The User Experience Blog

May 30, 2009

Benjamin Floyd, The User Experience. The Bottom Line: What Does It Cost?

Filed under: Uncategorized — theuserexperience @ 11:18 am
Tags: , , ,

The bottom line for all companies/organizations:  What does it cost?

What does it cost to create a great user experience? What is the bottom line? How can we create a great user experience without eating into our profits/donations?

Zero. Nada. Gratis.

That’s right…nothing or not much. Here is an example. National grocery store chains with the value membership cards which have been around for years. When I purchase items from one store, when I receive my receipt the cashier is taught to do three things (all in a matter of a second or two):

1. Circle my total savings today by using the card
2. Thank me by name (it appears on the receipt for using my card)
3. They inform me of the savings that I received today.

So what did it cost? Nothing. A mere couple of seconds. I was already signed up for the savings. But this chain is taking the time to point out my savings (so I keep coming back) and they are calling me by name (a basic psychological aspect/truth is that everyone likes to be recognized).

I now live in another state that does not have this grocery store chain. A different national chain, with the same membership value card, does not create this user experience. They do tell me how much I saved on my purchase but they do not call me by my name. And I remember. And I know the difference between the stores. And I blog about it.

So what does it cost to create a good user experience? Not much.

May 24, 2009

Benjamin Floyd, The User Experience. National Stores that Missed the Boat

Filed under: Uncategorized — theuserexperience @ 9:49 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

There are certain “given” items for businesses to have in this day & age. The main item is to have a web page. However so many companies miss the boat when it comes to their web page.  They dont stop and ask a simple question:

Why would a customer (or potential customer) come to our website?

Take a look at these 4 U.S. national chain stores and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why would a customer come to this website?
    > To buy something or look up the information for the nearest store?
  2. Why is the store locate button buried or blended into the page?
  3. Is it reasonable to expect that the majority of customers coming to this website looking for store location information or to browse/shop?

These national chains have the money to design an information rich website but lost the user experience. If a customer is frustrated with finding the nearest store location, what is their pre-disposition to the store? Or to coming back to the website?

Home Depot

Walgreens

Sears

Best Buy

May 21, 2009

Benjamin Floyd, The User Experience. 20-50% More!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — theuserexperience @ 8:43 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Has anyone noticed the latest marketing ploy being utilized by a growing number of food companies? They look alot like this:

  • 20% MORE
    More Taste Than The Other Potato Chips

  • 30% More
    Taste Than The Other Leading Mustard

I would guess that you have seen these as bloggers tend to read. But the vast majority of people will not take the time to read the fine print. It is a sentence that clearly states that it is just a number referring to the taste, not the quantity.

When a user approaches the display the LARGE print gives the impression that there is 20 or 30 percent more product in this package. But that is not the case. It is a random number that the company is using for the illusion of a better deal, which, it isn’t.

The user experience is this: A short term gain for a long term loss. Once people begin to realize that this short term marketing ploy is referring to something other than quantity, there will be backlash. John F Kennedy once said, “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names”! That statement will hold true for this user experience.

A short term increase in sales however people will NOT forget the feeling of having been “used” or “taken advantage of”. I know I wont. I find it insulting and a clear demonstratition of a user experience that can not have a long term upside.

In these tough times, people want a better deal for their money, not the illusion of a better deal.

May 6, 2009

Benjamin Floyd, The User Experience. Stop and Think

Filed under: Uncategorized — theuserexperience @ 5:12 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stop and Think

Why didn’t someone stop and think 10, 20 years ago for the following recent “inventions/improvements”?

  • Ketchup bottles being inverted, easy to squeeze, no watery liquid?
  • Baby strollers with built in bottle holders?
  • The customer service needed button in large department/box stores?
  • Square headed screws instead of “flat/Phillips” screws?

Why are manhole covers always round? Because over 100 years ago the designers stopped and thought about the problem they were solving. And the geometric shape of a circle is the only design that can be used and NOT have the cover fall into the hole.

When looking at your product or service, stop and think: How will the user actually use this product? How can our product/service be re-designed to make the simple change that makes a big difference in the use/outcome?

For example, why does a brand of shampoo and conditioner come in identical containers? Brand identity and recognition. Great. But why not make the caps different colors so you can tell them apart? Or a raised letter “S” and “C” on the shampoo and conditioner impressed on the caps? Why do you have to stop and read the bottle each time?

Stop and think.

Blog at WordPress.com.