A rant about the horror that is TDC FindMMS

Ever heard of TDC FindMMS? It’s a service from Danish telecommunications company TDC. I sometimes receive notifications per SMS that I can view an MMS message online. It sounds simple, but TDCs amazing lack of putting any thought into the user flow, allows the rest of us to learn a bunch from them.

The flow of FindMMS

1. Receive SMS

“Oh, I have an MMS waiting for me? Is it the one I received earlier today? Probably not.. better go check this one out”

TDC FindMMS

2. Click the link in the SMS that leads to the website in the SMS.

“It’s a link, better click this! Because there is absolutely no reason for me to open a browser and remember a URL this long and complicated”

TDC FindMMS

3. Enter phone number

“No problem”

TDC FindMMS

4. Be asked to enter a code.

“Sure, I’ll just wait for the code to arrive”

TDC FindMMS

5. Receive code. Go back to message center to view the code.

“…oki-doki”

TDC FindMMS

6. Despair. BECAUSE OF THIS, close the browser window, ending the login-session, rendering the code you just received utterly useless.

“…But surely I can use the code when I login again…

No. No I can’t. Oh look, I received a new code…”

TDC FindMMS despair

7. Repeat frantically again and again in the hope that you can somehow go back to your phone’s message center without closing the session.

Hubris

TDC FindMMS

So... what can we learn from TDC FindMMS?

When you design a service for a smartphone, make it useable on a smartphone. Consider the integration between the phone’s apps and the site. This sounds so elementary doesn’t it? When you send users an SMS with a link to a site that automatically opens up in an in-built browser, don’t leave users with the only possibility to shut down that browser in order to get the code to proceed in the system flow.

The plot-twist here is that the FindMMS service was created with the intention of letting users save their MMS messages on their PC. I’m actually not supposed to open this link on my phone. I know this because I did some research. I had no idea before I googled the service, and I have been receiving these messages for years! The service could’ve been a nice gesture if it wasn’t so unclear how to use it. Why give me the possibility to open the link if I’m not supposed to use my phone’s browser? I just don’t get it.

TDC FindMMS exists somewhere between being a service for smartphone users and computer users. For a very basic service, it’s not really successful in being any of them.

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