The Twelve Days of Usability


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Usability tips for eCommerce retailers and consumers.

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The Twelve Days of Usability

  2. 2. CYBER MONDAYAmericans spent a whopping $32.6 billion dollars online last Novemberand December, up 12% from the year before. With all of theseconsumers doing their holiday shopping over the Internet, how do youconvince them to buy your products?For starters, having the right products is not enough in the highlycompetitive world of e-commerce. Appealing to your consumersthrough a highly usable site will not only foster increased sales, but alsoprovide a pleasing experience that will lead to returning customers.
  3. 3. ON THE FIRST DAY OF USABILITYAn eCommerce expert said to me...
  4. 4. SELLER TIPA PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREESo now that your partridge (user) is in your pear tree (website), youhave to find a way to keep them there. So rather than putting that littlebirdy in a cage, why not use something akin to a bird feeder? Give yourpartridge the right visual treats and they’ll keep flitting around for more.That’s why a well-organized and usable site is the best way to keeppeople from abandoning their shopping carts.
  5. 5. SHOPPER TIPTWO TURTLE DOVESIntimidated by the idea of doing all of your holiday shopping online? Theexperience can be as peaceful as a turtle dove! Just think about it, nolong lines, parking lots, or fighting people over the last iPad on the shelf.Missing the muzak? Try searching for your favorite genre of holidaytunes on a site like Pandora.
  6. 6. SELLER TIPTHREE FRENCH HENSIf you owned three French Hens, would you hide them in the basement?Of course not! Similarly, there are three important things on your websitethat should NEVER be hidden in the basement, i.e., below the fold:Navigation, Contact Info, and a Shopping Cart. Don’t make users scrollto find these crucial elements on your site.
  7. 7. SHOPPER TIPFOUR CALLING BIRDSDon’t be afraid to contact customer service. Many sites now offer chat-based support which gets you off the phone and away from that terriblemuzak! It’s a great way to get answers to all of your questions regardingyour order.
  8. 8. SELLER TIPFIVE GOLDEN RINGSIf your company is golden, your site should be too. Security badges,trust certificates and SSL certificates are the bling of e-commerce sites.Wear them proudly like the mogul you are-or want to be someday!
  9. 9. SHOPPER TIPSIX GEESE A LAYINGVerifying a site’s legitimacy shouldn’t turn into a wild goose chase. Erron the side of caution, and never buy anything from a site that doesn’thave Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. This is represented by alock symbol, and the site URL should read https:// instead of just http://.
  10. 10. SELLER TIPSEVEN SWANS A SWIMMINGAn effective website is like a swimming swan: elegance is maintainedby a highly orchestrated pair of webbed feet. Now consider yourselfthe webbed feet. In order to push that swan effortlessly across thelake, you must provide the right amount of direction to keep that swanmoving. That means using headlines and helpful tidbits of copy to showshoppers where they are on your site. Keep your search function clearlyvisible above the fold and help your users find exactly what they’relooking for.
  11. 11. SHOPPER TIPEIGHT MAIDS A MILKINGMilk e-commerce sites for the best deal possible! Sites might havespecials or discount codes available that you’re not even aware of. Signup for their newsletter to be notified of special deals and use sites likeRetailMeNot to find coupon codes.
  12. 12. SELLER TIPNINE LADIES DANCINGWomen share their opinions about products online more than any singledemographic, so if you want to keep those ladies dancing on yoursite you ought to think about adding a review and comments section.Comments are also a good way to enhance the community of your site,while allowing you to identify your audience and encourage their input.
  13. 13. SHOPPER TIPTEN LORDS A LEAPINGTen lords a leaping sounds like the result of too much egg nog at endof the office Christmas party. Leaping around is also a good way todescribe the frenetic habits of holiday shoppers. If you know whereto look, clicking around the myriad of e-commerce sites can help youfind some killer deals. There are some great resources, like Google’sshopping tool that let you compare prices from various stores all on thesame page. This works both online and off, so be sure to rememberthat not all the best deals are online.
  14. 14. SELLER TIPELEVEN PIPERS PIPINGAct like the pied piper and lead your users through the shoppingprocess. Don’t set up barriers by making them register before theycan add items to their cart, and make sure an “add to cart” buttonand color or size options are easy to find. It’s all about making it assimple as possible for a user to find their shopping cart and proceed tocheckout, so think about adding express checkout options and one-click shopping.
  15. 15. SHOPPER TIPTWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMINGDrum up your approval (or disapproval) by sharing your shoppingexperience on a site’s internal reviews. Social media like Twitter orFacebook are great for spreading the news of a good deal to yourfriends, or asking about the latest sales in the area.
  16. 16. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!We’re Studio K&M, a New York based, full-service web and graphicdesign/concept firm. Our passion is to improve the user’s experience onthe web and deliver powerful online solutions that help drive sales andincrease conversions.Follow us on Twitter for more usability tips and updates! | 212.987.0076 |