August 19, 2009

HP's Website is a Disgrace

How does a company with a market capitalisation of over $100 Billion have such a terrible website.

Say I'm a consumer looking for an entry level laptop and I go to hp.com.au, here's the first screen I see:



So I'll click on HP Home Notebook PCs which gets me to this screen:



Now, I'm a tech journo with over ten years of experience and I'm not really sure what to click from here.

I'll take a punt and click on the 'Compare the models' button at the bottom of the screen. I'm not sure which models I'll compare because I haven't selected anything but I'll take my chance. The next screen looks like this:



and it goes on. There are a total of 9 different models to choose from. I just want a fucking basic laptop. I'll choose the top one, the HP Pavilion dv2-1100 Entertainment Notebook PC series starting from AU$999 including GST.

The next page appears:



So I've already clicked four times and all I've got is a shitty little picture of a laptop with a disclaimer that says 'image is an approximate guide only' in the middle of the screen, a table whose only thing I notice is the text 'Ready to Buy'.

If I click Enlarge Image this is what I get:



There's another button that says 'Product Demo' so I click that next.

It comes up with a buggy Flash presentation, and only after watching it do I realise this notebook doesn't even have a full size keyboard.

I can't be bothered doing any more. If I really was in the market for a PC I'd probably have moved on to another website like Dell or something.

As a comparison, here's the Apple homepage:



Click on Mac and you'll get this:



and click on MacBook and this is the product information page:



Clean, clear, large images, lots of detail and one Buy Now button instead of three on the same page.

The HP website isn't an exception; all the PC websites I've visited are like that; cluttered, hard to navigate and totally confusing. Now it's a fair point to suggest that HP do alot more than laptops, but so do Apple and they've come up with a way of presenting their products in a way that makes sense.

The problem with Apple's competitors like HP, Dell and Toshiba isn't just related to the actual products they ship, but is as far reaching as the way they communicate their offerings to customers. I think they've all got a long way to go.