Being User-Friendly Isn’t a Priority

| October 13, 2010 at 11:19 am
Being User-Friendly Isn’t a Priority

… At least, it’s not for some websites.

I placed my first order at Papaya Clothing. It was a nightmare.

Shopping at Papaya: The Negative

  1. Their search function doesn’t always work properly. If I search for “suede ankle,” it only returns the product “Simple Suede Ankle Boots.” But if I only search for “suede,” the products returned include “Suede Buckle Detail Ankle Boots.”

    So, if a user wants to search for something, only one word should be entered into the search field. If more than one word is entered, those words better be in that exact order in the product name, otherwise the search function won’t return the desired results.

  2. Even if the user is signed in, the shopping basket isn’t saved. I can’t access a shopping basket I put together in Firefox in Internet Explorer; I have to put the shopping basket together all over again.

  3. The shopping basket only stays live for a short amount of time. After that it empties, even if the customer is signed in.

  4. If the user is shopping without being signed in, the basket will empty when the customer goes to check out. That’s right: hit the “Check Out” button, the site asks the customer to log in, and then the shopping basket empties. That is bad.

  5. Most of the links on Papaya are javascript. That means I can’t right-click on a link to open it in a new tab.

    This is especially a problem in the shopping basket. If I keep the basket open because I can’t place the order yet, and I come back, open a new tab, and discover the basket has emptied, I can’t easily use the open basket to re-add everything.

  6. Checking out isn’t even user-friendly. A shopping site wants customers to spend money there, right? Well, some don’t seem to consider that a priority, and Papaya is one of them.

    When I tried to check out, after I entered all my information and clicked the final submit button, I got a little POP-up: “Error 2:2. This transaction has been declined.”

    What?! Is that a problem on their end or my end? What didn’t their system like? I waited and tried again. I tried not using my points. After about ten different tries, I gave up, went to bed, and tried again the next morning. It gave me the same error.

    Even though I didn’t want to, I tried using a different credit card. This time the order went through.

    So, instead of asking me for a different credit card, it just canceled the transaction and sent me back to step one of the process. Instead of telling me “Transaction declined because of credit card error,” or even better telling me what that error is, it told me “Error 2:2.”

    Never leave the user to wonder what the problem is.

I am so not happy with my experience at Papaya’s website. Their physical stores aren’t much better. It’s more organized than Forever 21, but Papaya only carries shoes at a few of the stores, not all of them, and that isn’t mentioned anywhere.

Shopping at Papaya: The Positive

I like Papaya’s item photographs. They have some very nice photographs and the system for looking at those photos (and saving them so I can look for the item in stores) is convenient.

UPDATE: I received an email saying that my order already shipped. They get major points for shipping my order same-day (though that doesn’t change the fact that their website and customer service are seriously lacking).

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    [...] Last week, I talked about the unpleasant shopping experience I had on the Papaya Clothing website. [...]


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