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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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
River 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.
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...
I have to book trains online quite often, and am constantly frustrated by the poor user experience offered by some rail operator's websites.
I've criticised National Express for usability problems before, but GrandCentral, which operates train services along the same East Coast mainline between London and the North East, takes the biscuit for poor customer experience.
I looked at price comparison websites on mobile yesterday, and found many of these sites were not up to scratch, have not released versions for smartphones, or in many cases have not even developed mobile sites.
Of the five mobile shopping comparison sites I looked at, Reevoo's was one of the best, and has now improved its mobile offering by adding pricing information from retailers.