Why Does Seamless.com Violate My Web Browsing Expectations?
Ben Halpern Jan 31, 2018
Complaining about subtle interactions that stand in between me and my ability to magically have pretty much any food I desire delivered to my doorstep is pretty frivolous. But that is what I am going to do right now. It's a good learning opportunity and criticizing the user experience choices of a 6-billion-dollar food delivery conglomerate seems fair.
The typical flow of using seamless.com would be to land on the home page, search for the type of food I am interested in based on my location, select my restaurant and order choice and then check out.
Along the way I land on this page, the search results:
So far so good, but this is where things break.
I am not every user, but I think I'm pretty typical in this case. When I land on a page like this, I intend to
command+click on every restaurant that seems interesting and then I would browse each one in its own tab. It's a good way to keep track of my possible choices and make easy comparisons. This is how I interact with most any desktop list view, and browsing restaurants like is perfectly reasonable.
But Seamless does not want me to use their site this way. The
command+click behavior is overridden and no new tab is opened. No click style allows me to open a page in a new tab as I would expect it to. Seamless breaks my browsing experience.
The folks behind this app probably have a lot of good reasons for wanting to limit this behavior, but it does not make the interaction any less frustrating for me as a user/customer. I would love to hear more about their reasoning. Perhaps the native mobile app is so popular that desktop isn't even worth getting right for them. Whatever their reasoning, I wouldn't call my experience with their website seamless.
If you are building for the browser, build for the browser. Respect the expectations of the user. It's perfectly fine to augment the behaviors where appropriate, but do so with care for the user's expectations.
P.S. Never touch my default scroll behavior, but that's a tale for another day.
Happy coding ✌️