Case study: Make your site feel more forced w/javascript

As an avid evite user I’m well aware that the site really works well for 95% of the people that need to use it. I’m also well aware that every regular user I know either dislikes it – or has no opinion. While there are _many_ people who really appreciate what it does: greatly assist in the planning of an event; a high percentage of those people are known to say things like “I don’t like Evite, there just isn’t a good alternative”. An overall “stationary store” feel with ads constantly being thrown at you and often confusing navigation leads to an experience that isn’t “bad”… it’s just… not good.

I was quite interested on firing it up this week to see some new looks and organization coming at me. After going through the process of sending out my weekly evite I get the distinct feeling that the goal was “take what we have and add ajax”. I’m not completely against this by any means – single components may often be singled out as great candidates for ajaxification. But when adding ajax (or any navigation changes) the goal should really be to _improve_ your sites flow – and I feel like that mark was missed.

Many things were added that seem like good ideas but just kind of don’t quite go all the way… breadcrumbing is good – but keeping an additional button that says “cancel” which means “step backwards in breadcrumbing” is necessary

Every week I use “Let guests specify date” – a process that allows all the members of my group to vote on what night of the week is best for the majority. Today, the “choose your dates” component popped up with js instead of being on it’s own re-rendered page. They did add the capability to say “next Tuesday” instead of finding the date which I really appreciate. but the calendar didn’t popup (and I don’t get an error). and my absolute favorite evite bug is still present: the days are not listed chronologically on the evite – this is just plain comical. I type in “next Monday” “next Tuesday” “next Wednesday” – and they show up for my guests in the order “next Tuesday” “next Monday” “next Wednesday”. At least now they’re in english which is easier than numeric dates that are mis-ordered.

The address book pops up in js/ajax – but it’s exactly the same as the old one.

I think I can pretty much sum up how I felt about using Evite last week – and how I still feel after the recent changes by just saying:  It’s a system that gets the job done – it’s really not bad. It just could be much better.


1 Comment

Filed under ajax

One response to “Case study: Make your site feel more forced w/javascript

  1. Jim,

    Couldn’t find your email address, so I’m posting this here.

    We’ve built a new Ruby app– and I think you will like it. It’s a product that does what Evite does, and so much more. For example: for your needs (discussing the date with folks) you can send out a “save the date” even before you get to the invite stage. Check it out at and then please get in touch.

    – Matt

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