Jason Fried

September 14, 2022

It's not an experience

Alto.com is a wonderful pharmacy that offers same day delivery. I have nothing but great things to say about them.

But they're following a pattern I'm seeing far too often these days. They're trying to track everything, and asking people to attribute "experience" to things that are mere, routine happenings. Most things just don't need to be rated.

For example, after a recent delivery, I got this text message:


They ask me to rate my "experience". Thing is, I didn't have an experience. The delivery person just left the package by the mailbox and I grabbed it when I got home. And what does it mean to even rate a delivery like this? It showed up, it was correct... Is that a 5-star experience? Would it only be worth 3 stars if the package was lying on the ground instead of propped up against the wall? There isn't enough there there to even establish a value.

If you're going to ask anything, a more apt question might be "Did the correct prescription show up on time?" Then I can answer yes or no. But rate the experience? And every time I get a prescription, it's the same question about the experience.

I know what they're getting at, and I'm probably belaboring the point, but I'm seeing this everywhere and I can't help but think it's generating data that's incompatible with the actual situation. Being asked to rate minutia with a 10-point scale, and ascribe depth of an experience to something that's effectively flat and one dimensional, is overshooting the goal.


About Jason Fried

Hey! I'm Jason, the Co-Founder and CEO at 37signals, makers of Basecamp and HEY. Subscribe below to follow my thinking on business, design, product development, and whatever else is on my mind. Thanks for visiting, thanks for reading.