|Why is your website valuable to your customers? This is an interesting question to ask, not from your perspective, but from that of your customers. Have you done any research into the way your customers view your website? How they rate the online user experience? How easily they can navigate around the site, add products to a basket, find technical or delivery information?
When you designed your web site, did you place the customer first or did you design a site that you liked? Did you decide to make it quirky? Were you tempted to think that by developing a site that was unique people would remember it fondly?
If you did, please consider this simple statistic. People spend 99.99% of their time online at web sites other than yours. People don’t like surprises online when they are shopping. Any time we create uncertainty in peoples’ minds we create the emotion of fear. Fear motivates action and that action is usually to seek a safer environment. This flight to safety means that the user will leave your site, most likely never to return. Users are only one click from leaving your site at any time. It takes a great deal of time and money to attract visitors, it takes remarkably little effort for them to leave. Please give this idea serious consideration when examining the design and functionality of your web site.
How can we improve the user experience?
Usability is the term we use to describe the overall user experience of interacting with a web site. Usability encompasses hundreds if not thousands of factors, some more important than others. Every decision you make about your website will affect the user experience and thus the usability of your site. Nothing on your site is neutral! Every detail on your site either adds or detracts from the user experience and ultimately your sites ability to convert passive users into active users ready to buy, request contact or fill in a form.
So stand back and make an honest assessment of how well your website serves the needs of your customers. Could it do a better job of helping them spend more money with you?