User Experience as Corporate Imperative

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778 300 Adrian

In my experience I have often come across clients, or potential clients, who may question why they need to invest company dollars into a professionally designed and developed website (or application). After all, it is possible for a student to teach themselves the basics, download a few programs from the internet, and charge a client a few hundred dollars to build them a website. Then, as I so often see, clients wonder why their site isn’t getting any traffic, ranking on Google, or converting visitors to customers.

My typical response to questions on why it’s worth investing real dollars into an online presence (website, social media, mobile, web applications, etc) is that, as professionals, we aren’t just building them a website, we are building for them a user experience. We are building them a system which incorporates metrics, usability, information architecture, interface design, and managing objectives.

An interesting article, called User Experience as Corporate Imperative, lists some compelling stats which I would like to repeat here. The article was written in 2002 and talks about the major browsers being IE and Netscape!, but I believe that the underlying concepts are still very much applicable today.

  • Approximate 60% of the time, users have difficulty finding the information they are seeking on a website.
  • Jakob Nielsen estimates that 90% of websites have poor user-centered design.
  • At the time that the article was written, it states that 28% of website transactions result in consumer failure of frustration. 35% of people who experience a negative experience on a website will leave that site for a competitors, most likely never to return. 27% of all web transactions are abandoned on the payment screen, and 75% of shoppers abandon their shopping cart without making a purchase.

Next step for me is to see if I can find some more recent statistics to see if these numbers have changed.

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Adrian, or AJ, is the founder and Director of Technology of Pop Digital. He has spoken at tech conferences around the world, and published numerous articles about Agile methodologies, UX design, Information Architecture, and Web Development.

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