Although our GB athletes might now be raking in the medals, the official London 2012 and ticketing websites won't be winning any golds for its user experience (UX).
The ticketing site has come in for an awful lot of stick both prior to the Games and now during as spare tickets have been put back on sale.
In the blog 'The Usability Hell of London 2012 Olympics Ticketing'
author Nick Donnelly describes the site as 'the worst usability experience I have ever had'. He continues his damning assessment by saying that the site delivers 'layer upon layer of frustration, lack of clarity and the time wasting at
every level shows a complete lack of care and oversight for UX'.
I must admit that when I did go through the process of applying for tickets, I was left frustrated by the lack of clarity and poor design that had gone into the site. Although I did miss out on tickets in the general ballot, luckily I was successful in getting tickets for the men's hockey through my involvement with England Hockey so at least there is a happy ending to the story.
Now onto the official site
itself. Jakob Nielsen has completed a thorough assessment of the site from a user experience perspective entitled 'Official Olympic Website: UI Silver - but UX DQ'
. Though written from an American perspective, Nielsen makes some very interesting points about UX design. I have to admit that my default site for the Olympics (and for any sports news for that matter) has been the BBC
One of the last sentences in his blog really struck a cord with me as it has to be true of every website design and development project:
'if the customer can't find the product, the customer can't buy the product. Internet success requires good design at all levels'
Whatever your views on the merits of any of the sites, I hope Team GB continue to deliver medal after medal and I really am looking forward to my first-hand experience of the Games.
Come on GB!