When User Interfaces Go Wrong

I love when you find a site that just captures your imagination. Something that’s fun to explore and interact with, something you could spend hours engrossed in. I thought that’s what this site was...until I started actually trying to use it.

I love when you find a site that just captures your imagination. Something that's fun to explore and interact with, something you could spend hours engrossed in. I thought that's what this site was...until I started actually trying to use it.

It's called Universeries, by Orange Cinéma Séries. It's a lovely idea. Explore the creators of your favourite TV shows - find out who inspired them and what they've worked on before. It has little planet graphics that all link up to each other, which sounds like a fun way to click through to each person and explore how everything is linked up. But something has gone wrong along the way. The interface is almost unfathomable. It's clunky and awkward, difficult to navigate.

I had a lot of trouble understanding what it was actually doing when I clicked on something, and it has complicated filters that are difficult to use and understand too. Occasionally, connecting lines appear between the planets but they disappear as soon as you click something, then other animations start which are distracting and confusing. There are also mini profiles when you click on a planet, but the angle animations when you move the mouse make it very difficult to read.

There seems to be such a large resource of information to explore but I'm left disappointed. Nice idea, badly executed and very frustrating.

This site shows us how important it is to think about the user experience. It can be a real challenge to develop a site that allows the user to interact with large amounts of information like this, but thinking about how the user would explore the site and what kind of information they would want to see would have been a great starting point. This would then have allowed them to create an interface that made exploring the information much more pleasurable.