Deliver First Class Web sites

  1. Determine how users will interact with your web site.
    • Will they be want to purchase products? Will they be seeking information?
    • Will they try to register for a newsletter? Work out how your visitors will use your web site, then document their interactions and all of the steps involved in each task that they’ll undertake.  
  2. Document the steps involved for each user activity.

Use this information to map out the information your web site needs to offer.

Use an exact organization scheme when visitors need to find specific information - alphabetical, chronological, or geographical. They are easy to use and maintain. 

Use ambiguous organization schemes, such as organization by topic, task, or audience, to group related items in meaningful ways. Amazon.com, for example, organizes products by category to help users—across the top of each page of the site appear navigation tabs that read Books, Apparel & Accessories, Electronics, Toys & Games and so on.

Shopping Carts and Checkouts

  • Provide multiple entry points to the shopping cart so that users can see what’s in their cart, add items, and complete their orders whenever they choose to, and without hassle. Shopping cart links shows the shopping cart icon and label, reading View Cart, in the web site’s global navigation. You can also see the top-of-the-page global navigation and the Cart, Checkout bottom-of-the-page global navigation.
  • For each product on a web page, display a clear, at-a-glance view of the item’s name, price, current availability, an item description, shipping options, and Add to Cart or Add to Wish List links.
  • An item's at-a-glance view shows how this information may be shown on the product page in an ecommerce page’s architecture.
  • Clearly show ordering options, and link to details.
  • Clearly show within the contextual navigation any related items that are available.
  • Clearly display user’s progress within the ordering process. For example, you might show the progression of steps required to complete the order process
  • Keep order forms simple.
  • Emphasize to users that all transactions are secure.
  • Clearly display special handling options for gift items.
  • Include pricing for a variety of currencies, or provide information on currency exchange rate policies. If you are unable to handle international orders, be sure to make this clear up-front. It can be a very frustrating experience for a customer to begin to place an order only to find that they cannot complete it because the delivery address is not acceptable.
  • Clearly show options that allow customers to modify the quantity of each item being purchased.

Avi Rappoport’s article, Generating Simple URLs for Search Engines http://www.searchtools.com/robots/goodurls.html.

Make the shopping cart easy to find from anywhere on your web site.