Planet Anarky – George's blog

George Rosier's portfolio & blog site – more usability annoyances.

December 29, 2009GeorgeAll posts, review3

Merry Christmas! Hope you had a good one.

As a result of a faulty laptop purchase, I’ve been looking at the rather splendid, but horrifically-priced, Mac Book Air. It’s perfect for my commuting requirements (i.e it’s lightweight and has a good battery life), but I wanted to find out how much it’d be on finance. How did I get on? Read on and find out!

The journey: trying to find finance options.

This is looking at one very specific part of the process, so bear that in mind whilst reading. This being Apple, it should be a poem of usability and awesomeness – and indeed it pretty much is – right up until you want to find out how much your monthly repayments could be.

Here we see the standard shopping cart experience:

Apple shopping cart

All good – so I want to checkout. Here we go…

Apple sign-in screen

…and it asks me to sign in – even though I’m signed in already. Why ask me twice? Don’t they believe me? Security’s all well & good, but this feels pointless. Plus it signs you out every time you drop out of the checkout process and back into the shopping area. Bizarre. Also, at the top of the checkout flow there’s a nice mini breadcrumb to indicate where you are. This is good, as it means I can tell where I need to be to sort out my payment options. On to the next step:

Apple payment stages

So I’ve signed back in, and…wtf? If you look at the breadcrumb I’ve skipped 2 entire steps! And from this stage, it appears there’s only one option: to go ahead and place the order! Hang on – I want to select Finance as a payment option…so where do I do this?

After looking around for a while, I find that if I drop back to the shopping cart stage, there’s a bunch of FAQs – one of which covers Finance. Nice…although when I click it, it opens in the same window. This kind of content feels like it should be opened in a new window at least, as it makes me feel as though I’m losing my shopping journey by going down another route – and sure enough, ignoring the browser’s ‘back’ button for a moment, there’s no link back to the shopping cart or checkout process from this FAQ page. Dead-end or what?

Apple Finance FAQ

The FAQ tells me to select ‘AFS Consumer Financing’ on the checkout screen. I found my way back to the checkout – was forced to sign in again on the way – got to the checkout screen (yes, the scary one where I’m apparently one click away from parting with over £1,100 of hard-earned readies)…and can I find the option to select ‘AFS Consumer Financing’? No. I tried for about 5 minutes, before eventually spotting it. If you look closely at the screenshot below, you’ll see the tiny option to change your payment method. Could it be any more discreet?

Apple payments option #2

I change the option to ‘AFS Consumer Financing’, hit continue and…I’m back to the scary, one-click-away-from-being-bankrupt page! Hurrah! Where the HELL are my monthly finance options? Not here. I resort to the Live Chat option on the right-nav – where I’m told that I have to call an 0800 number to find this out. How many first time buyers would want to risk hitting the ‘Place my order’ button without knowing how much they’re going to pay?

Quite frankly, this is a pretty shit journey for a giant such as Apple. I wouldn’t be surprised if a fairly large proportion of consumers (not businesses) prefer the finance option as not many have over £1,000 burning a hole in their wallets. This should be much more overt and easy to find .

Rant over! Enjoy your Christmas presents! :)

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  1. New Motorola RAZR2 RAZR V8 Unlocked Phone GSM BLACK 2GB - PDA Smartphone Cellular Technology and MoreDecember 29, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    […] – more usability annoyances. | Planet Anarky … […]

  2. sultanFebruary 14, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Nice review!
    How much much you ended up paying ? is it much more than the original price posted?


  3. GeorgeFebruary 14, 2010 at 11:38 pmAuthor

    After all that, I didn’t actually end up getting one! Apple, if you’re listening, feel free to send me one gratis as an apology for the shocking website usability?

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