Last Friday, Alli, Hannah and I went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with friends. But that’s not what this post is about. What this post is about is several related things to do with user experience.

Before the film, we went into the very excellent Borders bookstore here in Canberra. We all found things we wanted to read, and I suggested we go sit in the Gloria Jeans coffee shop inside the store. Alli was a little concerned, coffee on expensive books and all. The store assistant that happened to be standing near us overheard and responded with very friendly words to the effect that, “Take what you like into the coffee shop. Getting coffee on books happens. It won’t worry us.”

Fantastic user experience!

It’s not like we aren’t already huge fans of this store, but now, we’re even bigger fans.

My purchases at Borders were the latest issues of Fast Company and Business 2.0 magazines. I read the news published on the respective websites, follow the blogs and occasionally pick up the print version (Trees. Yes, I know.). I’ve been intending to subscribe for ages and once we got home, went to both sites to subscribe.

The cost to subscribe comes out significantly lower than buying from the newsagent or Borders, even with an overseas (from the US) subscription. The Fast Company process was a breeze – fast, easy, everything catered for. Business 2.0 on the other hand… Easy if you live in the USA, a nightmare otherwise – despite the subscription form inserts in the magazine listing an overseas price and directing you to the website. There’s just no way for a non-US resident to subscribe online.

Bad user experience.

Despite this, I still want to subscribe, so if anyone from Time, Inc. or Business 2.0 happens to be reading, email me and let me know how to do this, please!