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Paypal is the Lotus Notes of the web August 31, 2008

Posted by Michael Kowalski in design, user interface, whatever.
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It has the suckiest user experience of any web app I know. I’m talking about the merchant UI here – the buyer experience is merely ugly, but the merchant UI is completely broken.

The navigation makes no sense whatsoever. The documentation is farcical. The language is incomprehensible, full of jargon they just made up for no good reason. It’s just really really hard to work out how to do something, or even if you can. 

Support sucks as well. It can take days to get a response, unless you want to queue for telephone support from somewhere where English is very much a second language. The support staff either don’t know anything, or don’t bother to read your query properly. Usually both.

I realise there is a lot of complicated stuff around online payments, to do with avoiding fraud and fulfilling legal requirements. But this isn’t where they’re failing: it’s user experience and service. The UX at least could be fairly trivially fixed. 

Why hasn’t somebody come along and eaten Paypal’s lunch yet?

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