Lessons in Usability from Apple.com, Dell.com, and Bestbuy.com!
1. Put your customers first in site design.
2. Guide your customer’s actions.
3. Write on-site content that appeals to the emotions and needs of the customer.
Put Your Customer’s First in Site Design
Is there any question what Apple.com is trying to sell?
What action do you think Apple.com is trying to get its users to take when they land on their website?
With the recent launch of the Ipad, Apple is doing everything they can to promote their new product to maximize sales. They also know that due to the recent launch, most people that will be visiting their website will be looking for one thing: the Ipad. They are putting their users first and designing their website in such a way to make it extremely easy for their customers to find exactly what they are looking for. This is a great example of putting your customers first in site design. Apple anticipated what their customers were going to be searching for on their site and made it dead easy to find it.
Very first questions to ask is who are they targeting and what are they selling?
It is not clear who Dell.com is targeting. Are they targeting the everyday user? The business owner? The private sector? Schools, the government, the military? The home page is set up so that the people that visit the site must self-select what group they are a part of. They must first make a decision and decide what group they are in. The problem is most people will fit into two or more groups. The first thing a customer has to do when they come to their page is STOP and THINK. Don’t make your customer’s STOP and THINK. Show them the exact actions you want them to take.
There is also a place on the homepage for Headlines as if the homepage of the main site as a place to put company information. Who is this site designed for? The corporate blog and company updates should not be on a sales letter page. I am sure there is important info there for the corporate investors, but not for the average person looking to make a purchase. The direction is unclear. There is too much going on to provide a good focus.
At BestBuy.com it is all about the products. The home page of their site has a relevant offer to what people are searching for today. They guide their customer’s to take action.
Guide Your Customer’s Actions
There are three clear actions Apple.com gives you the option to take. Find. Buy. Watch. The actions are clear and give clear direction as to exactly what action they want the user to take. This is another great example of a user friendly site. They know that those that are coming to their site want to find a retail location to go and check out the Ipad in person; buy the Ipad now; or get more information by watching videos! That is it. They anticipated the needs of their customers and made it easy for the customers to find the exact information that they needed. The site is designed with the customer in mind.
Write On-Site Content that Has Customer Appeal
1. Three main features broken up visually.
2. Focus on the products benefits and how it will help the customer to have a better experience.
3. Clear ability to take action to learn more.