Posts tagged with Usability

What is the best way to handle e-commerce registration?

Having looked at whether some of the UK's most popular online retailers are still making customers register before they checkout a couple of weeks ago,  I'm now going to look at the different options for dealing with the issue.

While I'm not in favour of sites making registration compulsory before entering the checkout, user registration does have its advantages; retailers can use the information to customise future emails, while from the customer’s point of view, logging in to the site avoids having to type in all their delivery and payment details again, making subsequent purchases smoother.

So what is the best way for e-tailers to deal with registration? I've been looking at a few different approaches to the issue...

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Charity websites losing donations thanks to poor usability - Nielsen

Charities and other non-profit organisations are missing out on online donations because they are not explaining clearly enough to visitors their aims and how they intend to use the money when they receive it.

Nielsen has been carrying out user testing of 23 non-profit websites in the US, giving users the task of choosing recipients by comparing a couple of sites in similar categories e.g. American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity, and actually making a donation.

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Which UK e-tailers are still making users register?

Making people register before they can make a purchase is a needless obstacle to put in front of customers, and has been shown in various surveys to be something that web shoppers dislike, and cite as a reason for checkout abandonment.

Plenty of retailers are still insisting on customer registration though, despite the potential for reducing abandonment rates and increasing profits by removing this step.

I've been having a look at some of the top e-commerce sites in the UK to see how many are still insisting on making shoppers register...

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Note to Next: don't make visitors listen to music

Chris Lake wrote about 50 ways to annoy web users on Monday, which included things like pop-up ads, slow loading pages, unreadable text, and other terrible crimes against usability.

One of the biggest offences for me is the automatic playing of audio when you arrive at a webpage, and I've found a pretty sorry example of this on the Next homepage today.

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Huge drop-down menus are good for usability - Nielsen

While regular drop-down menus on websites can be bad from a user experience perspective, bigger versions can improve usability by overcoming the drawbacks and allowing users to see all the options at once without scrolling.

Usability guru Jakob Nielsen makes this point in his latest Alertbox post, recommending the use of such menus to improve the user experience, as well as providing some tips on making 'mega drop-downs' more user friendly. I've been looking at a few examples of drop-down menus...

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50 swinish ways to annoy web users

I experienced a few issues this morning while browsing around on the web. I’m still amazed by some of the issues I chance upon in an average day, often on mainstream media websites.

As such I’ve compiled, in about an hour and a half, a list of 50 things that annoy me. Some of these things are plain bad design, while others are strategically dubious. One or two are to be avoided like a bad smell.

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Q&A: Leah Russell on the new Lastminute.com website

Lastminute.com recently launched a new version of its website in the UK and France, with new sites for the rest of Europe to follow.

I've been talking to Lastminute.com's head of customer experience Leah Russell about the thinking behind the new site, and the challenges of providing a usable website for different markets across Europe.

Lastminute.com homepage

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Ten things Ryanair could do better online

Budget airline Ryanair made an online PR gaffe yesterday (or at least some of its staff did) by its petulant response to the exposure of a bug on its website by a blogger.

Taking our cue from Jason Roe's post on Ryanair's usability error, I've been looking at some other ways that the budget airline can improve the user experience on its website and perform better online.

Ryanair homepage

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How to spoil your checkout process

I looked at VistaPrint's checkout process last month, and found it one of the most annoying and complicated ones I had ever seen, but now I have found a checkout to rival it.

Like VistaPrint, domain name registration company GoDaddy overcomplicates its checkout process by adding a ridiculous amount of cross-selling options that are sure to annoy all but the most determined customers.

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EEG: cracking your clients’ sub-conscious

Whatever the amount of expert advice you seek or in-depth research you conduct, it can sometimes feel that pinpointing why some online experiences are successful with your customers and some are not requires nothing short of a mind-reader.

Now there is a pioneering neuroscience technique that has been recently developed which, in the right hands, just might have similarly magical implications for internet marketers and e-commerce professionals struggling to unlock the true potential of their online channel.

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River Island finally ditching Flash site?

FlashRiver Island is one of the only high street retailers which hasn't significantly improved its e-commerce offering over the past couple of years, and still retains an all-Flash website.

I have been wondering for a while when River Island would look to improve the site, and Paul Rouke of PRWD has a few answers after attending a Q&A with CEO Richard Bradbury last night.

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Q&A: Ian Grant of Encyclopaedia Britannica UK

Ian Grant is the MD of Britannica UK, responsible for the EMEA regions. I've been talking to Ian about how EB has adapted to the internet, the threat from Wikipedia, and its plans for the future...

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