e-Commerce design tips

As web2.0 has come up & grown with ajaxifican of web applications + much more, we can say online retail now, has to abide the fundamentals of User experience.Businesses now can not neglect user experience in online retail.Let me take you to a quick facts & figures.

e-Commerce sites today miss out one important aspect that is call to action and PET , persuassion emotion and trust concept.

They need to persuade the customers to buy the goods or services, inform them the benefits of doing so. I agree it needs an expert for good PET design. Some of the best things that can be included are

  1. Call to action

  2. Advantages of making the purchase

  3. Building the trust etc.

  4. Persuission

  5. Capturing the emotion of the users by videos etc.



What is wrong with e-commerce experience today?
The online user has to suffer by-

>> Badly designed web sites

>> Web sites that don’t function properly

>> Insufficient and/or out-of-date information

>> Companies that are trying to hide

>> Badly designed or non-existent processes

>> Bad task flows & unnesesary workflows

















What does online retail customers expect now?

Customers expectations have skyrocketed now in online retail & businesses who are not able to cater their needs are slowly moving out of business.

  1. Fully functional websites with up to date content

  2. Web sites designed to address the needs of users

  3. Easy search of products & information

  4. Clear explanation of can do & can't do tasks on the site

  5. A coherent user experience

Recommendations for online retail business

  1. Use scenario design and personas to optimize the effectiveness of your online presence

  2. Make only promises that you can keep

  3. Competetive pricing & search

  4. Use RIA rich internet applications to improve user experience

  5. Prompt customer service & resolutions

  6. Community building efforts

  7. Marketing & promotions by intutive channels like viral videos, CPC-cost per click,link exchange,google ads etc

  8. Easy task flows & work flows

  9. Security of user information shown upfront

  10. Accessible websites

  11. SEO - make the site search engine optimized as research shows - 65% of users reach sites through search engines.

  12. Proper branding focus - try to build a online brand for unique quality & service

In this way we can say that online retail is moving faster than expected long back.Need is to take this as an opportunity for making great User Experience applications.

UX defined !

Today people are talking about User Experience.UX in all the applications/products they are making or are planning to make in future.All the IT giants like IBM,Microsoft,Honeywell,Google & even Indian counterparts like Satyam,Infy,TCS,Mindtree,Wipro have dedicated UX
professionals working in User Experience consulting.


I feel if we can not measure the user experience then there is no concrete manner to specify which product/application is better than the other,how can we improve it etc.Let us try to scope user experience.


Different types of User Experience

  • + ve : This will make you feel good and suggest your mind it was a pleasant thing to do.

  • - ve : This will make you uncomfortable and lost

  • cognitive/memorable : You would like to store in memory even will take pictures of the moment to recall it better. Visit to a tourist place,parks etc.

  • ordinary: Does not makes much significance to you in the long run. i.e. waking on the road to get to the shop next turn.

Experience dimensions coordinates










The above diagram shows different coordinates of user experience, a majority of experiences can be covered by the above diagram.

entertainment (concert, theater, movie)
o absorb it
o it’s passive – you watch it
education (this talk)
o absorb it
o active – you’re involved, too
escapism (wilderness trek, gaming)
o immersed in it (physically or virtually part of the experience –
o Active – you’re doing something
aestheticism (at the Grand Canyon)
o Immersed – immersed in the beauty of it
o Passive – you have little effect on the experience – you can’t
change the Grand Canyon, but it can change you.

Some measures to create +ve user experience

  • Question the Experience Quo: Ask yourself what type of experience you want your users to leave the application.What will make the user say "What a good application".Figure out how you can turn the negative or ordinary experiences into +ve experiences.

  • Cut down extra steps: Remove extra steps that you feel is not task oriented in the interaction flow design phase.Avoid unexpected,irrelevant information that will be displayed as messages when the user is submerged in completing the task.Try to save the personal information of the user & auto populate if possible.

  • RIA(Rich Internet applications): Use Rich Internet apps like auto suggest,data drop down components in the form elements.Use only one active area concept by making the behind window inactive etc.There are many more RIA components that will enhance the user experience.

  • Focus on Hot spots: There will be some actions/steps the user will be interested to perform, focus on it & improve the step,remove unwanted actions etc.This will lead to a heightened use experience in the long run.

  • Design upturn: Find the things which has not changed in Long years & improve it in one way or other to create a lasting cognitive impact on the users mind.For example you can have a intuitive shopping cart, new navigation menus etc.

  • Understand the user MINDSET: This one step will make the user experience great.If we have a physiological understanding of the user's mind set while interacting with the product then it will give us a great edge in the whole process.We can craft great apps/products with ease as we will understand the user better & their needs.

  • The 5 second law of attraction: Try to grab the user attention in the first 5 seconds.Give him a feel that the task wont take much time & it is easy to perform with minimal information inputs.

  • Picture the Road Map upfront: Let the user know what lies ahead as they click on the next button.Upfront showing at the number of steps it will take to complete the task, the current step being performed will really give a positive user experience.

In this way User Experience can be evaluated & enhanced further.