Mean UX: Audible.com App

This month I fell victim to a mean UX move by the good people over at Audible.com.

And listen, Audible app, I like you. I really do. Albeit I’m a little late to your book listening party, but you’ve done a really great job without me all these years.

You look great. 
Your branding is solid. 
You were easy enough to use. 
Yes, it’s kind of a pain that I can’t actually purchase any new books from inside the app—but hey, I’m sure you have your reasons.

Everything was going great, and we were doing so well — until tonight.

How it Started

I finished my second book. You did exactly what you were suppose to and presented me with other books I might enjoy.

Fantastic! Well done!

That is EXACTLY what you should do.
Yes, I enjoyed my experience and you should absolutely upsell me. 
Please, I would like to purchase another book through you!

But I can’t. Because you can’t actually purchase any new books from inside the app.

And that…while I’m not happy about it. That’s fine. I already knew that going into it. But what else can I do?

I can browse, hear some samples — and oh!

This one sounds cool.

I clicked “Sample Now”, took a listen, and yeah, I like the sound of this one.

What action would you like me to take next since I cannot purchase and start listening right away?

What supplementary action have you provided me, the user, to appease this rather large blockade preventing me from spending money with your company?

Perhaps it has something to do with the gigantic orange button conveniently located near my thumb. I’m going to guess you want me to push that.

Which, I should. That’s the right move. I can’t take an action to purchase at this moment, so yeah, let me save it for later.

Just….“Add to Wish List”

The same button text Audible’s parent company, Amazon, has been using since their early years.

And ooh! Look at that. The button color changed, the text updated—I’m feeling pretty confident this book has been added to my wish list.

Thanks, Audible app!

45 Minutes Later

I’m telling a friend how I already found the next book I want to read. She asks the title and I can’t recall if it’s “Pitch Anything” or “How to Pitch Anything” or “Pitch Anything…and win”.

I knew there was some text above and below the title—but it was also one of 10 books I looked at during that time.

Oh, wait! I added it to my Wish List. I’ll just pull that up real quick before I say the wrong title.

And this…this is where you got mean, Audible app.

You’ve given me no way to access my wish list from inside the app.

I can add things to it, but I can’t see it. As the primary action when looking at a single product page, I am unable to view the result of the action I have taken from within the app.

It’s nowhere to be found in the entire app. I looked way longer than I should have since it then became a point of pride to find the wish list so I knew where it was located next time.

But it wasn’t there. It wasn’t under My Library, Discover, Channels, Profile, or Settings.

Ya done messed up, A-udible.


None of these screens have an action as dominant as the “Add to Wish List” functionality. And while I understand that you probably justify this by saying the wish list functionality is tied into a shopping cart software module—it seems like a fairly major component to have ignored.

The justification of “nobody can buy through the app, so there’s no reason to include the wish list piece of functionality” seems flawed in my opinion. It seems like a bad assumption — and made for kind of a mean UX when I was unable to locate the book that began the search.