I have visited in Subway (the bread place, not a metro) once in my life, and I have to admit these guys could use lessons from simplicity. When I tried to order “one sub, please” I got answer from a busy salesperson “What type?”. I was like… “Umm, type?”. The manager noticed this and told the young salesperson to point out where the different types are presented. He did, and then I tried to decide whether to take barley or oat sub (or whatever choices they have, I can’t remember). I picked one, but it wasn’t the end of choices. I ended up answering to the following questions: “half or full?”, “warm or cold?”, “what kind of salad?”, “how about mayonnaise?”, “Garlic?”, “Dressing?”, “What drink?”, “Diet drink or normal?”, “What size?”, “Eat here or take-away?” and “bank or credit?”.
I felt almost exhausted!
All I wanted was something to eat – like “chicken bread” or whatever, but they made me go through a darn long process. I remember saying “yeh, yeh, yeh – put all that there” after the 700th question (okay, it might have been less – but you get the point). I went there to eat, not to get interrogated. Besides, in the end I didn’t have a clue how all this would cost me, because the pricing was so confusing with all kinds of extras, discounts and so on. Don’t know what the situation is in other countries or cities, but here they sure managed to make things complex.
While it’s good to give people the possibility to choose and customize the product for them, it might also be a good idea to give some sort of standard or basic options where no additional customizing is needed. Same lessons can be applied in games or other products as well: give people easy way to use the product, but have option to customize (or to use shortcuts) for more experienced users.
The good side was though, that Subway sure knows how to serve bread. It tasted delicious.