Are Website Usability and UX Overlooked in Thailand?
There are many elements that must be considered when it comes to website design, but two stand head and shoulders above the rest – usability and user experience (UX). Both are central to your website’s performance and the key to driving revenue.
Now, it’s not that we like putting anyone in the spotlight (because we really don’t), but sadly all too often website design in Thailand is a showcase of both poor usability and crappy UX . In fact sometimes it feels like Thai websites live in a weird dimension where bad UX practices come to vacation after being defeated elsewhere.
What Is Usability?
Usability is Simplicity – Simplicity of use.
When Usability is done well, it’s invisible – As a user things simply work the way you’d expect them to naturally, without requiring you to learn anything new or visit a support page.
A website designer’s job is well done insofar as Usability is concerned when the website is as simple to use as possible. My acid test for usability is whether I can get my Mom to use the website without her having to call me five times to ask for help. It’s important to remember that many (maybe most) people are NOT computer wizards, and feel quite awkward when faced with interfaces they can’t decipher.
Poor Website Usability Costs You More Than You Know
We’ve all encountered poorly designed websites that leave us mystified insofar as how to complete even the most common tasks. When that task is buying a pair of pants, or ordering a plane ticket our discomfort will probably result in loss of revenue for the vendor the problem is that most vendors never realize just how much money they’re NOT making due to poor design…
Here are a few common problems associated with poor Usability:
- Navigation – Simple navigation is important. Navigation is a means to an end and not a goal in itself. Customers should be able to intuitively understand how they can find what they want from your site. People don’t want to spend hours trying to find products, so make sure your navigation makes sense and is consistent throughout.
- Search – The search functionality should retrieve only highly relevant information. If I search for a ‘kettle’ and the search results take me to the ‘camping’ page, I’m out of there.
- Product Pages – These should provide all the information that a potential customer needs to know to make a purchase decision. In addition a product video or high quality images are important.
- Checkouts – This really is a big issue for ecommerce sites. Checkout pages are notorious for having the highest abandonment rate of web page (averaging over 46%), and an abandonded cart is lost revenue at it’s most obvious.
Key Usability Elements
Here’s a list of a few key components of Usability you might want to consider in regards to your website:
- Learnability – How intuitive is the design of the site? How much effort is required to complete common tasks like filling in a form or contacting you?
- Speed and efficiency – How quickly can users perform tasks or find products?
- Memorability – Can users easily remember how to use the website?
- Errors – What kind of errors are users making? Why are they making them? How are they being instructed afterwards?
In a nutshell the question that UX poses is simply:
Are your customers enjoying your website?
The good news is that’s a rather easy question to answer as long as you have a few honest friends you can refer to for criticism and advice. As a rule of thumb having any page on your website tested by ~7 individuals will help you solve 80% of the problems, so get busy!