbreviation, and you can type it a lot faster than you can select it from a list of 50. Especially if you're in Washington, Wyoming, or West Virginia.

That idea blew my mind. I've always put state abbreviations in a select menu, but he's absolutely right—that's annoying.

That brought me to compare the size and width selection features of 2 online shoe retailers, Zappos and the new Although I've used Zappos before, I really like the size and width selectors on The fact that you can select more than one width simultaneously is really nice, too, so I can search AAAA, AAA, and AA-B. (They have other features that I find annoying, but overall a pretty good site.)

That got me thinking about online clothiers, and how annoying their sites are. Perhaps my behavior is atypical, but when I go to a site to buy clothes, I am shopping for me. And you know what? I may not know exactly what I'm looking for, but I know what size I wear. I hate the fact that you can't enter that info up-front, and then see a version of the site with only the things that will actually fit you. For most sites, since I wear medium-tall (38T), that means they have 2, maybe 3 items. Why make me wade through all the stuff that I won't even consider buying anyway?

In this Internet era, I fully expect that if I can't have all the things I want, I ought to at least be able to find digital photos of them. C'mon, Internet, how 'bout it?

well_lahdidah pointed out, during my rant, that some sites will let you select a size, but only after you've drilled down to a pretty specific category, e.g. jeans. Even that could be improved, but the fact is, most sites won't let you find out that something isn't available in your size until you're looking at the details for that specific item. What a waste of time! How frustrating!
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