Nicholas Sorrell github twitter

#FedEx Needs Jobs I’ve been reading/listening to the Steve Jobs biography recently, and I’ve started to look at every process and experience through the Jobsian lens of “This Sucks, How Can It Be Better?” So, for those who want the tl;dr:

FedEx needs the spirit of Jobs, or at least someone who can see how bad their independent user experience sucks and fix it.

The backstory is this: I’m starting an afterschool programming club at a local high school. So after I created my flyer, I placed it on a USB drive and then I went to FedEx to print it out in color.

When I entered, I looked for the kiosk where I could refill my card. I put my card in, and noticed that there was no intuitive option to fill this card via a credit card. What year is this that people are carrying cash to then turn into digital currency? Why can’t I turn digital currency into more digital currency? And why do I have to almost punch the touch screen to get it to respond?

After overcoming that obstacle by scrounging for cash, I looked around for the computer terminals where I could bring up my PDF and print it out. Locating the computers was easy, using them was another story.

I sat down at the terminal and was greeted with 5 or more “services” that range in price per minute. Confusing as shit, and I start wondering what I’m here for… printing. I’m just here to print stuff, now where the hell is that option hidden?

Not one of the “services” plainly said “CHOOSE THIS ONE TO PRINT YOUR DOCUMENTS.” What an awful, dog-shit interface, clearly designed without any user testing and zero forethought.

When I finally found the “right option” the computer didn’t recognize my USB device. Great. And yes, it was formatted correctly and is recognizable on my Windows, Mac and Linux machines (FAT32).

And another thing: how many people want to go to FedEx to use those slow computers for all that other stuff anyway? All the email, internet stuff is totally auxilliary to what people go to FedEx(-Kinko’s) for - they just want to print things. If they wanted internet access, they’d go to the library where the computers and internet are just as slow, but free.

Dearest FedEx, let me tell you an open secret: people just want to print things, so get out of their way and let them print things. Make it intuitive, enable independence, and get the hell out of the way.

Thankfully, the staff was very gracious and awesome at the front desk, and took care of my very rudimentary needs. Or else I may have posted this experience on my blog with it’s not-a-positive-integer readership.

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