Fast Company

Design: One Difference Changes the Whole Experience

Maybe you have heard that Microsoft has launched version 2 of its Zune media player today and for obvious reasons it draws comparisons to Apple's iPod. What interests me about the Zune is not the product itself, but the design of the Zune homepage. Obviously they took a page from the Apple handbook, which is a good thing, but there is one element of the page that annoys me to no end. Before I mention it, let me show you screens of the two sites.

zunehome.gif

applehome.gif

As you can see they both contain a large image of the product that takes up the entire page. I love these kinds of pages because they focus on a singular message. The problem I have with the Zune is that the image is not clickable. It takes me no where so I actually have to go and find where I am supposed to click, which happens to be a little link below the picture that is hard to read due to the color of the background.

By not including such a simple item I have already become frustrated with the site. Imagine how frustrated others will get? What is amazing though is that Microsoft really can not afford such mishaps if they wish to compete head on with Apple. There site should go one step further than Apple's so that the full Zune experience is something that brings customers back. Nobody wants to return to a site, click the image again and again find out it does not work.

This only goes to show that even when you get most of the site right forgetting that last 5% can make everyone forget about the good 95%.

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2 Comments

  • Paul Scrivens

    I agree that Microsoft did an excellent job with the features of the new Zunes, but you have to wonder how many people will find out about them the way the site is setup.

  • Matt

    I have to agree with you on the site, I bought a first gen zune, and I have always hated the setup of the zune website. BUT the features on the Zune look bad ass to me, automatic wi-fi syncing, come on, who doesn't love that!?