Having to visit a website repeatedly before it works is not a plus

I thought it was very strange that in President Obama’s speech about the problems with Healthcare.gov, he bragged that the number of total visits was proof of its popularity.

He proudly proclaimed, “It’s really good. And it turns out there’s a massive demand for it. So far, the national website, healthcare.gov, has been visited nearly 20 million times.”

Yet just a few moments later, he admitted even those who have successfully signed up so far have needed to repeatedly visit the site before they were able to make a purchase. Obama said, “So you just heard Janice’s story. She owns her own small business. She recently became the first woman to enroll in coverage through Delaware’s exchange. And it’s true. It took her a few tries.

So an important reason the site has so many visits is that the same people are forced to visit it over and over again. That is not something to brag about, that is just another sign of how bad the problem is. Twenty million visits is not proof of popularity, it is proof of dysfunction.

You really shouldn’t try to use something that is actually a result of technical incompetence as a positive talking point.