The amusement park for the testers

I have been testing online stores for some time.

My dream came true – I took myself to a real amusement park for testers.

Online stores have always been my love – in part because very rarely – and in the past year, I even made my purchases sporadically – and partly because I live on the outskirts of civilization, so it is more convenient to buy this way.

I pay online, buy online – one of the few analog things in my life are books (which I also order online).

Some people claim that one of the worst curses is to tell someone “May all your dreams come true” – according to the principle “Be careful what you wish for“. I had concerns about starting store testing, mainly due to potential disgust for a large part of my own non-work life.

After some time, I think that it was a good decision and the only thing I was disgusted with are the shops not related to my work that I accidentally visited when looking for products or services on the Internet. S

Shops, that are bad from the user’s point of view:

– no one has ever tested them mobile

– they have a design from the eighties

– they “shout” with banners and pop-ups such as:”Subscribe to the newsletter and get a 5% discount”

At first

If you run / develop an online store – remember about the principles of Nielsen’s Heuristics.

I’ve written some more here.

Remarques

The lengthy introduction was to bring you to my subjective list of favorite and most tragic stores of 2020 (based in Poland, using the Polish language !!!) and some of the most interesting mistakes found while shopping.

Remember that various “curiosities” I usually post on Twitter @KingaTest under #neverstoptesting

I must also note that this post is not sponsored. It is also not objective, because my shopping interests cover only a part of the e-commerce market, and the list is also burdened with a large cognitive error.

However, I would like my list to be as substantive as possible and show you, if you have a real influence on how an online store looks and functions, what not to do, and what solutions are desired and work well both in the browser on the computer and in the smaller smartphone window .

At the same time, I would like to point out that every year there are more and more online stores in Poland, and their quality is getting better. The following examples refer to the extremes – both good and bad – the vast majority of stores in Poland are user-friendly, have an acceptable design, do not crash, and from 2020 even endure performance tests during Black Friday, for which all developers, testers and people applause to those working with these products.

AHA!

One more thing – as a software tester, I understand the old dilemma and an attempt to maintain a balance between the store owner’s budget – and consumer expectations in relation to the operation and appearance of the website.

You can not have everything. However, you can always strive for better quality and this is the main goal of this post.

Interesting mistakes

Frontend mobile collection

As I mentioned above, many stores are clearly not designed for mobile. It is interesting because the share of the mobile devices market, and thus purchases made via smartphone browsers (also in Poland), is greater than the share of desktop devices. The data comes from here.

Let me exaggerate a bit, to conclude that the owners of online stores consciously or less consciously get rid of many customers because they do not consider it important to present their offer in an acceptable way on a smartphone screen.

Typically these are “only” the errors at the user interface layer.
It’s not that the store looks “ugly” – it’s just a subjective feeling. Seemingly insignificant UI errors mean that some products cannot be added to the cart, it is impossible to find the desired items because the search is too small to use and as a result, the potential sale does not take place.

It also influences the general feeling of the buyer about the seller and the store – and instead of nice associations with professionalism and aesthetics – using the store will evoke associations with the torment.

As a result – the customer will be less willing to return to the store and will not recommend it to his friends.

Sometimes visual errors are “funny” and acceptable

The creators of the Mango store guessed that mobile sales were important, they just did not take into account all screen resolutions – perhaps as a rule – it is too exclusive a store for owners of cheap smartphones with a small display.

On my cheap-low-end-smartphone, categories fall into each other. This bug has been around for as long as I can remember, I even reported it to Mango once, but nobody really cared. It works. Next!

Smyk has ups and downs. Apparently, the store is displayed correctly, but when it comes to the time of promotion / sale / black fidays (insert any shopping holiday here) – category names are loaded … “in layers”: D This is probably the best word.

First, we get something like this:

After that, the correctly styled page loads. It happens even to the best.

In some cases, the store in the mobile version is unusable

An example from the Hebe mobile website, where the “talk to a consultant” button, which cannot be turned off, is covered by the “Add to cart” button.

And – for the “real-life user” – believe me – it is impossible to omit. It’s a … feature.

In this case, the consumer does not have to face the eternal choice – to have or be. It was decided for him that he would conduct a cultural conversation with the chat-bot, and not waste his fortune on cosmetics.

Approved.

The worst – this store – which stopped at the Nokia 6310 stage and does not even try to reach smartphone users:

I like aros.pl for a wide range and good prices, but you can’t use this store on your phone. I don’t always want to mess around and turn on my computer to buy something, so I buy in the competition’s stores.

Mea culpa!

Hereby let’s move on to my subjective classification of the best and most annoying PL online shops in 2020

Best of the best

Rossman app

Chapeau bas for the developers of this app. I’ve been using it for over a year and she has never shown me the middle finger in the form of 500 or 400. It is clear, intuitive, and thoughtful. You can see that someone first thought about the need, designed the paths that the client navigates through the application, and then programmed it.


In most mobile sites and shopping apps, the first two steps are overlooked in favor of pushing overstocking and “promotion”. According to the opinion from the Google store, in 2018 – when the application was created – it had many mishaps – but can “mishaps” still make an impression in the year of Cyberpunk? Today it is a completely different product than in 2018.

Main advantages:

+ Direct link to Order History from the main screen

+ Possibility to add products to the basket from each subpage (including promotional newsletters) – honestly – this is the first time I saw such a feature and I am enchanted

+ Large buttons and easy navigation

+ Access to My Profile from the main application screen

+ Cheeky, but genius in terms of sales functionality: “Check if you’re not running out of…” – the application presents on the main screen several products bought previously

Disadvantages:

– Much more intuitive as an application for online shopping – less useful when shopping in the store (access to the Rossmann Card)

– The need to press the “Recalculate” button when changing the number of products in the basket – the basket does not refresh automatically (I sincerely hate such a solution)

Pure evil

IKEA – online shop AND MOBILE APP

It’s been a long time since I literally threw the keyboard after an hour of struggling with the payment. IKEA has done it. Hats off.


I hesitate – whether an online store or a mobile application deserves priority – you have to decide for yourself.

In 8 out of 10 cases, entering the store menu looked like this:

Links take a long time to load, and pictures that tend to not display have been “pushed” into the menu. As for the showcase of the store – it does not encourage further exploration of the content (unless in search of errors).

The main disadvantages of the online store:

– Performance problems

– Unintuitive menu

– Problems with proper operation in Chrome

– Problems with the correct location after the postal code, which functionality is the only way to complete the purchasing process

– Nightmare navigation

The main disadvantages of the mobile application:

– problems with finalizing the order

– unavailable buttons

– IKEA Family card cannot be authorized

– no possibility to log into your own account

– no “user friendly” error handling (“Err Not Found”) – the shopping list is not kept in the application and clears up after refreshing the application

– the list of products is incomplete compared to the browser store – no purchase history


And above all – trying to solve problems, whether with the application or with the browser store, leads to a conversation with the chat-bot, which is far from “help”.

Gold medal for user patience training.

Apteka Centrum Lublin

For years, this store has been an example of a graphic massacre for me and, surprisingly, no one has corrected it. Silver medal for consistency.

As it didn’t fit to the page – it doesn’t.

As links didn’t work – those still don’t.

But seriously, this is an online pharmacy.

The pharmacy – at least in principle – is a place that is used by the sick or the elderly.

The basis for designing such a store should be the following accessibility rules:

– large buttons

– space and easy navigation

– intuitive search.

Not today.

Sephora

The main disadvantages of the online store:

Perhaps that is why Sephora is so intrusively trying to force users of mobile devices to install the application. I described my adventures with the crashing Sephora application a long time ago, so it seems to me that it is a controversial activity when it comes to increasing sales.

– Repeating the same information and directing to one subpage from (sic!) Three places on the main page. Why not 5? 6?

This is obviously not the most annoying thing about using Sephora.

What? What? You will ask. I’m happy to answer.

The store does not show the current inventory levels when presenting the product list. What does it mean? Seemingly, all products are available for sale, only after entering the product details it turns out that the product is unavailable and cannot be added to the basket. In my opinion, this is the second most frustrating thing about online shopping – it wastes my time and makes me distrust the offer presented by the store.

Good practice: many stores, if an item is missing – its picture grayed out or it gives the word “Product unavailable” – or it does not show it on the list.

wikimedia commons

And what are your favourite online shops?

Amazon will be soon available in Poland so it might be a game-changer. We’ll see.

Published by Kinga Witko

Author, Blogger, QA specialist, Agile Tester, cruelty-free. Sugar - free food lover.

2 thoughts on “The amusement park for the testers

  1. IKEA’s UK website is little better, even when using it on a desktop machine! In particular, there is no functionality to save a shopping list for later if you get interrupted whilst shopping; and not all their products are displayed on the site, and those that are, are not displayed in any logical order. Fine if you’re browsing with no end in mind, but when you’re buying bookshelves from one particular system, you need to have all that system’s components on the same page or in the same part of the website!

    Liked by 1 person

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