Un-concreting the Cow Path

It is hard for me to believe that it has been 10 years for www.dell.com.

Back in those days, everything about the website was streamlined—the information architecture, our vision and maniac focus on the user experience.  The site was an extension of how we naturally interacted with our customers … directly.  We tested the laws of e-commerce in those days by challenging conventional wisdom that complex configurable products could never be sold and supported online.  We innovated, we broke glass within Dell, we made a science out of the purchase path.

The unfortunate truth is that we ended up concreting the cow path.  We measured everything. We began designing and orienting the site around those measurements.  Over the last couple of years, we watched as our site became larger, more complex, harder to use, and downright fatiguing.  We ended up making easy very hard.  

It was time to go a bit back to the future.  We needed to get back some of the old risk and innovation (break some more glass) and focus on the user experience, organize the site the way customers want to use it versus the way Dell is organized, and provide comprehensive and inspiring information about our products.  Our goal was to do this in a consistent and uncluttered format and — most importantly — make easy easy again.
If you have been spending any time on dell.com recently, you may have noticed some of these changes.  Our journey is to continue to blend the science with the art with a focus on our users.

We are focused on making things easy again.  Love to hear what you think.

About the Author: Manish Mehta