I recently attended a Web Association meeting on the topic of usability and conversion. What a confirmation! Here are some statistics.

Five primary factors associated with Web site usability:

  • Learnability
  • Efficiency
  • Memorability
  • Errors
  • Satisfaction

And then there are the top Internet pet-peeves:

  • Pop-up ads
  • Additional software required to view pages
  • Dead links
  • Requiring registration
  • Slow speed
  • Out-of-date
  • Confusing navigation
  • Inefficient site search

And…

  • 77 percent of people who encounter one of the above issues will refuse to visit the site again
  • 71 percent will refuse to purchase.
  • 55 percent will complain to someone else.
  • Beware: only 25 percent will complain to the company.

So, using those metrics, if you receive five complaints per week about your site, and you’re thinking, “That’s not so bad…” — if you crunch the numbers, 5 complaints/week equals 5,000 lost business opportunities per year, along with an additional 4,000 potential prospects at risk because somebody else gave them a bad impression. Yikes!

Consider usability when designing a Web site. Here’s one good spot to look for more information. www.usabilitynet.org. Oh, one more thing…don’t let the programmer write the content for the error message when something gets entered incorrectly. I saw some doozies?!?!