My User Experience Review of Bark which is an online platform for getting Business Leads, if you are in the Digital Sector. Now whilst I think this website is great (obviously when you get some leads) it is really lacking in good user experience.
For example, take a look at the screenshot below. The filter section is quite poor – as I am unable to select via the budget. So if each lead (on average) costs me £25 and the job budget is only £200 then I’m clearly wasting my time. I’ve had a few leads from here, but the budgets are too low.
Also, it allows users to pay for leads by ‘credits’ and each credit is a different amount. For example ‘Web Design’ is only 16 credits (£16) whereas ‘Web Development’ is 25 credits (£25) – the thing that Bark haven’t realised yet is that some Customers do not know the difference. In User Experience, we always undertake User Research and when we do this we dig deep into the heart of the Customers to gain knowledge and understanding of what they actually want and understand. If Bark did their research properly, they would know that clever clogs like me here, would obviously just pay £16 for the person who wants ‘Web Design’. As you can see below, the person is looking for an e-commerce store and when you do more digging, you understand they actually want Web Development.
Also, it is quite frustrating that when you have submitted a lead and send a message via Bark, you never know if it has been read or not – which can make the site feel a little untrustworthy. The main thing you want to achieve and build is trust with your users, if you don’t get a response and no acknowledgement of your message being read, then you could just be sat there thinking “Is this a scam?” – like I was.
You do, however, get their email and telephone number which is a great addition. However, if you are like me I want to see what my Customers existing sites are like before I send a message and I need more information in the “Show more details” section.
Is this really enough information for me to spend up to £25 a lead on? This information is worthless, they may as well not show these details.
However, credit where its due. Bark is a nice looking site, relatively easy to navigate and the staff are very helpful and do respond promptly and did add credits to my account when I complained – so they have got some things right.
I do hope to see Bark evolve and become a real Market Place for jobs with some more functionality and considered User Experience… they will keep more Customers that way.
Would I use the site again? Yes, I would – to see if I can get any value from it. However, unless they alter their brief structure to be more informative, it may end up frustrating me wasting money!