some lessons on usability

after i launched my house concerts site, i sent out emails with customized RSVP links to everyone.

the next day, i got a bug report that RSVPing “no” wasn’t working. well, it was — sort of. the problem was that even if you clicked “no,” you were still expected to enter the number of seats you wanted. the workaround, was, of course, to enter “1” seat and click no. but only one person figured that out. everyone else just gave up, including otherwise technically savvy folks who work for a computer company.

it’s long been known that poor usability is bad for e-commerce — Nielsen’s 2001 study showed a success rate of around 56% for purchases.

what i didn’t realize was just how much this stuff matters.

anyway, the bug is fixed, i email the five people who ran in to it, and three of them have re-visited the web site.

so, once again, usability matters. a lot.

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1 Comment

  1. hehehe…. the master of finding bugs in other people’s stuff forgets to check his own work :-P


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