Saturday, December 20, 2008

Totally awful website design

I had reason to write to Revlon about their Mitchum Smart Solid anti-perspirant product. There's no information on the package that I saw for how to contact the appropriate person. And the only information I could find about the corporation behind the product was a small notice, in about 4.5-point type, that said "©Revlon Cons. Prod. Corp." So I typed into my browser and looked for an appropriate link that might lead me to an e-mail address. Happily, at the bottom of the page, there was a "Contact Us" link.

I went to the page and filled it out.

I should have paid closer attention (click on photos to see them at full size):

I probably shouldn't complain about being required to indicate whether I am male or female and, if female, prefer to be known as Ms., Miss or Mrs.

But "House Number"? I didn't even think twice about that one. You're asked for that kind of information when you live in an apartment, aren't you? And "Street"? What's that? I gave them my street!

Oh! No! They want me to spread my information like this:

Crazy! I've never seen anything like this before.

But particularly irksome: 255 characters to communicate a complete message? That's fine for professional writers; but what do they expect to the average consumer to do? And what are we supposed to do if our problem is somewhat complex, or we would like to "gush" about something that pleases us?

I found the entire experience quite frustrating.

After I had posted my concern, I did a little more hunting on the Revlon site and noticed that no Mitchum products were listed anywhere.

"Oh, no! Did I just send a message to the wrong company?"

So I did a Google search on Mitchum Smart Solid anti-perspirant.

Oh! There is a separate Mitchum site.

And what a joy that was to visit! (Not!)

First thing: my ears were assaulted with an astonishingly loud noise. (I have my speakers or earphones on all the time anyway, because I enjoy listening to music while I'm working. But this was two or three times as loud as what I'm used to.) It was the sound of concert hall crowd with the orchestra tuning up--the kind of noise you might hear 10 or 15 minutes before the performance begins. And almost simultaneously with the noise, I saw a stage curtain . . . which rose upon a darkened stage while about a dozen formally-attired musicians appeared.

Eventually, when the entire tableau had been set--and the cacophony continued to sound in my ears--I was greeted with this image:

Yep! That's it! The entire Mitchum home page.

And if you dare enter, you won't find any truly deep, thoughtful or useful information about the company or its products. No contact information. Terrible navigation that doesn't even permit you to "go back" to anything you've seen previously. . . .

Nothing, really, . . . except an adolescent "game" in which you can have the "musicians" create "music" with their armpits.

And this is quality marketing?


Oh. I should probably mention one last thing that really bothered me.

Considering what I am involved with on my other, "professional" blog, I was intrigued by the title of a link called All About Giving. "I wonder what they have to say? I wonder what Revlon's philosophy and approach may be?"

Perhaps you'll be as amazed and surprised as I was at what All About Giving had to say. Or not.

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