Awesome products avoid WTF moments for users

My teammate @sregmi rightfully pointed out that awesomeness of a product is inversely proportional to the number of WTF moments in its customer experience. WTF moments can be characterized simply as blunders – those moments when your user’s first natural reaction is WTF, usually accompanied with a bad taste and often followed by bad-mouthing about your product. Besides avoiding such blunders, awesome products handle every error condition elegantly :

  1. Acknowledge that an error has occurred
    (deliver the bad news yourself and reassure the user that you’ll fix it)
  2. Tell the user how she got there
    (address the obvious curiosity of every user : “What did I do?”)
  3. Show the user how to get out of here
    (answer the likely question: “Now what?”)

404 pages aren’t necessarily blunders, but many websites make a sincere attempt to address 404s. Fandango’s 404 page handles it elegantly –

Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 12.05.10 AMSurprisingly, some of the better designed products also end up serving WTF moments:

  • You made a reservation on OpenTable. You reach the restaurant to find out that the restaurant is closed.
  • You keep waiting for UberX on the curb and it never shows up.
  • You are in middle of an important phone call and iPhone/AT&T drops the call.

What are your product’s WTF moments?

-Kintan