When I took over buyer duties at the shop, I was quick to embrace using the online ordering option from QBP, one of North America’s biggest cycling product distributors. What made it for me was speed with which I could create an order, save it, and then add on to it before actually submit. That website plus QBP’s broad product selection without a doubt were responsible for QBP becoming my shop’s number one parts vendor despite having 2 local competing distributors in the greater Seattle area.
Very recently, QBP heavily revised their website “with a modern interface that is easier to use, more flexible and faster to navigate.”
This move fills me with the burning rage of a billion f###ing suns. More steps to find information, more scanning up-down to find information, robust yet rarely used features in the beginning of menus, etc. Whereas before I could run from the mechanic’s station and quickly add an item to an order, now I sift through features that I’ll never use. Essentially, the website might be friendlier to a novice who might want to explore, but it’s infuriating to someone who is experienced. And some things seem ridiculous: the default organization for tubes after selecting a brand is by price, not ISO size, not width, and not stem length except by coincidence. So a tube size 18” might follow a 700C size, in turn to be followed by a 650B.
This reminds me of how Velonews.com and Cyclingnews.com both chose nearly unreadable web layouts in the past year or so. With “online magazines”, I figure part of the reorganization is to offer advertisers better exposure, so I I can forgive them (just) a little. But with QBP, I AM the money. I guaranty that they will receive less of my shop’s business. And I don’t even need to do this as spite, because they just made it harder for me to buy stuff from them.