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Usability issues on a payment form

Published 2009-03-03, updated 2009-03-03, in: Usability, Web, Blog, Code (tags: edit)
I know, I know, it is easy to nitpick on other people design, but this morning I tried to pay my phone bill online, and... failed. I had to retry many times, because I kept making mistakes on a simple, run-of-the-mill form to enter my credit card data. I was dumbfounded. How can, in 2009, people manage to make such a trivial and essential part of online business go so wrong? As I guess you are as curious as me, here is what I found out: (See the picture for the 3 main pain points)


  • 1 the expiration date example is ambiguous: does 0903 here means 2009-03 or 2003-09 ? Why didnt they disambiguate it by also adding a specification (like MMYY, or, as it is a french dialog, MMAA ?)
  • 2 but today, it was not only ambiguous but plainly misleading! As we were in March 2009, I assumed that the example was built from the current month and year. I said cool, so it is YYMM. Wrong! it was actually the reverse, MMYY, resulting in one failed attempt
  • 3 ok, I filled the fields, and hit the OK button... and it just reset the page to empty fields! Grumbling, I re-typed the fields, re-clic, and... another blank page! After these two more failures, I tried to think (which is what you do not want your users to do, trust me!). I then read the button label and discovered that this big, prominent button alone at the bottom of the page was not the Submit button but the Cancel one!. I should have hit the middle one "Valider", but this button was not in the correct place on the flow of the form.

So,after 3 failed attempts, I managed to pay my bill. All this on a simple form with no fancy verification code or Captcha. Well done Telefact, I wonder if you can find a worse example still in use today.

Topic wiki name: Blog.Usability_issues_on_a_payment_form   |   Topic revision: r2 - 2020-07-10, ColasNahaboo - This page was cached on 2020-08-11 - 12:28.

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