Day#245: Vodacom User Experience Review

Day#245: Vodacom User Experience Review

Hey Uxers and for today I am going to do an overview of the Vodacom User experience I have experienced thus far. Firstly giving some general feedback I always felt like the USSD process was seamless and easy to navigate, however it seems it was changed and now I feel confused whenever using it. I think this may stem from a few core issues, firstly a lot more features have been added to the USSD process that Vodacom has and that has changed the way they lay content out. Vodacom could have ensured users were considered in the process by having open and closed card sorting activities, check out my post here on Card sorting.

Card sorting helps the business to understand how users see content and group content under nested categories, in relation to the Vodacom USSD process I had to run through a few different options before finding what I was looking for. Something else that frustrated me was that there was no “Back to main menu” option. This would then mean I would have to start the whole process all over again, which added to my frustration of not finding what I was looking for in the first place. As archaic as a USSD process may seem to first worlders in a country like South Africa where wifi is not consistent and data is expensive for the average South African having a USSD process is familiar and easy for a lot of people to use, hence why it is still being run with so many Network providers.

On another note something that also frustrates me is that when purchasing data you are met with an original amount which you select upon being asked if you are sure about your selection the purchase changes, Vodacom will state that the overall amount is the same however the data is halved with half the data allowed for the user to use during the day and the other half only to be activated during off peak times in the middle of the night. This reminds me of Dark Patterns (my post on dark patterns) a term a lot of Users may think people are trying to make something out of nothing. However ethically it is not clear at first that you will probably only be able to use half your data until you have gone through the first selection process. Granted you can still opt out of the transaction at this point but it feels sneaky and I would much prefer a more straight forward indicator of the prices. Finally and this really frustrated me however I don’t know for certain if it is something that has been recently changed or has always been a thing and I possibly did not notice. When you use your talking points to purchase airtime the various options are very odd packages, you are encouraged to get a combo of data and airtime. Then only after the purchase when you receive an SMS from Vodacom you are met with the spine chilling words “Only available for Vodacom to Vodacom calls” I just wished the process had informed me of that, it does make sense that it is a better option for them to offer that within their own network I just wished I knew that before purchasing because with that knowledge I would have opted for a different option. All in all its not bad enough to move to run screaming in the other direction from Vodacom, but the Network provider can work on ways to become more transparent with their users, happy researching until next time Uxers.

Bye for now!

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