Because of the pandemic, Germany was offering double incentives for electric car purchases, and seeing it as a good opportunity, a German wanted to exchange his Ford Kuga for a Tesla Model 3 with autopilot, the entry model of Elon Musk's automaker.
He then proceeded with the purchase, added his details and credit card, and clicked "confirm" to place the order with Tesla. But nothing happened, the button continued as it was, no message was shown, nothing different that could indicate that the order was being processed or even that it had already been placed or denied. As a result, he clicked again, as it might simply not have gone. And again, and so on 27 other times within a two-hour period - what a persistent person!
After several attempts, the site finally changed and processed the request - not just one, but all 28 attempts, totaling 1.4 million euros for the 28 Tesla's Model 3. Not only that, but if the German would ask to cancel the 27 extra orders, he would still have to pay 100 euros for each cancellation, totaling 2700 euros more than just the 100 euros deposit expected by ordering just one car.
This is a clear error in providing a good user experience and infringed on two Nielsen's 10 heuristics.
The first is to prevent the user from making mistakes. When they click on a button that sends information for processing, you must immediately disable it in order not to be clicked again.
The second is to always and promptly inform the system status through clear feedbacks. After the button is clicked, it is necessary to inform the user that the site is processing the information and ask them not to close the screen to avoid errors.
There were also processing errors that do not directly affect UX but, as seen, indirectly. The slowness in processing the order and the failure by allowing the other 27 orders to be processed before any return has been given from the first one were also determinants for the human error.
This shows that design and development teams must work together to avoid a situation like this.
In the end, the German desperately called the company and, understanding the error that had occurred, Tesla refunded the 2800 euros for the mandatory deposit and invited the man to place his order again.
The question is: is he going to buy again after that error? Is the trust destroyed and the customer lost?
We need to avoid this bad UI to happen in the first place instead of fixing it later. The cost will be high for sure. A good UX and design projects can avoid many basic issues just like that one.
Check more examples of bad ui
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