Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fixing the Dell Online Store

I'm writing this to fix the Dell website. It's a long shot that the site will actually get fixed due to this post, but I'll write anyways since the internet can't stop me!

Dell: please give me a hierarchy not a database for buying your products (specifically monitors).

A database is basically just a searchable list. Imagine walking into a car dealership. A happy salesman walks up and gives you a stapled 30 sheet stack of papers and says "go ahead and find which car you'd like in the 300 row table and then I'll pull it up for you." This would be a poor buying experience.

You need someone (or something) to walk you through the decision tree... the decision making process. Yes, this kind of data is harder to store in a database and online stores love to store things in databases since they're generally so handy.

Apple's website is an example of how it should be done. When I click on iMac in the store I see a page that is not database-generated, but rather created by a human editor who has laid out the 5 choices from left to right in logical order, with the most important differentiating characteristic in bold at the top (speed) and price at the bottom.

Due to the fact Dell uses a database instead of a hierarchy, my mother is literally unable to purchase a Dell monitor without my help. If this simple change were made I would no longer have to help her buy a Dell monitor.

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