Today I was thinking about user experience on the web because I had a not-so-great one. A simple request, I wanted to find out about a particular printer. It’s an HP LaserJet printer and I had the model number. Simple right? So I went to HP.Com and typed the model number into HP’s shopping website search box. A bunch of other printers come up – not the one I wanted.
I thought Ok, maybe it’s discontinued. So I used the ‘browse through categories’ to find the printers in that series. I noticed that when I browsed a few levels I found the model I had in mind.
Ok. I clicked the product and lo and behold there was my printer with all the specs I could possibly ask for. But as for the price: it said in red letters at the top; “See Store for Price”. And the see store for price message was not linked to anything. Don’t you think if they wanted to sell printers they would have provided a link to the store entry or at least the store in general?
Instead it left me confused, wondering where to find their “store”, and what to do next. I was already at the site “shopping.hp.com”. Isn’t that the store? So I did what any buyer would do. Noted the model number and went elsewhere to shop around (and found it elsewhere by the way)!
It’s always fun to look at large gangly companies and pick on their usability problems. In this way, we smaller businesses can learn from and avoid those kinds of mistakes.
Two things to note in particular. First, their search did not work or did not work properly. That alone will drive buyers away. But there was no clear path for the buyer once the item was located or no clear call to action. That will really drive buyers away – it sure drove me away!
So learn from the 800 pound gorillas on the web: Make sure your home based business website provides a positive user experience and doesn’t drive them away!