Tuesday, May 30, 2006

B2B Usability

Nielson on B2B usability...

"Summary:
User testing shows that business-to-business websites have substantially lower usability than mainstream consumer sites. If they want to convert more prospects into leads, B2B sites should follow more guidelines and make it easier for prospects to research their offerings.

Many business-to-business (B2B) sites are stuck in the 1990s in their attitude toward the user experience. Most B2B sites emphasize internally focused design, fail to answer customers' main questions or concerns, and block prospects' paths as they search for companies to place on their shortlists.

These sites haven't realized that the Web has reversed the company-customer relationship. Most online interactions are demand-driven: you either give people what they want or watch as they abandon your site for the competition's.

The result of poor design on B2B sites? In our user testing, B2B sites earned a mere 58% success rate (measured as the percentage of time users accomplished their tasks on a site). In contrast, mainstream websites have a substantially higher success rate of 66%.

Considering that there's immensely more money at stake for B2B than for business-to-consumer (B2C), it's astounding that B2B sites offer a much worse user experience."   continued ...   (Via useit)

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