inclusivity blog post 10 2019 warren laine-naida

 

18
October
2019

Let’s Talk User Experience

Websites Should be Inclusive

User experience. You’ve heard of the term, and like most of us accept it to mean how you feel using a website, or accessing an app on your phone. UX defines our perceptions of aspects of a system such as utility, ease of use, and efficiency. In marketing and sales, it is generally accepted that user experience “defines a brand”. 

I believe that we need not wax so philosophic about the meaning of user experience – in fact I believe that a good user experience can involve the simple act of finding up to date and correct information on a website. It isn’t sexy, but it can make a big difference.

For my own website, and those of my clients, I am a Stickler ( 1. a person who thinks that a particular type of behaviour is very important, and always follows it …. ) for information on a website being up to date. We all know how let down we are reading in the paper about a sale at the Wine Shop, only to discover that we are reading last week’s newspaper …

A colleague of mine registered for an event that was advertised (on their website) as being “fragrance free”. As they suffer from MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity), this was an important piece of information. However, after arriving, they discovered many people in attendance wearing perfume. The organisers of the event then explained that while they encouraged people to not wear cologne etc, it was not mandatory that they do not.

Imagine you went to a restaurant advertising lactose free cheese, and you order it – because you are lactose intolerant. THEN it transpires that they mix the cheese half -half with regular cheese.

Correct information on a website is not a nice to have – it is a must have.

I’m fond of saying that “Technology, digital, the web … is (should be) inclusive.” And, what I mean is two things: First, that access to information and services should be open and available to all. Second, people accessing that information should find it complete. You might call me a dreamer, but I’m not the only one …

A useful experience is a good experience.

Have you ever found items on a website, that turned out to be wrong? How was your user experience then? Some of the things I have discovered – after the fact – that were wrong on some websites:

  • Opening hours – store already closed when I arrived
  • Telephone number – not in service
  • Prices of items – were higher in the store
  • Menu items – last week’s menu listed on the website …
  • Information in another language is offered – but the information is neither a translation nor the same type of information – eh??
  • The address of your shop should be correct – store had moved! :O)

Up to date and correct information is important to have on your website because people are accessing it, very often, locally and immediately. Possibly they are making decisions about whether to go to your restaurant or store – or book your event. If your opening hours are incorrect, or you have moved recently – well, this isn’t the best user experience a potential customer can have. And, they will probably tell people about it.

Users rely on your website as an accurate source information. Sometimes it can be an inconvenience that your website is out of date – sometime it can be extremely costly, or painful, for the user. A useful experience is a good experience.

Correct information on a website is not a nice to have – it is a must have. If you paid an agency a five figure sum to ensure an excellent user experience design of your website, why wouldn’t you want correct information to appear on it?

Are you a small business, non-profit, school or same and need help with your Website? Do you have budget constraints? Drop me a line. We’ll work it out!