The hotspot user experience

UX, Product Design

Small Oklahoma towns have limited options when it comes to home internet.

My wife and I discovered this when we moved last year. We experienced frequent outages, sometimes for hours each day. We experienced streaming interruptions that made it impossible to watch a movie all the way through.

It was bad. This year, we finally cancelled our contract and switched completely to hotspot.

What's different?

The home internet was fast (in between outages), while the hotspot is pretty slow by most of today's standards.

The home internet connects as soon as I turned my laptop on, while the hotpsot takes a few seconds to enable.

Am I happy with the decision? Absolutely.

Here's the thing:

I prefer the reliably sub-par option over the option that's a gamble.

If an experience is outstanding sometimes, but completely fails other times, the net result for me is negative.

Going back to my example, our home internet regularly gave us fast downloads, instant page loads, and high-def streaming, but I still managed to end up with an overall poor impression.

When it comes to designing a user experience, opt for reliability.