Benefits of Applying Usability
Many Web designers
create attractive sites, but a site is great not because it has great graphics, but because it offers the right set of features and functions to satisfy
customers and meet a company's business goals.
Usable Web Sites Can Increase Your Revenue
If your site has poor usability, it's costing you money. Recent studies by Jared Sprool of User Interface Engineering show that only 42% of users were able to complete a shopping task on 4 major e-commerce sites, despite the fact that users had placed a product in a shopping cart and were actually ready to buy. Something in the site prevented the users from completing their task. A retail store would never tolerate such low percentages. It completes pretty close to 100% of sales for every shopper standing in line. With better usuability, your site could potentially convert that 58% of abandoned carts into sales.
Interactivity Gives Your Business a Competitive Advantage
Studies show that when users engage in a site, they linger. Users who stick are more likely to buy products, subscribe to services, participate in discussions, send feedback, and actively support your products and services. By engineering your site for active participation by users, you are not just making your site more interesting--you're making it more successful.
Getting Users to Stick to Your Site
A key to getting users to stick is to provide interactivity. Interactivity is the set of features and functions you offer users on your site. Users who can act on your site and complete tasks are more likely to trust your site, trust your business, and feel empowered doing business with you.
Poor Usablility Affects Branding and Image
Usable Web sites actually reinforce branding and product image. A recent study of 5 highly rated retail stores showed that when users could successfully complete tasks on the company or corporate Web site, users where more likely to view the store or the company favorably. Users felt that product quality was higher, prices were lower (even when they weren't), and the company or store was more trustworthy. When users were not able to perform a task, frustrations grew and perceptions dropped significantly. Even when users had a very high rating for the store or brand before visiting the site, their views of the store or the brand changed drastically after experiencing a badly designed site.
The Right Mix of Features and Functions
Interactivity for its own sake won't make your site successful. The features and functions you offer must be appropriate for the goals of your site and your business. Some features are not appropriate and could undermine your site or your business. Chat rooms and message boards, recent studies show, are highly interactive but actually detract from shopping and e-commerce sites. Users who are on a mission to shop do not want to socialize. By putting chat and message boards on your e-commerce site, you confuse your user about the nature of your business.
Applied Interaction Design?
Not sure what functions to offer? Ask us. We have years of experience in interaction design and translating business goals into successful Web sites.
It's one thing to recommend solutions. It's another to actually implement them. Design Interactive has succesfully gathered user needs and analyzed systems requirements for many firms. Unlike other firms, we're experts in translating this information into practice.