Usability As Common Courtesy

In Steve Krug’s book ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ (2nd Edition) he wrote about the things that diminish goodwill on a web site:

***Hiding the information that customers want such as postage rates, customer support, phone numbers and the like. Some companies do this so that they drive down costs in their business or customer self serve. Other do this due to internal politics, departmental policies or simply trying to increase the stickiness of getting a sale! Best practice is to be open, up front and transparent to the customer. Make it easy to find all information.

***Asking the customer to format data such as putting a dash or a space in credit card fields. Best practice is to allow the customer to enter the data as they want & then write a program to convert it into your system requirement.

***Asking for information that is not relevant. Don’t ask for marketing information if it isn’t relevant. Who has got fed up trying to set up an Amazon account. Keep it quick & punchy, then as you develop the relationship ask for more information & incentivise for it.

***Too much sizzle. Get rid of the long to load flash intros, no-one wants to see it.

However, there is another golden rule…if your customers actually like flash, like long sign up processes, want to key the data in the right format or like to search for information, then DON”T CHANGE IT. If it works for you and your customers and gets the results you need, then don’t change, but if you can get a better result through a test and learn phase then make the change towards better usability.

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