All About Website Usability Blog – Holly Phillips

The coming evolution of usability, part 3
March 1, 2010, 4:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ok – so we all agree that focusing on the entire user experience, not just usability, is a good thing.  But why?  Is there any real return for doing that, or is it just something to make our visitors happier?

I’d argue that elevating your site to a place people enjoy going does indeed provide a financial return.  Take the Netflix example I gave in my last post.  If Jared now sees Netflix as a place to get into hairy discussions about obscure movies, he’s likely to go there more often, likely to try some of their recommendations, and clearly likely to praise the site to others.  And we all know that turning your customers into advocates is one of the best ways to bring in new customers.

Amazon is another great example.  Their customer rating system has one of the best reputations around, and people often go there before they make a purchase.  True, it doesn’t guarantee that people will actually buy from amazon, but it definitely increases the likelihood that once they find a product they want to buy, they’ll check out the recommendations at amazon and then check price and availability while they’re at it. 

So there is a clear financial payoff to including these less tangible elements in our design decisions.  Designing a successful and unfrustrating experience is good, but designing a successful, unfrustrating, enjoyable and engaging experience is where the real payoff will come.


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