Jitendra Madhav Ramchandani

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"If you can dream it, you can do it."

August 04, 2007

burrp! usability

Burrp! got a new look in April. Definitely it looks better now.

I spent some time with the website, checking user-friendliness & some usability and found some points that can be addressed.

Home page
No login facility is available; I can only login either after searching something or going to a city specific page. Why so? Are logins based on cities? If not then it should be available from the first page itself. I don’t know if the developers have some genuine reason for this.

Global > Font size and colors
Text is displayed in many different font sizes on a single page. Up to 7 different font sizes have been used. And in the Home page even the text is shown in seven different colors. I think there must be limited usage of font sizes and colors.

Global > Top navigation (Except the home page)

Advertisement Banner
The advertisement on the top disturbs reading especially in lower resolutions.

Top bar
The top bar is too small in height and the font sizes too are very small. While the other content has bigger fonts, such differences are torture for the end-users. The whole website has font-size issues, exception here is the Footer.

Global > Footer > Find
The ‘Find’ in footer must be an option available on the top somewhere.

Search > Restaurants List page
The “+” sign is not explanatory; it symbolizes some food reviews behind. Clicking the very small ‘+” sign is a torture when the page is populated by large headings and texts all over. Instead of “+” sign the whole “sky blue” row should be clickable.

Search > Restaurants List page > Restaurant page
One has to read the whole information in order to get the specific one; the information is not visually placed well.

Tags
Tags must be sized as per the user review and popularity. At present all the tags are of same size hence the user has to individually go through the reviews. If the tags are sized as per the best things available then users just need to look at the tag sizes and predict the popular food there.

Review
The restaurant review section looks like footer of the page unless the user does not look at the text written there. It should be shown in a different background color (other then white), at present it looks like the page is ended after blue background (i.e., the restaurant details).

If a restaurant has 8 reviews, with 4-8 lines of each review, who will read 6 (avg of 4-8) x 8 = 48 lines of reviews just to know the best thing in restaurant. Hence tags can provide fast information.

Menu (Food items menu)
Apart from the users’ review the restaurant menu must also be available. This menu should be appendable by users. So that he/she can add things/items even if they don’t want to say good or bad about any item they will be able to add items in the restaurant menus. This info can be helpful for users who want to know what’s available in the restaurant instead of going through the whole reviews.

Contact details
Fax, website, email, timings, branch details must also be given.

Review Summary
In short, a very few Indian startups have actually worked on the User Interfaces. Burrp look and feel is good and impressive. But it still seems like a website of the developer, it has to be a more like a user’s site.

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