Why do users who enter my website not buy? This is the typical question that many of the owners of a business try to sell online. Understanding “sell” how to achieve the final goal of the web, whether the acquisition of a product or the request for information to hire a service. And most of those who ask this question have not yet considered doing a web usability analysis. But…
What is usability?
By definition, usability is the degree to which a product is easy to use by users who must achieve the marked goal; with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction.
Keep in mind that the easier the user’s interaction with a website is, the more likely it is that the goal will materialize (purchase, contact … etc). It seems obvious but it is not easy to handle when you are on the “other side”.
Think for a moment about the next scenario. I’m going to put myself in the role of a normal user who wants to buy the house through the internet . I go to the Mercadona website and I find the following interface:
Note: The following information may hurt the sensibility of the Mercadona fans. If you are one of them, you may prefer to stop reading …
Just kidding 😉
Let’s analyze the user experience at a glance. The first thing we can see is an obsolete web design , with several somewhat confusing navigation options, which can mislead any user with questions such as:
- Dispersed information
- Unspeakable sequence of use
- Using typography by default, the styles shine by their absence
- Purchase conditions that are shown as one more option, when in fact they are general information
This is something that would serve to deter any user, subtly forcing him to abandon the process. Anyway, let’s suppose that I am a brave and I decide to register as a Client, to see what happens … .:
The thing improves, now to enter my address I have to go to a new page through the HIGH button. It is seen that they could not put the same form for the whole file, and then treat the data as it suits them in their system. But there is still the best, because once registered I find this:
I advance to your question: No, it is not that I have a very low screen resolution, it is that as you can see they wanted to put a lot of information on one page. The result, not very readable text and the following elements that are worth commenting separately:
- Purchase guide , which already tells us that buying here is not exactly simple. What’s more, my first thought when I’m forced to study in order to surf on a website, is to leave
- To find the product that I want , I have to display the categories shown on the left, which makes it easier to choose a product and is a bit tedious. How difficult was it to create a page for each category with images of the products? You can see that, but I go ahead to buy my olive oil:
Well, now that I have selected the oils section, I just have to read the full name or the details of the product (energy value, calories …). Yes, without a photo to identify what I want to add to the basket. Basket that you see resembles a notebook, this they have done the most innovative (sarcasm). And best of all, the price can also be seen in ¡PESETAS !! Sure, because this inferfaz is ideal for the typical granny who still wants the price in pesetas (with all my respects to the nostalgic of our old currency).
If in this step you have not stopped making the purchase online, you have changed your pajamas for the tracksuit and you have gone down to the supermarket next to your house to make the purchase, you are very persistent (or stubborn as you prefer to see it) ). Well, this would be a clear example of what Web Usability is not .
Do not you think these people are losing money? I would bet that, although many people probably enjoy doing trips to Mercadona, there are many others who would like to buy online and spend a lot of money a week.
I just give you an example of the purchase process in which they do take usability into account. This is Amazon , which is recently testing a Beta version of online supermarket (probably because it sees that it is a niche that supermarkets are not exploiting well). This is in the Amazon Supermarket department.
Well, from the outset I’ll tell you that, although there are things to improve, the fact that I get images when I go to buy food is cool. And if I sail a little bit, for example I go to the category Appetizers> Potatoes and vegetable pancakes, and I select a product, I can even see more information and the concrete image of the product!
With a very large button (of course, do not skimp on space because they do not skimp when it comes to creating pages), which allows me to add it to the basket in the clearest and simplest way.
But hey, something bad will have, sure that the registration process to buy is infumable …
This is, a form like the one above, with my name, my email and my password. As always, I will have to activate it and they will ask me for an address for the shipment, address that by default is stored so that I do not have to request it in future purchases. I assure you that if you sign up, the next time you will almost buy unintentionally . Well, that is precisely, to shorten the distance between the user and the final action that the machine must perform (in this case the web page).
“One of the fundamental principles of design is to omit what is not important to emphasize what is important.”
Dieter Rams, 1984 (Key industrial designer in the success of Braun appliance brand)
Come on, basically it’s about simplifying the interface with the user in mind , so that it’s easy to use. And is that many are the owners of online businesses that wonder why their visitors do not buy considering the money invested in a web designer. However, they do not stop to think about the needs of the end user, when this is the one to focus on. It is not the same to design a web page focused on teenagers, than one designed for people over 60 who start to enter the Internet through their new smartphone.
Although there are features of our website that we must always respect to ensure ease of use … (a bit of theory)
Usability precepts for a successful website
Make the website easy to understand and learn by new users. It is important to use a model that is familiar.
The knowledge acquired in the history of previous interactions should allow us to infer the result in a future interaction.
The user must be able to navigate freely, interacting with the website in multiple ways.
Knowing the state of the previous interaction
But how do I make sure to comply with these characteristics? Here I leave a checklist or checklist so you can validate …
Web Usability Checklist
1 – Various forms of contact on the page
As we said before, a web design has to be flexible, allowing several forms of contact to the user . Some may prefer to contact by mail and others will like the phone more.
2 – Do not show unsolicited windows
Although pop-ups or pop – ups can work very well when it comes to getting a user to register on your website, you have to know how to deal with this issue. It is very annoying for the user that the first thing that appears on a page is a pop-up window, when what the user really expects is to see the content. If you are going to include a pop-up window, have it appear when it’s been a while without navigating or when the mouse passes through a certain area.
3 – Make sure that the information can be used directly by the end user
You must present the information in the most useful and usable format possible , thinking about your target audience. For example, avoid having to translate all or some sections of the page, convert units of measure or date formats.
4 – Minimize the download time of the page
Minimizes the loading time of the page. For this you will have to optimize the size of the images and all the elements of the page so that it has a smaller overall size.
5 – Limit the use of user memory
It prevents the user from having to remember information from one section to another of your website. The use of Breadcrumbs or bread crumbs allows the user to know the previous steps he has given. This speaks of your site being synthesizable as we said in the previous point.
6 – Use the standard task sequences
Users learn sequences of tasks through the use of other computer systems. It is important that we take advantage of this learning by maintaining the sequence of tasks to which they are accustomed. This has to do that the principle of predictability that we talked about before. For example, users usually look for the confirmation buttons on the bottom right.
7 – Improve the credibility of your website
It is important that you help users to trust your website with information such as frequently asked questions , articles with references and citations, make the design professional , information about the author.
8 – Guarantee the best mobile experience possible
The visualization of websites from mobile devices (Smartphone, Tablets … etc.) Is now a reality. And our duty is to offer the best possible user experience regardless of the device. Therefore, I recommend that you use a responsive web design or that you provide an adapted mobile version .
It is also important to validate with the users each one of the initial versions to avoid that the investment in development is in vain, as well as anticipate the possible errors.
To know if you’re wrong is as easy as Try!
Later I will talk about the tools that we can use to achieve it, as is the case with Tests A / B.