Web Design Principle: Make it Easy

One of the fundamental laws of web design is, “Make the experience easy for the shopper/reader/end user.” Don’t complicate things unnecessarily. If you are selling something online, remove any barriers between the shopper and the purchase.

Jared Spool is an expert in the field of usability and design, and the founder of a website usability consulting firm called User Interface Engineering. On that site he discusses one simple usability fix that resulted in a revenue increase for his customer of $300 milion in a single year!

The client, a major retailer, had an e-commerce website that required customers to register just before checkout. Returning customers were asked to log in.

Spool’s usability tests found that first-time buyers resented having to register. Many quit the process rather than registering, even though the registration process asked for nothing more than the usual shipping and billing information. Repeat customers often could not remember their login names and passwords. Many had multiple registrations created over many years. Of those who used the password reminder request to send the password to their email, 75% failed to complete a purchase. In short, one simple registration form was wreaking havoc on the client’s sales process.

On Spool’s advice the design team removed the registration requirement and made it optional during checkout. The number of buying customers increased 45%, and sales went up by three hundred million dollars in the first year!

Don’t think like a seller. Think like a customer. If there’s an objective that you want your customer, reader or subscriber to reach, then remove all barriers to that objective. Make it easy and your customers will thank you and reward you.

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