If it ain’t broke, don’t break it.

Posted by Voipfone on October 26, 2010

Oh dear, SagePay, our payment gateway provider, has launched a new User Interface.

(A payment gateway provides the systems for us to take a credit card payment from you and then send it on to the bank. A User Interface – or UI – is the web page you use to navigate around an online service like SagePay’s and Voipfone’s.)

The new UI has not gone down well with users. In fact it’s gone down horribly badly, their user forum is in meltdown with complaints.

I have to admit to a bit of schadenfreude but mostly a lot of sympathy; we develop our own software too so we know how hard it is to get it done at all, let alone done right.

But the clue to success is in the name – ‘User Interface’ – and it, seems on the face of it, that SagePay forgot the ‘User’ bit and concentrated on ‘Interface’

By saying this, I have, of course, completely stymied our chances of getting our own new UI out successfully; but at least SagePay’s Chief Nerd can blog back in retaliation.

By the way, Chief Nerd is not my name for SagePay’s development guru; it’s how he signs himself off on his blog about the new UI here:

And here’s a customer’s response:

I’ve just read the report contained in that link, where the Chief Nerd rubbishes the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” saying.  He then goes on to extol the virtues of the new interface, using lots of techy words to describe what they’ve done. Well, guess what – we run businesses and simply want an interface that does what we need it to do. We’re not impressed by

“We’ve embraced Test Driven Development, Agile methodologies, Continuous Integration and parallel automated testing.

All that means nothing when you have failed to understand the basics of making an interface easy to use.  What use are “agile methodologies” when the production of a simple report has become impossible?  The blog reads as if it was written by someone so overexcited and wrapped up in the technology that he can’t grasp the basics.  He needs to calm down and start looking at his handiwork from a customer’s point of view.


Wish us luck.


More from us: