Why is Microsoft So Bad at Creating User Interfaces?

cancel or allowHow can a multibillion dollar company be so far gone when it comes to understanding how people interact with websites?

What am I talking about?

adCenter, popfly, and adLab!

Maybe I’ve been spoiled by Google’s simple interfaces but every time I visit a Microsoft owned property, I want to tear my hair out trying to figure out how to navigate it.

I just logged into adCenter to get an itemized report about one of our accounts. Default reports do not allow you to set a specific date range, so you’re forced to go to billing. In the billing interface, you have to click on “specific date range” and are forced to use the calendar (cant’ just specify the dates). Then after all that you get an error message. Ugh. It’s not the first time I’ve been frustrated by adCenter.

A few months ago I was fortunate enough to be invited to alpha test Microsoft Popfly – I logged in, tried to look around – to this day I have no idea what the purpose of popfly is or what it’s supposed to do for me.

The third (but definately not last) example is Microsoft adLabs. Click over there and take a look at the interface. I’ll wait… You back? Good. Mystery meat navigation coupled with “double click to enter”?! When’s the last time you have EVER doubled clicked on anything online. Even when I was at FOOA, the adCenter rep who was presenting was frustrated with the navigation and laughed about how bad it was. It’s shame too because they have a few really great tools in there, but who will use them if they’re hard to find?

C’mon Microsoft. Google has been eating your lunch online for as long as I can remember. Make your websites like they were designed to be consumed by people, not engineers who are creating them. I’m rooting for you – someone needs to challenge Google. Hire some UI experts for crissake!

/ end of rant