You know those embarrassing moments that you have that aren’t that embarrassing? The ones that make you blush a little, maybe roll your eyes, and chuckle? The ones that you justify with, “Well, everyone’s done it!” One particular instance that comes to mind is accidentally using a door incorrectly. Of course everyone’s done it, but there’s something inherently humiliating about when you push instead of pull… Especially when someone’s watching from the other side.
We have good news, though. It’s probably not your fault. Bad doors are everywhere, according to Don Norman, director of The Design Lab at University of California, San Diego and advocate for human-centered design. You may recognize his name from his well-known book, The Design of Everyday Things. It’s here that he first explores the idea of so-called “Norman Doors,” or doors that send the wrong messages about their usability through the elements of their design.
What does this have to do with web design?
If your website is sending the wrong signals to your customers, it’s certainly going to affect your bottom line. If your website sends the message “push” when your customer is supposed to “pull,” there’s a good chance they’re going to seek a competing product elsewhere. No one likes to be frustrated or made to feel ignorant because of poor website user interface.
Below are 5 ways that you might be guilty of having a “Norman” website.
If you notice any similarities, be sure to get in touch with the NATIV3 team of web designers. We can help you ensure that your customers know exactly what they need to know to complete their transaction.
1. If you notice a much smaller percentage of buyers than visitors, you might have a Norman.
60 Second Marketer claims that online retailers lose about $44 billion in online sales every year due to website transactional issues. To put that into perspective, that’s about 200,000 Lamborghinis or a quarter of the net worth of Jeff Bezos.
What can be done? Making the checkout process as clear cut as possible is a good way to start. Make sure that the “shopping cart” is clearly visible from any page on the website, provide a shortcut for getting back to the product pages from the shopping cart, and ensure that your checkout process is as simple as possible.
2. If your mobile site isn’t optimized, you might have a Norman.
Check out these statistics from OuterBox:
- As of January, 62% of smartphone users have made an online purchase using their mobile device in the last 6 months.
- 80% of smartphone users use their mobile device to “shop around” before going to a brick and mortar.
- 10% of all retail revenue comes from e-commerce purchases.
If your site isn’t mobile ready, you’re missing out on a huge piece of the available demographic. Users expect the same blazing fast speeds and easy access that they experience on a desktop, and it can be done. A professional website developer can help you get there.
3. If you have too much going on on your page, you might have a Norman.
Simply put, it’s distracting. If you had a MySpace, you may remember how absolutely infuriating it was when you visited someone’s page and a random song would start playing at full-volume, with no warning. That’s what having a “busy” webpage is like. It’s sensory overload that makes your visitors want to get away as soon as possible.
To avoid this problem, never auto-play sounds and videos. Allow your design to direct the eye to the things that you want your visitor to see. You can even use phrases like, “Check this Out!” or “Watch Now” to get your customer’s attention. You should also avoid flashing lights, harsh color contrast, and an overload of content on one page. Thoughtfully incorporate white space to make the user experience more pleasant.
4. If your text has too many words, you might have a Norman.
If your customers aren’t specifically seeking out huge amounts of information, presenting them with a wall of text only takes away from their ability to successfully navigate around your site. It can be particularly frustrating if they think that they’re going to find some “clue” in all the writing, then get to the end with no resolution in site. In fact, you’ll be lucky if your visitors even make it all the way to the end.
Keep your writing, short, concise, and to the point. Save the artistic flourish for your blog posts, where people are actively seeking out large amounts of information. On your product pages, keep it to the point.
5. If you’re relying on “context clues,” you might have a Norman.
Don’t assume that your customers know anything that you haven’t told them. While true that many digital natives know their way around just about any website, a percentage of people still struggle to navigate in the online world. You have the perfect opportunity to show them just how easy online retail can be by establishing a user interface that is explicit and uncomplicated.