Archive for November, 2006

Usable design improves credibility

November 28, 2006

I recently attended the Content Usability 1 & 2 seminars presented by John Morkes at the Nielson Norman group’s user experience 2006 event held in London. 

John Morkes gave a number of useful examples of websites and studies that relate to usability of websites and how good usability leads to a website’s credibility. Credibility is extremely important to a website’s success, especially in the current age where users are increasingly concerned about giving out personal details over the web. This basically means, if they don’t trust a website then they are less likely to buy or visit again – they will just stick to the sites they know and trust. 

A study by Fogg et al suggests that “creating websites that are easier to use, increases its credibility” For more information about this study read the following report http://captology.stanford.edu/pdf/p61-fogg.pdf. The point here is that you cannot underestimate the importance of ensuring that your website is easy to use. I have spoken before about companies losing out in sales or audiences because of poor usability, but it is greater than just losing sales: a company puts its reputation on the line by having a website that is difficult to use.

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online booking forms

November 20, 2006

It has been a couple of weeks since I was last here – I could blame the fact that I got so annoyed when I lost my post last time, but that would be a slight exaggeration. I have just been really busy, which is a very poor excuse indeed. But I’m now back, so here we go; the first moan of the week.

I was going to talk about online booking forms. Why do British Airways make you guess which destinations they fly to? I know they probably fly to most destinations but I bet not from every airport. I was trying to find out whether they fly from London Gatwick to Cyprus. If I go to Easyjet and select Gatwick from the departing from dropdown list, it automatically populates the destinations you can choose from (listing only those that you can get to from Gatwick). However with BA you select the departing airport and then have a free text field to input the airport code or city I want to go to.  There are three problems here.

  1. How do I know what the airport code is?
  2. I’m left guessing whether they actually fly into
    Cyprus.
  3. What cities are in
    Cyprus?

So I took a chance and just entered Cyprus and got an error message ‘There are several close matches for your airport name. Please select the one you require from the pull down menu and resubmit your request’. So now I get a drop down list with the cities they fly into. So why don’t they just do this at the beginning?

online booking forms

November 2, 2006

Well, I had just written an article about airline websites and having to guess destinations, clicked publish and wordpress lost my article! so I’m totally frustrated and will leave my post until tomorrow and do it again! 😦