Friday, April 14, 2006 terrible usability

I was recently gifted a fancy coffee machine by my parents -- a Nestle Nespresso machine. It's a razor - razor blade business model (though they definitely don't send you a free "razor" when you turn 18, this razor is expensive!). You buy a Nespresso machine and then you buy coffee capsules for it from them for $0.49 / piece. I don't know how this compares pricewise to the more traditional, less-yuppee coffee grounds approach to making coffee, but the nespresso system is clean and fast and the coffee is good and on price, it sure beats daily $4.00 cups of cappuccino / espresso at Starbucks. So I'm generally happy with the machine.

But I had to make a quick posting about their website. It's really, really bad. I've used it twice. Both times I've been completely bewildered when trying to buy the coffee capsules. First, they make it so you can't buy the things anywhere else (to quote from a 3rd party website, "To make sure Nespresso capsules are the freshest they can be, Nespresso handles all coffee orders through their web site") and then their site is terribly unusable. Lot of money spent on fancy graphics and animations, cryptic navigation, and who knows what else. Somebody at Nespresso, please, please, please spend some money and hire someone with an eye for usability to redesign your site!!

The coffee machine

$0.49 apiece!


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