TJ Maxx - UX


Visiting a store is not all that different from visiting a website. What makes me want to stay is the user experience.

TJ Maxx really gets it right. The minute I walk in I'm surrounded by pleasant views. The racks look like a forest of different sized trees, drooping with colorful leaves.

The lights are just right - not too bright and not too dim. In the dressing rooms I don't look green and scary in the mirror. The prices are great, too. But that's not the real reason I like to shop at TJ Maxx.

Here's why: they turn down the volume of the "music".

It seems as if most other stores work hard to make sure the customer feels depressed while shopping. The airwaves are filled with endless wailing "songs" about pain and misery. Some other person is not doing right and the singer wants you to know about it. Not just softly in the background, either.

"Say something, I'm giving up on you" repeats over and over while I'm looking for arugula. I can't focus on my list, just this horrid phrase which has taken over my brain like a virus in a computer. Ok, ok, I'm giving up on you, arugula.

"But he means nothing to you and you don't know why", and I don't know why I'm in the frozen food aisle. Or why he means nothing to me or why I'm even in this awful store.

The absolute worst, which gets played all the time, everywhere, is "The first cut is the deepest". Ackkkk! Seriously?!? Let me out of here!!!

Once in a while the store will stop the music for a moment to talk about a sale. What a relief! Then it's right back to audible anguish.

I have read that there is "scientific" research that says people buy more stuff when they are sad. Is that why this is happening? I suspect that lots of customers would just like to buy stuff without feeling miserable. Or grossed out.

Since Amazon appears to be gobbling up the retail business, I wonder if the music has anything to do with it. Maybe what is needed is some "Sounds of Silence".

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