Total Posts: 4
I just saw the screencast Single Page Checkout and I found some useability issues.
We all know that the more a user has to think, the greater the likelihood that he will bail out of the process. When checking out via the Single-page-checkout the first question the user is met with is this:
Do you wan’t to log in, or do you want to register, or do you want to check out as a guest?
The question uses the concepts “login”, “register” and “guest”. This is problematic for several reasons:
1. It is not explained what is ment with each concept and hence each choise. If the user is not familiar with each concept, AND their specific meaning in a shopping scenario, the user is left to wonder.
2. It is not intuitively clear which consequences each choise will have for the users purchase-process. The speaker voice on the screen cast actually feels compelled to explain the actual difference between the register- and the ‘checkout-as-guest’-proceses vocally, to inshure that we understand.
3. It is not clear why supplying this information is at all relevant for the shopping process. In opposition to, say, supplying a delivery address, the relevance of supplying this information is not intuitive.
Veteran shoppers can be aware of the meaning of the concepts, their influence on the shopping process, and why the information could be relevant to themselves or the shop or the checkout-process, but this awareness will certainly not be innate in every potential customer that wisits our shops. By far.
If this question is so problematic, why is it then being asked?
It has some advantages to the shop, and it would, in some cases, give an advantage to the customer as well. I will not explain the advantages for the shop, as we all know that it is nice to have customers registered.
But what about the advantages for the customer? When will they gain from it?
If they know the concepts of registration, loggin in, having an account, and if they know that this means that their checkout-information from last purchase possibly can be recalled if one logs in, and if they once in the future will have to purchase from the excact same shop, and if their modern browser has failed to easily recall what was entered in the form fields last time, and if they can now remember their login info, THEN, it allows them to save a sleight amount of time, as they will have to enter less checkout-information. I’m a veteran e-shopper myself, and only recently have I had some advantage of being registered in a shop. To be honest, I think the shops loves the log in thing more than the customers. It’s a shops convenience thing. I don’t say we should skip the feature totally, but could we maybe tone it down a bit, and, best of all, avoid confronting the user with the issue as the first thing when they try to buy something? Besides, my suggestion (as described below), might have the effect of generating more registrations than the current design. This is my suggestion:
DROP the first tab and its technofastistic question. Forget that it ever existed (but can we live without? Yes). Second, adapt the login-stuff so that it makes direct sense to the customer. Instead of just asking them to login (without any further explanation), use it to offer to recall the checkout-info from last times visit, when the customer is about to tamper the keyboard, entering loads of checkout-info. Use it to add value instead of using it as a road blocker. For example, the login box could be placed to the right, next to the ‘billing information’-tab, and be joined by the text “if you have shopped here before, you can recall your billing information - just enter your email and your password below:”
The same idea goes for the concept of registering. Offer it as an extra optional service, at the exact moment where the customer could see an advantage in doing so. AND, make it clear why it would be benefitial to the customer at that exact point. AND, avoid using the word “register”. That word does not explain why it is benefitial to the customer. What will explain it then? This text: “do you want to save the information you just entered, in case you choose to go shopping here in the future? Then just enter a password of your own choise in the following box:”. This could be placed in the buttom of the Billing information tab. Remember to clearly mark that the password-field is optional.
With the register-option and the login-option neatly placed where they offer value, instead of potentially acting as non-understood roadblocks, The first tab can be removed without loosing any functionality. And, when the register-function has been turned into a value-adder instead of a roadblocking question, it might even encourage even more customers to register, as they can easily see the advantage. Will registering add more advantages, like order status tracking or such? Well, then explain this as well, at the right spot. For example, when the customer has finished buying the products, you could put the register-option there once again, with the explaining text that entering the password in the box below will allow the customer to easily track the order. I believe that emailing the customer handles that easier though.
Besides, it’s still not single page checkout. True, pages has been replaced with tabs, but conceptually pages are equal to tabs. What might make a difference is the speed-gain achieved in the AJAXification that came with the switch to tabs. On the other hand, I don’t think that it’s that problematic to have, like, 5 tabs, as long as they can be filled in without using a brain. And, it gives some logic structure.