Yesterday I tweeted:
The Kaiser Permanente site is pretty, but someone organized it using their butt.
I had just spent an hour on their member website trying to set my daughter’s primary care doctor. The links I followed did not lead to useful content. I was frustrated. I wrote:
I officially volunteer to redesign the Kaiser site. For free. Just so I don’t have to use it in its current state. Call me.
And I got a response! Sort of. In the form of an autoreply directing me to the Contact Web Manager form.
I’m pretty certain I can’t re-architect a site in a fixed-width six line text box in under 1000 characters.
Still, I tried. Here’s my cranky critique, crammed into a tiny webform textbox after a day spent with a teething baby and no clue who her doctor is:
- Kaiser. You break my heart. Your site architecture is spaghetti.
- Link titles should match their destinations.
- Text should be optimized for the web. Cut the wordcount by 75%. Seriously, cut the “If you prefer, you may call us” wordy bullshit. It actively prevents people from getting the information they need.
- Dynamic, member-specific content like records and messages should not try to ship you off to one size fits all “resource” pages.
- Who is your user? Members? Potential Members? Employers? Identify common use cases and count the number of steps and breakpoints.
- “Are you an Employer?” is not a helpful architectural node.
- I can tell you sprung for the bulk membership to clipart.com, so kudos on the pretty pictures but they eat up most of the space if you insist on a 10 year old fixed width layout. Grow some CSS.
- Seriously. I love Kaiser, but this site hurts me.
I’ll keep you guys updated if anything exciting happens as a result of my whiny ranting. I’m sure there are fifty good reasons why their site sucks the way it does, but as a user I simply don’t care. I want a big red “do the thing I want” button. And possibly a pony.