26 Examples of how Common Sense Business tops AI, ML, GPT-3, OTP.

AI, ML, GPT-3 cannot fix the common sense business failures, by Vinish Garg. Photo credits @Unsplash
Sign up, onboarding, product positioning, conversions, validations, support, and service design. As if the plastic in an ocean. Photo credits Unsplash

As I have been tweeting about my experiences with poor or broken products, this is a quick reference to a few of those merchants who write the code in the plastic bottles and throw it in the oceans because they do not need a license to do that.

01. Eventbrite — Design and Experience

Design and Experience: I saw many of my friends using Eventbrite for their events, and I thought of trying it to host my own event. After spending a couple of hours, I found that the service is NOT available in India.

That sounds crazy — why the product cannot tell me at the sign up itself, or at the first step when I started creating my own event?

It shows only at the last step when I am ready to publish my event — selecting the country is mandatory and India is not listed.

Eventbrite is such a poor experience, writes Vinish Garg on Medium.

The was the cake. I tweeted and they never bothered to respond; this is the icing.

PS: The footprints are seen in the community too. Eventbrite

Eventbrite is not winning any respect even in the community discussions, writes Vinish Garg.

02. PayU India — The Three-Sixty Degree Sh*t

I registered to see if I can use the payment gateway for the ticketing system on my UX conference website. The product and the entire onboarding is totally broken, they do not have any clue of what the customers are trying to do.

After I told them that I do not want to use the service within the first week, I got the following email.

PayU Money India is a completely broken product for onboarding, experience, and the support, writes Vinish Garg.

The support is hopeless and they never asked why I wanted to quit. The best was yet to come.

Out of the blue after four months, I got an email from their dysfunctional support that my query is resolved.

The was the cake. They never bothered to respond to my tweet; this is the icing. PayU

03. BricsMath — They Are In Wrong Business

I enrolled my eight years old son to BricsMath for some playful activities around problem-solving.

In the first week of June, I forgot the password and I could not log in even with the new password. When I wrote to their support team, they sent me my original password in the email itself.

Bricsmath violates the most basic design principles, writes Vinish Garg.

This is a huge security loophole that their employees can see my account’s password. The fundamental principles of designing the sign-up flow in a product are violated.

The was the cake. I wrote back to them, and they did not reply. After a few days and out of nowhere, I got an email from an unknown domain — dragonlearn.in (LinkedIn) that I could log in there to check my Bricsmath score. Absolutely no context, or communication, or clarity. This is the icing.

PS: Look at one of their taking-off pages. And they are a product company?

BricsMath is a completely broken product, they should be in another business, writes Vinish Garg.

04. Form Design

This is the form of an invite-only VC community newsletter.

The wit is a bit too far when it says — This will be immediately sold to Cambridge Analytics (not really)!

The audience uses their own judgment and they carry their own bias when they interpret the meaning.

A form design that shows the difference between copywriting and UX Writing, an example by Vinish Garg.
The UX Writing in an online form is so important.

Since this is coming from a brand, I wish they were more careful in the form’s content. As I shared in a Slack workspace where I am part of, this is what separates copywriters from UX Writers.

How form design and UX Writing are discussed in the design community, by Vinish Garg.
Vinish Garg shares an example of how copywriting is different from UX writing.

05. Sign Up: Airmeet

Airmeet claims that they host digital events. In the signup process, the password (****) annoyingly overlaps with the label text, and they do not even care when reported.

The Airmeet sign up is a poor design example, writes Vinish Garg.

And can you see the little timer that shows only a few seconds are left to enter the code and so submit the form? It defies all common sense on how to let users in. Airmeet

06. Vhite vs vhite: The Rocket Science

So many services change my agency name from vhite to Vhite, and I do not really understand it. Bigger companies including MailChimp and Airtel did that, and now Linear too.

MailChimp never replied to my tweet.

Here is an example from Linear.

The edge cases in product design and UX Writing, this time by Linear app.
Vinish Garg takes the example of poor UX Writing in Linearapp.

07. Sign Up

How do I know what validation I might be missing out!

An example of a poor design in sign up form, by Vinish Garg.

08. Sign Up

And one more sign of yet another plastic bottle in the ocean. First, it tells me about the number of characters.

A sign up form in poor design and lot of friction for the user, writes Vinish Garg.

When I complete the condition, it shows the next condition.

A form design example that is poor in design and in usability, shared by Vinish Garg.

As if I am logging in only once. And I actually logged in only once, true to the merit.

09. Sign Up: eSanjeevniOPD (by Govt. of India)

The ambitious project by the government of India starts on a questionable premise.

Red Flag: The first step is to share the phone number to get the OTP, they do not talk about data privacy at all.

I enter a two-digit number and they ask for the OTP.

eSanjeeviOPD is such a poor design and a bad experience, writes Vinish Garg.

If I enter a wrong OTP, they show a message that the OTP is expired. Common sense has gone for the toss.

The OTP cycle is a mess, and I do not understand what is a token, what they want to tell me, and what I should do.

eSanjeeviOPD is such a poor design and a bad experience for the sign up steps, writes Vinish Garg.
The user experience with eSanjeevniOPD, by Vinish Garg.

10. Meity and NIC (Govt. of India)

In August 2019, my co-working facility shared the contact details of all the startups and consultants with Meity India (with our permission) for one of their events. And they started sending promotional emails without an option to unsubscribe.

I wrote to them, and see what they reply.

November:

Meity India violates the fundamental principles of emails as they do not give you an option to unsubscribe, by Vinish Garg.

January:

Meity India violates the fundamental principles of emails as they do not give you an option to unsubscribe, by Vinish Garg.

March and April:

Meity India violates the fundamental principles of emails as they do not give you an option to unsubscribe, by Vinish Garg.

And in July too.

The was the cake. They never bothered to respond to my tweet; this is the icing.

NIC is broken in many more ways as well. (See slides #6 and #8 of my past experiences with NIC, they are in the wrong business.)

Last month, I registered for a Smart Cities webinar by Smart Cities Mission, Government of India. I could not even attend it because it required a Chrome extension. I wrote to them and tweeted too (NIC is their tech partner or enabler or destroyer — a friend in all cases), but they never replied. I have many more examples of how this NIC thing is broken.

Vinish Garg tweets to Smart Cities Mission, India, and NIC India, but they never responded.

11. Mission

Yes, our fascination with a mission statement. The world’s best, world’s leading, world’s first, and best ever. Born to lead with adjectives.

A classical example of how founders jump to write a mission statement without thinking, writes Vinish Garg.

Online profile for all citizens of India from age 1 to 100…. in a fraction of a second?

12. Airmeet — Experience

Well, I shared Airmeet’s sign up experience earlier. The experience is equally broken inside as well, as I shared it in this Google drive document.

In another case, while attending an event by Redpoint Ventures on Airmeet, I see a strange issue and I tweeted. True to being an omnichannel broken experience, they never replied.

Vinish Garg tweets to Airmeet, they never responded.

13. Login Up?

The brainchild of a broken relationship between a sign up form and a log in form, example shared by Vinish Garg.
The code is written and a screen is designed with eyes and ears closed.

This is code reuse at best, or maybe nocode with all the eyes and ears closed.

14. Medium

When I am logged in to Medium, I see an option to mute myself.

I see this “mute this author” option for myself, on Medium.

I did not try to mute myself to check how it works because I am not sure if I will be able to unmute myself later. Their support article does not talk about this use case. I tweeted, but they did not respond. Medium

Vinish Garg tweets to Medium.

15. Content Models — School

While paying the school fee for my eight years old, I notice that the duration of each quarter in the financial year is the entire year itself.

All the school websites are products are broken, this is another example of a school website design failure, by Vinish Garg.
A school fee online system is broken, by Vinish Garg.

I tweeted and then never responded.

16. Phone Number Required for Sign Up

I see so many products asking me for my phone number which is not their business at all.

Why the sign up form needs my phone number, asks Vinish Garg.
Why the sign up form needs my phone number, asks Vinish Garg.

This is the cake. If the product has an interesting use case for me, I write to their founders and they never reply. This is the icing. Spayee India

17. Townscript

Well, Townscript has been iconic in so many ways. The product appears and behaves as if it was designed and developed in 2005, absolutely zero sense in the forms, interactions, validations, and the messages. The support team is a bunch of jokers, here is an example.

The Townscript support in their product is helpless and useless, writes Vinish Garg.

Can you see how a template-dressed human is responding to an irritated customer (and this was NOT the first time)?

I wrote about it in my SubStack post, and I tweeted too. Townscript

Vinish Garg tweets to the Townscript founder.
Vinish Garg tweets to Townscript, they never replied.

18. Naukri — Different OPTs for each device

I have an employer account at naukri.com and every time I try to log in, I get an OTP. Can you believe that for every login attempt in the last one year, I get two different OTPs — in my email and on my phone?

I can use both the OTPs to log in successfully. I think it is so complex to do it programmatically, to send different OTPs on each device for the same trigger?

This is the cake. I tweeted and they never responded; this is the icing.

19. A Bank’s Positioning

A bank for Abnormal customers?

An over the top product positioning that is sure to backfire, because it is that bad, writes Vinish Garg.

20. Courtesy

Sometimes I participate in quick surveys to help founders and tech leaders to validate their idea or process, or plan. There are a few classical examples that if I try to share my own related experience, they never have the courtesy to reply. Not even after a follow-up. Here is an example.

When founders lack courtesy, as Vinish Garg shares an example.

21. Survey Design: Twitter

Survey designing is such an art as a survey opens a conversation with an audience. Accurate and relevant data can be the fuel that the product team needs for its strategy.

In this survey by Twitter, none of the statements in the two options are clear enough.

A Twitter survey that is not clear enough; survey design is such a special skill, writes Vinish Garg.
Vinish Garg says that Twitter surveys are not clear enough for the participants.

I can imagine that many users would just answer anything randomly and the Twitter product leaders might end up rewriting their code for something that the audience never asked for.

And see how the community talks about their surveys; sometimes it goes far beyond the survey itself.

A Twitter survey that is not clear enough; and people discuss surveys in the community groups.
Vinish Garg shares an example of how a community discusses surveys.

22. Survey Design: UX

The logic jump from Q5 to Q6 in a UX Writing survey. Really?

A UX Writing survey that is poorly designed, writes Vinish Garg.
Poor survey UX by a UX person or team, by Vinish Garg.

23. Strong Enough

The payment page of GoDaddy shopping cart shows the content that is meant to be bold, but not bold enough. I am noticing this issue for at least 6–8 months now. GoDaddy

The code and design overlooked on GoDaddy, writes Vinish Garg.
GoDaddy payments: Not strong enough in the code.

24. Logged In or Logged Out?

I am logged in here and it asks me to sign up.

Another example of poor sign up and onboarding by a startup, this time by FastScience, as shared by Vinish Garg.

I think the product team never registered and then saw the landing page (or take-off page if I should call it).

25. Privacy — Cisco WebEx Chrome Extension

To attend a webinar, I saw this option to install the Cisco WebEx Chrome extension. It says — It can read and change all my data on the websites that I visit.

Really?

Chrome extension privacy, and Cisco or WebEx never responded when Vinish Garg tweeted about it.

I tweeted, and they never responded.

Likewise, I do not understand why On24 wants to control my entire Twitter account.

Login with Twitter raises some privacy issues, as this example by ON24 shows here, writes Vinish Garg.

26. See Around

You will find #26.

I have done countless teardowns in the past in a mix of tweets and blog posts, right from Snapdeal, Flipkart, Airtel, ICICI Bank, and most recently for Hey.com.

I am a bit tired to see all this, and so I am closing it here.

May the better sense prevails soon, everywhere.

I will dive again with yet another net. Some day.

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A guardian of an intent. Products. UX, Content Design. Product Marketing. Founder UX conference. https://www.vinishgarg.com/

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Vinish Garg

Vinish Garg

A guardian of an intent. Products. UX, Content Design. Product Marketing. Founder UX conference. https://www.vinishgarg.com/

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