Why some big companies still maintain bad UI for websites?

Last week I had an opportunity to visit ADP's payroll website. I have been using ADP since last 3 years as my payroll processor system. I never felt comfortable with their UI. The website is dull, elements are faint, no consistent coloring scheme and website is not mobile friendly, nor it is adaptive to variable browser sizes even on desktop.

Now I know they have an app on iOS and Android and maybe really pushing it. I know some websites like Quora, they may be maintaining really bad website designs which just sucks on mobile platform. This might be intentional since they want all the mobile users to use a native app. However, there still are significant portion of users like me who still use desktops and are not really willing to trade mobile website for an app.

ADP not only need to make website mobile friendly, but they also need to get rid of gaudy and flashy web 1.0 kind of stuff from webpages. There is lot of negative space which is wasted. However, it still looks better than the space which is filled with very poor design elements. Here are some of the issues I found on ADP website.

They may not necessarily be annoying to all the users, but I personally feel drowsy every time I log into it to view my W2s and paychecks

All the views expressed in this blog are my own. If does not reflect the viewpoint or perspective or my employer in any manner

  1. Usage of dull hyperlinks. Blue text with underline. Should rather use buttons
  2. Dully light yellow color in few places. This color is only applicable on certain part. Remaining screen is filled with white color which could have been filled with extra information
  3. The font is very small. There should either be an option to increase font size, or even better it should be adaptable to screen size
  4. When the user logs in, the home page is completely blank. Which looks unprofessional. Either user should be able to customize the default page or website should populate it with most frequently accessible items. (Such as PTOs, vacations, paychecks, W2s, tax forms and important reminders)
  5. There are few images on the page. Especially encouraging users to download their app. These images are extremely low resolution and dull. They stretch exceeding their width and unfit in the surrounding
  6. Uses lot of deprecated hyperlinks style. Should rather use fancy buttons which would react to user action and make relevant transformation
  7. Website would look really good if they standardize a theme. Designers can also use Color Palettes to arrange color schemes across the app in terms of pages and elements positioning
  8. Some areas of page still show placeholder text Sample Content. Not cool at all. Developer and designers are responsible for taking this dummy text while deploying app in the production
  9. As I mentioned a problem with images earlier, the buttons to navigate paychecks back and forth are very tiny and closely attached. I struggled to click them on the desktop. Can't imagine what will happen on mobile where users have too less space and need to touch with finger unlike on the desktop which is cursor point and click. (Which is more accurate)
  10. Lack of modal views. Every time I try to jump from one section to another, it takes me to completely different page. Not only it is computationally expensive but I lost my changes on the previous page. Navigating back and forth is also pain since many pages maintain needless states between transitions
  11. Website uses tabs to separate 3 sections namely Home, Time and Attendance and Pay and Taxes. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't using tabs on websites is yesterday's thing? Plus tabs are cramped in tini-tiny left space. They don't even take advantage of full width real estate on the viewport
  12. Many links open new pop-up window. Why? For security reason? I don't see Facebook, Gmail and Twitter opening those pop-ups. They are annoying since they distract you from the main page. Navigating between pop-ups and main window is pain and sometimes you forget to close those pop-ups which may reside in browser indefinitely for no good reason. Use of modal pop-up seems reasonable design choice here
  13. No progress indicator. I understand that maintaining timesheet and paychecks is heavy operation. It will be better in terms of design and usability
  14. Should load several other data asynchronously. I observed it on multiple occasions that website become irresponsive/hangs occasionally when you request or get into the section which displays too much information. Either early caching is an option or load the data in the background and update the UI progressively

I am not a designer, but these are the things I found problematic with ADP site. I appreciate all their work for maintaining payrolls of hundreds of thousands of professionals. But as a user I consider it to be my privilege to make a criticism on work which I don't find useful or comes in a way of my productivity

Jayesh Kawli

I am a web and mobile developer working at Wayfair in Boston, MA. I come to learn so many things during course of life and I write about things which helped me and feel like they can help others too.

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