Archive for December, 2006

Christmas shopping online!

December 12, 2006

I’m not sure whether this is worse than fighting your way through crowds in the city centre shopping area.

A day (if I can last that long) shopping in town – leaves me feeling tired and my legs and feet ache, but I would have possibly bumped into someone I know and had a chat and some Christmas wishes and in some bizarre way feel a bit of the Christmas spirit.

A day shopping online (and yes for me it does take as long)– leaves my wrist and mouse fingers with a feeling of RSI, my eyes tired and a desperate need for some fresh air.  If you don’t know what you’re looking for browsing for gifts is much more difficult. You can search for gift ideas, but generally you need to have some idea of what you are looking for. The Web (for me) doesn’t lend itself to impulse buying or spontaneous gift ideas.

Is this about the usability of websites or limitations you have with interacting with a PC? Probably a bit of both – the websites could be improved, but we are limited by our human capacity to sit in front of a PC all day. 

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The cost benefits of usable design

December 4, 2006

We keep hearing you can increase sales and reduce support costs by implementing a usable design, here are just two examples of why: 

  1. Tesco.com insurance. A friend wanted to purchase some home insurance; she got a great quote from Tesco’s, which gave her the cover that she wanted, or so she thought – she was not entirely sure if she read all the small print on screen – but she was ready to buy nonetheless. But then she couldn’t, the website would not let her complete the transaction. Annoyed that she had spent long enough on their website already she submitted a complaint and left. The next day she received a phone call apologising for the inconvenience and offering her the chance to buy over the phone for the web discount price.
    In this instance they were lucky as they didn’t lose the sale as she hadn’t bought another policy just yet. She took their offer and bought while on the phone. What they did do is waste money in chasing her for her business – if she could have completed the transaction online in the first place it would saved everyone all this hassle.
  2. Another example, again from Tesco.com trying to book travel insurance for 20 people that are all going to a family wedding next year. Tesco.com was so frustrating to use that they lost this sale and the person booking it went back to the travel agent and paid more for it, just because it was too much of a hassle to do online.

The point, I guess, is this – this is just two examples of one website – how many more sales are Tesco’s losing because people can’t seem to use their insurance website?