HDB website with usability problem

Published on June 12, 2014

Whenever I use government websites, I felt like they are run by some secondary school kids.

Some time ago I was pissed that they support only IE browsers.

This time, while applying for HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) on HDB website, I encountered a big usability issue.

Let’s take a look at what not to do when designing a website.

I logged into hdb.gov.sg, click on HLE, and the page shows my HLE application status. In the instructions, it says that I can send documents via [email protected].

And so I clicked on that [email protected] link.


It says:

HDB is processing your application. If you receive a HDB letter requesting for document(s), you can submit the documents electronically via this e-service [email protected]

That’s all. Nothing else I can do.


At this point, most users will be confused. I was utterly confused. I know one guy in HWZ was confused.

I am thinking: I need to upload documents via [email protected], but yet I can’t do anything on the page.. and seems like HDB is “processing my application”.. What are they processing? Do I have to wait?

I wasted a lot of precious time before figuring out.

I was not at [email protected] page.

To access [email protected], you have to go to My E-Services (top navigation) > … > [email protected].


Learning points:

  1. If you have a [email protected] link, then please link it correctly to [email protected]
  2. And don’t give confusing messages