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The Million Dollar Usability Correction

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Probably everyone dreams of making millions. For one company in particular, hitting the jackpot didn’t come from selecting winning numbers in the lottery. Instead, all it took was changing a simple icon.

In the article “The $300 Million Dollar Button,” a online vendor increased their customer sales by 45% when they added a graphic to alert patrons that registering was optional:

… they put a Continue button with a simple message: You do not need to create an account to make purchases on our site. Simply click Continue to proceed to checkout. To make your future purchases even faster, you can create an account during checkout.

Lotto Ticket

© Flickr user danxoneil

In essence, the company discovered that potential customers were turned off by the request to register; deterring them from following through with their purchase. To make matters worse, the button that was meant to benefit current customers was doing quite the opposite. Instead of streamlining the purchasing process, many were left frustrated because they couldn’t remember their login or password. Ironically enough, the acts of logging in and registering were not required for purchasing on the website—an extreme misconception that hindered company revenue and customer patronage.

The moral of the story: no matter how “user-friendly” some system may appear to the designer, success cannot be fully achieved until after a full review of stakeholder productivity and satisfaction. This is not an easy process, but one that is essnetial.

An important component that helps to bring positive and rewarding change is software interface design is the concept of “usability.” Defined as the endeavor to make an interface easier for customers to use, usability centers around how an interface design either enables—or hinders—an individual’s use of a system. As seen in the example above, the website’s usability was shortsighted in the eyes of the general public. The average person clearly did not have a full understanding of how the process was meant to work, but only of how it appeared to work.

When it comes to troubled business systems, AccelaWork’s business consultants use an analogous approach. Whereas usability focuses directly on the user, our consultants focuses on the process. When paired together, these two techniques can foster tremendous positive change in productivity and stakeholder satisfaction. 

 By having conscientious concern in regards to how a process works and how it affects every individual involved, ideal outcomes, financial and stakeholder alike, will be achieved effectively and efficiently. Contact us today if processes in your company are hindering business, lacking proper instruction or creating frustration with your team or your customers.

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