<< by on October 20th, 2011
Larry Marine (Intuitive Design) covers the 3 most common mistakes of usability and design of your website and how to avoid these:
1. “Selling” the Customer on One Page
There is a sales path that you need to follow and your site should be leading your customer down that path, not offering the call to action from the homepage….that’s waaaay too soon. Take them down the garden path, be aware of the user state on this pathway:
Awareness (understand the problems you customers have to cause them to seek you out)
Attention (the visitor’s mindset is “what’s in it for me?”, your response should be “how can we solve their problem?”)
Desire (your visitor is ready to take action, give them a reason to believe that you are best solution)
Action (they’re finally ready to buy)
Common signs: “Buy Now” buttons, nondescript navigation
Fixes: Be aware of different visitor’s need and help the visitor navigate through the site to find a solution to their needs.
Take an online flower shop for example: you know the visitor needs flowers, but you may not be able to just provide pictures of bouquets of flowers, your visitor may need to be sold on flowers for a specific occasion, or who they are sending flowers to, or a price point. Find out what they need, send them to the right place, then give them reason to want that product.
2. Wearing your Underwear on the Outside
Most websites are a reflection of how the company feels about themselves not how the outside world feels about the company. Most likely, your site is not organized to address the user’s needs.
Common signs: Having product sections or categories that focus on features and only technical verbiage.
Fixes: Focus your product categories on benefits or how the customer will use the product or by the problems they will solve.
For example don’t sell your camera by shutter speed, tell them that this is a great camera for taking wedding photos outdoors. Involve and engage the user
3. Fear of Commitment
Asking for a commitment – without giving something valuable, first
Common signs: Asking for an email address before showing them anything or telling them they must register first to use site.
Fixes: Incrementally engage your users. Remember, every action is a commitment, even just a click. Ask them for a low commitment, walk them down the path before asking for a large commitment. Personalization works REALLY well for this.
Back to the flowers for an example, browsing is a commitment, selecting the occasion was a commitment. But the return on that selection was huge because that yielded more personalized results…and all with no commitment yet!
In summary, instead of “selling” to your customer, provide the visitor with information to bring them to you and make them seek you out.