Usability Dilemma: Too Many Online Choices
In a previous post, “The Danger of Too Much Event Marketing Technology,” I briefly explored the challenges of choosing the best technology for one’s event web site. Today we’re faced with so many technological and marketing choices that we don’t even know where to start. I’ve been caught in the technological choice trap on a number of occasions and it’s not fun. The same challenge of practically unlimited choices also plays out on the user’s side of the spectrum. When users come to a web site they’re frequently faced with so many choices they don’t know where to start or finish. The end result is that users frequently leave a web site without taking any action beneficial to the web site owner.
Analysis Paralysis and Dissatisfaction
Below is an interesting presentation by Dr. Barry Schwartz called “the Paradox of Choice.” He breaks down the virtues and vices of free choice. Most people assume that freedom of choice can be nothing less than a virtue. Unfortunately, freedom of choice can also make all of us suffer analysis paralysis and create a dissatisfying purchasing experience. If you can’t dedicate 20 minutes to watching the entire video, just watch the first 8 minutes. It will make you think a little about your own freedom of choice.
The Paradox of Choice
The scenario presented in the video above also plays out in regards to online choice. There are critical questions every web site owner should ask. Are you better off offering the widest variety of product or the best single product for the consumer on your web site? A similar scenario plays out in the event marketing world. As an event organizer do you offer as many ticket options as possible or a limited number of options?
Goals and Well Defined Paths
One recommendation to web site owners is to consider having a clearly defined set of goals for your web site. In tandem with your web site goals you should also have a well defined path you expect web site users to follow. If users fall off the path is your web site intuitive enough for them to self correct their course?
The challenges above aren’t always easy to solve. You can at least start with well defined goals for you web site. Most people never set goals for their web site and therefore never find success online. Where do you fall on the issue?
Here are some additional resources:
- There Is No Perfect Web Strategy
- Missed Opportunity and Online Strategy
- Persistence and Online Patience
Want to get more great info? Check out the articles below:
- What is Web Usability? And Why You Should Care . . .
- Web Usability: The Importance of Balancing Content and Graphic Design
- Hitting a HOME RUN with Your Web Site
- Don’t Pollute Your Web Site
- Do You Make These Usability Mistakes?
- Objectivity Paves the Way to Online Success
- LCU (Least Competent User) Usability Testing
- Web Usability - ALERT! Dominant Users and Focus Groups
- The Event Promotion System
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