I can make a difference on Electronic Components websites with your help.

Thread Starter

UXLab

Joined Jul 5, 2019
2
Hi all, I work for a well-known Electronic Component website as a User Experience designer. Our company, unfortunately, doesn't allow us to have direct access to users in order to find out what are the biggest issues with our website. Without being too specific about which site I work for (I like to keep my job :), would you guys mind sharing what are your biggest frustrations with websites like Arrow, Digikey, Newark, Mouser?
With your feedback, I can effectively have an impact on one of those sites for sure.

Thanks.
 

narkeleptk

Joined Mar 11, 2019
545
At the moment, mousers new home page irritates me. I like the old one much better. Now its the more of an add. Finding what I'm looking for easier is all I really care about on these sites.
 

Thread Starter

UXLab

Joined Jul 5, 2019
2
At the moment, mousers new home page irritates me. I like the old one much better and easier to get where your going. Now its the home page is more of an add. Finding what I'm looking for easier is all I really care about on these sites.
Thank you @narkeleptk ! that is very helpful. I'm curious, which Home page do you like better: Arrow, Digikey, or Newark? Is there a section on the Mouser's site that is particularly annoying or is more about the "design"?
 

narkeleptk

Joined Mar 11, 2019
545
Originally I remember mouser having all the categories displayed prominently. Now its just shilling for "New products".
It used to be simular to https://www.mouser.com/Electronic-Components/ vrs https://mouser.com. You also have to take extra steps to login with the drop down menu's. Before, the log in link itself was in the header. Beyond this mouser is a easy site to navigate and find parts.

Newark I use sometimes but its similar to mousers new home page where they have large space of the pages filled with products they are trying to highlight. The category and options list is small and off to the side. This makes it harder to find what your actually looking for. The site all around comes off as a big mess to me but I always tried to it because of ebates.

I have never shopped at Arrow or Digikey so I can not comment on them.
 

Thread Starter

UXLab

Joined Jul 5, 2019
2
Originally I remember mouser having all the categories displayed prominently. Now its just shilling for "New products".
It used to be simular to https://www.mouser.com/Electronic-Components/ vrs https://mouser.com. You also have to take extra steps to login with the drop down menu's. Before, the log in link itself was in the header. Beyond this mouser is a easy site to navigate and find parts.

Newark I use sometimes but its similar to mousers new home page where they have large space of the pages filled with products they are trying to highlight. The category and options list is small and off to the side. This makes it harder to find what your actually looking for. The site all around comes off as a big mess to me but I always tried to it because of ebates.

I have never shopped at Arrow or Digikey so I can not comment on them.
Thank you! Do you feel that the new designs on their home page where they're trying to give "more space" to the content areas are not something very appealing to engineers? Since I don't know much about what engineers prefer in terms of content organization I was wondering if that type of "open" layout is working against what the designers intended.
 

narkeleptk

Joined Mar 11, 2019
545
I cant speak for engineers but when I am visiting these type of shops I know what I want already or I want to dig through more specific categories with more information and datasheets at hand. If i'm interested in new products on the market I'm not going to be shopping for them or depending on ad space to find them. The main goal of these sites are to sell electronic components not inspire some new design out of me based off new products on the market. That said, mouser overall is still very clean so its probably more of a pet peeve on my end because I preferred the old site.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
7,916
Duplicate post???

The search function. I don’t have a clue how they work.

I specify the parameters of a component that is well defined to me. I get zero search results. I drop a few parms, and components show up that meet my original specs. But it’s not that simple. You need to try many permutations of your requirements before the perfect part pops up.

Or go to another site. Sometimes a set of parameters that don’t work at Mouser, works at Digikey.

And vice versa.

I’ve almost given up on searching for components on these sites and rely almost exclusively on recommendations.

I don’t understand modern search techniques. But I do understand parametric searches. Each parameter spawns a thread. As each thread returns a list of results, it spawns additional threads to combine prior results, either by appending lists (or function) or by performing a multiple and if the sub-lists. This search tree eventually results in one list, which is presented to the consumer.

I programmed this in a hybrid of FORTRAN and assembly back almost 50 years ago. I’m sure that modern systems can get this to work.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
Of the four distributors mentioned, Digikey is the place I go to first for a search.

A few years ago, Mouser's search engine was so bad that I would use Digikey, find what I wanted then check to see if Mouser had it. Usually the prices were similar and I stayed with Digikey. Mouser's has improved, but I have not been there since before April.

One aspect I like at Digikey is the option to search on "all" or only "in stock." The "Compare" function is OK but limited. I would like the ability to click on individual lines in the results page(s) to have them removed or saved. That would effectively remove the limitations of the "compare" function.

Newark is the last distributor I ever check. Past experience with poorer service, limited stock, and higher cost created that. I probably haven't checked its site in over 2 years.

Arrow is a newcomer to me. Last time I checked (Fall, 2018), it had some attractive features but no stock. I have not used its parametric search, but will keep it in the game in 2019.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
17,247
This is a subject about which I care less than nothing. In my view you're wasting your time and your efforts won't make a scintilla worth of difference.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,607
I used Arrow a lot when they had free shipping on low$ orders. It's slow, jumps around a lot loading the screens, not too bad searching parameters except for speed, and sometimes just locks up requiring exit and reloading the site. At one point I could not order until I cleared my entire browser history as it quit working.
 

Thread Starter

UXLab

Joined Jul 5, 2019
2
This is a subject about which I care less than nothing. In my view you're wasting your time and your efforts won't make a scintilla worth of difference.
thanks @Papabravo
Thanks @Papabravo, that's an interesting comment, but I'd like to ask you what would you think the efforts to make the site won't make a difference? If we can help engineers find the parts they need faster and with more accuracy, isn't that worth the effort? I'd like to understand more about your point of view. Thanks
 

Thread Starter

UXLab

Joined Jul 5, 2019
2
I used Arrow a lot when they had free shipping on low$ orders. It's slow, jumps around a lot loading the screens, not too bad searching parameters except for speed, and sometimes just locks up requiring exit and reloading the site. At one point I could not order until I cleared my entire browser history as it quit working.
Thanks @SamR, have you used any other site besides Arrow where your experience was better, or at least not as frustrating?
 

Thread Starter

UXLab

Joined Jul 5, 2019
2
Of the four distributors mentioned, Digikey is the place I go to first for a search.

A few years ago, Mouser's search engine was so bad that I would use Digikey, find what I wanted then check to see if Mouser had it. Usually the prices were similar and I stayed with Digikey. Mouser's has improved, but I have not been there since before April.

One aspect I like at Digikey is the option to search on "all" or only "in stock." The "Compare" function is OK but limited. I would like the ability to click on individual lines in the results page(s) to have them removed or saved. That would effectively remove the limitations of the "compare" function.

Newark is the last distributor I ever check. Past experience with poorer service, limited stock, and higher cost created that. I probably haven't checked its site in over 2 years.

Arrow is a newcomer to me. Last time I checked (Fall, 2018), it had some attractive features but no stock. I have not used its parametric search, but will keep it in the game in 2019.
Thank you for your reply @jpanhalt that is very helpful. You mentioned the search engine tends to be all not that great, if you could change anything about the way it works, what would you tell the developers to focus on?
 

Thread Starter

UXLab

Joined Jul 5, 2019
2
Duplicate post???

The search function. I don’t have a clue how they work.

I specify the parameters of a component that is well defined to me. I get zero search results. I drop a few parms, and components show up that meet my original specs. But it’s not that simple. You need to try many permutations of your requirements before the perfect part pops up.

Or go to another site. Sometimes a set of parameters that don’t work at Mouser, works at Digikey.

And vice versa.

I’ve almost given up on searching for components on these sites and rely almost exclusively on recommendations.

I don’t understand modern search techniques. But I do understand parametric searches. Each parameter spawns a thread. As each thread returns a list of results, it spawns additional threads to combine prior results, either by appending lists (or function) or by performing a multiple and if the sub-lists. This search tree eventually results in one list, which is presented to the consumer.

I programmed this in a hybrid of FORTRAN and assembly back almost 50 years ago. I’m sure that modern systems can get this to work.
Thank you @djsfantasi do you have a recent example of a set of parameters you searched for that didn't return results for you?
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,912
My first go to is Digikey, they have excellent service, I receive shipments overnight air and customs clearance included for Canada. Fixed charge $8.00, or free for $100 order.
They also have interesting engineering assistance, including KiCad libraries.
Max.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,607
Digikey not as good for sorting parameters, but better screen flow and maybe sort speed once you get to that point. Not much experience with Mouser. And Jameco, Spark, not so good. Good customer service experiences at both Arrow and Digikey. Digikey now my goto since Arrow cut out free ship on small orders. One thing Arrow has that I REALLY like is when I have selected a device it will show me lower cost options or equatable substitutions, especially for outdated semiconductors.
 
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Thread Starter

UXLab

Joined Jul 5, 2019
2
My first go to is Digikey, they have excellent service, I receive shipments overnight air and customs clearance included for Canada. Fixed charge $8.00, or free for $100 order.
They also have interesting engineering assistance, including KiCad libraries.
Max.
Thank you @MaxHeadRoom what is the reason(s) you like Digikey when searching for parts? To what degree does having access to engineering assistance influence your buying decision?
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
17,247
thanks @Papabravo
Thanks @Papabravo, that's an interesting comment, but I'd like to ask you what would you think the efforts to make the site won't make a difference? If we can help engineers find the parts they need faster and with more accuracy, isn't that worth the effort? I'd like to understand more about your point of view. Thanks
In a career spanning half a century, I spent very little time working with online resources. In larger organizations we had other professionals who dealt with component acquisition. We had face to face contact with sales reps and distributors. We had libraries of databooks and CDs organized to find information rapidly. In smaller organizations and working as a consultant it was perhaps less than 5% of my time. That is why I don't particularly care what you do with the online interface, because they're all different and it now takes longer to find stuff than it did previously so I just don't bother. I don't see a viable solution to the problem of forcing an engineer to become more autonomous. We lack the support staff we used to have and as a result we have become less efficient and less productive.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,912
Thank you @MaxHeadRoom what is the reason(s) you like Digikey when searching for parts? To what degree does having access to engineering assistance influence your buying decision?
The range of parts stocked, it is very rare I cannot find an item, or a very close sub. and as also the low cost of express shipping to Canada.
The engineering ad ons are a bonus, not a main deciding factor.'
Max.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,607
In larger organizations we had other professionals who dealt with component acquisition
Agree. I had to give the specification, not brand, and Purchasing was responsible for buying. Only if it was a very unique item would I have any say-so and then I would have to convince the purchasing buyer that no substitute was usable. Which was frowned upon due to purchasing supplier contracts. Now that I am retired and buying for myself...
 
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