Good design is like a refrigerator
…when it works, no one notices but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks.
Even if you’re not familiar with this quote from Irene Au, of the Interaction Design Foundation, you’re probably still aware of the basic tenets of good design, more specifically good UX design, when it comes to your eCommerce shop, website or application.
Try naming 10 great designs that no-one notices. It’s not easy and that’s entirely down to the fact that they’re so great that you don’t even notice they’re there. But the chances are that someone, even whole teams of designers, sweated and stressed over getting it so perfect and seamless that no-one would even realise it was an issue in the first place.
Here's some examples:
The bendy straw
Because how annoying are straight straws when you’re lying in a hammock with a pina colada?
The Volvo clip
A plastic clip on the inside of a Volvo’s windscreen to stop your parking receipt blowing away when you shut the door.
Cats Eyes on roads
OK so the point here is to notice them, but they’re just as noticeable and far more dangerous when absent.
Touchless flush sensors in public restrooms
A bit flashy until there’s a global pandemic and no one wants to touch anything (but will happily still plant their whole behind on a seat used by dozens of others).
The Google search bar in your browser
So good that many internet users still haven’t worked out it’s actually there.
Address lookup in your online forms
See where we’re going with this now?
Even if the first few aren’t designs for the digital world, they are still solving a physical UX problem and, as interaction with your online presence has to be conducted in the physical – via a screen, keyboard or mouse – the argument still stands. A good design is rarely noticed. Bad design is going to give your customers, and you, a headache.
If filling out an address form while you’re shopping online annoys you as a consumer, why would you inflict that same annoyance on your own customers? Most of the time you wouldn’t even bat an eyelid at a checkout journey with a postcode lookup or predictive address field, but shop on a site that asks you to fill in your entire name and address, especially on your mobile, and tell me you haven’t considered just not bothering with your purchase.
Abandoned baskets are the bane of every acquisition and conversion marketer’s life. Accurately defining the pain points in your checkout process without turning to costly heat mapping and user research projects is something akin to lucky dip. There’s always going to be a percentage attributed to running out of time or being caught by the boss/wife/husband and that is a value which is virtually unquantifiable but with good analytics you can track just how far through your checkout forms your users get. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if your dropout rate spikes after the email and name fields, and right when they hit the address form, there’s a good chance you’ve found the problem. It might not be the whole problem, but it is at least a problem you can address (pun totally intended) with a single field postcode or address lookup tool.
It’s all about marginal gains when it comes to increasing your conversion rate. Check out our list of the top tools every eCommerce marketer should have in their arsenal to optimise your checkout UX and increase basket conversion.