submit to reddit


“About half of all people who visit a commercial Web site intending to buy something give up because, above all, they are confused—by product descriptions, navigation and checkout procedures.”

That’s the lead of a Newsweek story about the various ways retailers are trying to help consumers. The answer? “…confusion-indexing programs” from companies like Live Person and 24/7. Oy vey!

“Web users have always been ruthless and now are even more so,” said Jakob Nielsen told the BBC.
“People want sites to get to the point, they have very little patience,” he said.

Nielsen attributes the problem with retailers trying to make their sites stickier by adding features like widgets and other applications that he says just make pages take longer to read, and therefore, to take shoppers where they want to go.
The problem isn’t caused by widgets. You want to buy something here? I dare you to find it. Or here? Or here?
Wouldn’t you rather shop here? Or here?
A few hundred grand spent on confusion indexing isn’t the answer! Retailers, look at your sites! There’s more to usability than speed. Some of the biggest offenders:
o flashturbation
o bad organization
o six-click ordering
o lousy site search
o making people register to place an order (the single worst practice on the internet in my opinion) and other annoying and widespread practices make a lot of online shopping experiences easy to hate.
Hat tip to Judy Vorfeld