Monday 27 September 2010

FTFY - BT Business Direct

I’ve been using dabs for a while and despite it’s “clunkyness” I’ve became familiar with it’s UI. A few years after BT purchased it, they took a huge corporate shit all over it and started forcing business users to use it’s business verison — BT Business Direct.

Recently I needed a new backup drive and because work was paying, I was using the ‘business’ version of dabs. Here’s what I was presented with.

View Product

I’m dumb

The main issue for me was figure 1. It’s well documented that web users don’t read, they scan and according to the Guttenburg principal there are areas of importance that we naturally adhere to. I spent about ten seconds clicking the buy button before I realised that it wasn’t actually a buy button.

Why would you do that?

I can understand that BT might want to make it easy for people to give them money, but in guiding me like this, they’ve made it harder as the real buy button is hiding in a hatched out area in next to figure 2. This is 2010 and ecommerce is not a new concept, we’re all familiar with how a buy button works!

Cheap & Nasty

This also brought to my attention figure 3, which does beg the question — are you being serious? this is just horrible, aside from the obvious “click here faux pas” it’s just ramming a cross sale down my throat. It’s cheap and nasty.


So I spent a few moments making a few tweaks and below you can see my suggestions.

Jamie's Version

Here’s what I’ve done

  • Removed the fake buy button, as it does more harm than good.
  • Gave the product information some space to breathe by moving the bundle logo up next to the brand logo
  • Put the product title in the green bar as an idiot could work out this is ‘product information’
  • Enlarged the basket controls to bring out the buy button, increase the price and quantity input.
  • Moved the hatching to over the detailed product instead of over the basket controls
  • Removed the “click here for cheaper phone calls”, because that was just shit.

It might not be perfect, but I think it removes some of the cruft and allows a clearer path for users to make a purchase.

Before & After

I love before and afters. One day I might treat you all to a before and after of my physical transformation from fat drunk to ultra human. For now however here are the before and afters of this FTFY.



Jamie's Design


Original Grey

Jamie's Grey


Clearly the issue I’ve pointed out was put there to stear users in the right direction, but unintentionally they’ve introduced a 50% chance that a user will get it wrong. Sometimes, doing not thing at all is better than doing something.