Peter VanRysdam / Digital Strategy / November 2nd, 2010

Usability Tip: Keep In Mind Your Customers May Be Idiots

What great timing…we’re hosting a webinar later this month on Website usability, and then this gem of a story pops up which really shows the importance of the topic. More on the webinar in a second. So the article from Silicon.com talks about how expedia.com made one simple change to a form that resulted in an additional $12MM in revenue. So of course you’re thinking there was some horrible captcha feature on there or they required you to give them a blood sample or something that would keep people from compeleting the checkout. It’s much, much stupider than that. Here’s an excerpt from the article: “We had an optional field on the site under ‘Name’, which was ‘Company’,” Expedia’s VP of global analytics and optimisation Joe Megibow said. “It confused some customers who filled out the ‘Company’ field with their bank name.” After putting in their bank name, these customers then went on to enter the address of their bank, rather than their home address, in the address field. “When it came to address verification to process the credit card, it failed because it was not the address of credit card holder,” Megibow said. Wow, right? They went on to say this was one of 50 or 60 little things they identified to fix, and the result was $12MM more in sales. This also explains the recent surge in idiots on airplanes, but I digress. So what does this mean for you? It means if you’re website wasn’t designed with a keen eye on usability, you might be leaving some money on the table. Most of us don’t have $12MM lying in the couch cushions, but optimizing your site’s flow and call to action could mean a few more sales, leads, or calls each week. With that in mind, we’re hosting a free webinar November 17th that will go over the basics principles of website usability. Once that’s out of the way, we’re going to do live critiques on attendees’ sites. When you register, just let us know if you want us to review your site during the webinar. It’s ok if you just want to listen too. Either way, we’d love to have you there. Don’t do it for us…do it for your website!