I have big feet. I’ll come back to this point 😉
I also understand why some data is important to collect in certain scenarios. Gender-based data can help identify gaps, inequalities, and all sorts of things.
But when I’m buying shoes, I do not want to be forced into telling you something (I’m not even going to get into the choices it’s offering in this image) that, for me, is sometimes irrelevant. And I certainly don’t want a somewhat terse red error to appear when I haven’t done what you wanted.
Understanding the data you need and how you will gather it is so often an afterthought by organisations, and the UX side of things is often seen as the priority.
By failing to understand how data fits into the customer experience, this company forced something on me at the very start of my journey that has annoyed me so much I just shut down the website and won’t be back (it’s a very large global company, by the way). They could have found out much more interesting things about me if I had started using their site and browsed. They would have quickly obtained data that should have given them much more valuable insights than me ticking a single box.
When we work with our clients, we get them thinking about data at the start of their product design, planning for their current needs as well as how this will scale and achieve their ambition. We ask them what they want to understand about their customers, and then identify the correct data to achieve this.
Not the other way around. The end result? A far better product for both the company and the customers.
PS: If anyone has any contacts inside any of the best outdoor brands, I would dearly love to have a chat with one of them about the total lack of products for tall women with big feet and how there is a huge market for better-fitting women’s outdoor wear in general. Anyone up for a side hustle? 😉