Network Solutions : Going against the grain of UX norm

The domain inventory of Network Solutions has been diminishing, since the introduction of competitive domain registrars.

The once dreaded $35 dollar fee for .com registrations has dropped to the sub $10 range, but even to this day, NetSol attempts to make it difficult for its customers to transfer out.

There are two levels of resistance that serve this goal: User experience (UX) tweaks that go against what is considered “normal,” and functional resistance.

UX tweaks involve the use of prompts in the form of buttons colored in the bold, darker hues that when clicked, will perform the opposite task of what’s intended.

For example, when one wants to transfer out a domain and thus edit its lock, the action button to perform the task is in faded, light colors, with the “stay put” action presented by a darker-colored button.

It’s all intentional, of course, and aimed at the psychological function of millions of people that for years have navigated the Web associating certain colors with a particular function; “submit” being typically the main action, and “cancel” being the lesser, unintended one.

With NetSol and their user interface, the roles are reversed.

Functional resistance is implemented by adding unnecessary steps to the process of transferring out domains.

As seen in the screenshot below, to transfer a domain out one must select the correct radio button, and unlocking the domain is completed by checking the box requesting the authentication code.

Alas, NetSol, ignores this combined request and breaks things down to two steps: first, the domain is unlocked after it’s manually confirmed. Then, the process must be repeated again a couple of days later, in order to get the authentication code.

NetSol ignores their own interface functions intentionally, and adds a time delay and extra step to the process, knowing that many transfer requirements will be misunderstood, existing requests will be forgotten and subsequently the domains will be renewed.

It’s one of the reasons that I don’t use Network Solutions, other than due to winning NameJet auctions; I transfer these domains out once the 60 day lock down period has passed.

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