Share
Explore BrainMass

Assessing the worst e-commerce site in the world

You need to find the worst web site in the world. Explain why it is the worst site in the world. What rules of good design do they break, and how badly do they break them?

Solution Preview

Please see the attached file.

My job as an Online Teaching Assistant is to help you to do your assignment and definitely not do them for you. In fact, if I did 'do' some or all of your assignment for you I could be in big trouble with BrainMass or even worse fired from BrainMass because it clearly states that we are NOT to do it. In fact BrainMass states "The student will quickly receive a detailed explanation from a qualified Online TA. Knowledge is valuable but only if it is untainted. The members of our community must have a common trait - they should all believe in fairness to the owners of original work and take the responsibility to do independent work. Online TAs help a great deal in limiting such morally-incorrect practices by informing students about plagiarism and how to cite and acknowledge others work correctly. The system is not intended to replace the many services already provided by professors and teaching assistants. It is intended to supplement the learning process by offering more timely and direct access to graduate-level assistance. The Online TA's have all been through undergraduate studies and understand better than anyone else where, when and how students get stumped. The job of the OTA is NOT to write an essay for the student, but to provide ideas, definitions, research help, and instructions on how the student should approach the problem. ***I put this message on ALL of my responses so if this does not apply to you please do not take offense for the reminder for those who have forgotten or may not realize. ***

This look's like an interesting assignment, though, so let's see where I can be helpful

Question: Objective: The student needs to find the worst e-commerce web site in the world; a Google search for the worst web site should suffice for finding a web site that sells a product or a service that breaks as many rules of e-commerce as possible in one web site. This paper should be between 1200 and 1500 words long properly APA formatted with references.

You need to find the worst web site in the world. Explain why it is the worst site in the world. What rules of good design do they break, and how badly do they break them.

Special Note: Opinion - American Heritage defines this as "a judgment based on special knowledge and given by an expert" but remember YOU are the expert here. I will though offer to you what I would do if this were my assignment. I feel the only way to help you is to show you in this case. I will give you some examples of what I believe to be important aspects but I will leave the overall opinion to you. That way this assignment will have your special touches on it.
E-Commerce rules and regulations - http://www.allbusiness.com/sales/internet-e-commerce/2976701-1.html
Example One - http://www.ikea.com/ IKEA - Which web site would let you create an account, add items to a shopping cart enter your credit card information and delivery address and then not ship you anything? In fairness, IKEA states that they do not support e-commerce outside certain countries comparatively. Another customer states, "So I place my order on Sunday night and wait to be called by a rep that will check my details. It is now Thursday and I just called them (after having to download a PDF of their catalogue to actually find a phone number).As feared, the order hadn't been processed and I expect they were going to call me next year to confirm it but my call to them pre-empted that. Worse, they quote me shipping for a ceiling-mounted lamp that ended being about half the cost of the lamp itself." Yikes, I see numerous things that went wrong for IKEA here. First, the customer has to be called by a representative to check for details? Why? What is this purpose? Can't a representative check the details themselves and then notify customer if there are any problems/changes. Better yet, why isn't there a prompt to inform the customer immediately that there is a problem and that it needs to be resolved before they continue? Now, four 'business days' later, IKEA still has not taken care of one of their valued customers? Not only that, the customer has to download a PDF file unnecessarily of IKEA's catalog to even find a phone number to call and speak to an actual customer service representative? Now shipping prices are extremely high, after this customer has gone through all of this so far. I'm irritated already just thinking about it. Wouldn't you be? In fact, since we all are customers we all know how we want to be treated when we shop and buy. Therefore, it seems rational to think that everyone would know how to be expert customer service icons, right? Obviously not IKEA here does. Another customer reports, "Ikea's bricks and mortar store in Emeryville did have the light I wanted and as of Saturday afternoon, it is finally installed. What a pain though... While it is approved for the US market and has the right transformer, etc. the fixing mechanism for the ceiling mount was too large for the pre-drilled hole in my ceiling. Apparently the US ceiling mounts are a smaller diameter than European ones." Unbelievable, this person has been affected by a huge cultural difference here and IKEA was not responsible or courteous enough to their customers (also may I mention their success and livelihood) to care for the problem 'before' it occurred.
Example Two - http://www.maplin.co.uk/ - this one was a bit of a pain for me. It took longer than normal to load and talk about congested. The ease of use in this one is certainly not apparent. Even some of the descriptive words are even cut off and not knowing the conversions in U.S. Dollars I really have no clue what the prices really are (unless I convert it myself). ((Not good, the customer should feel 'waited on' and relaxed - never should the customer have to go to work for the company - ever)). One customer had this to say about the web site, "Try and use it and search for something. Try looking at the latest deals. The site's littered with programming errors (getting told there are no matching results for a search at the bottom of a page after about 70 matches; "Now displaying 101 to 100"). It's littered with missing pictures still holding test/placeholder images. It's littered with such monumentally poor design that I wonder if they've bothered actually testing it. It is impossible to use if you have failing sight or restricted movement."
Example Three - http://www.eastpak.com/ - This customer commented on Eastpak.com and said, "...this past week I've wanted to replace my Eastpak backpack and decided to pull up their website. The next thing I'm looking at is a tattoo parlor (I literally said out loud, 'oh my gosh'). Trying to back out of it (good luck), I come across these other "rooms" - the B-side ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a detailed description regarding bad practices on e-commerce web sites.

$2.19