Saturday, October 18, 2008

A little vindication?

UX shown to be important to eBay and Amazon ...

"The success of eBay has long been a thorn in the side of user experience professionals, because it’s design is just so obviously flawed. I referenced this in a post a few years back, “One of the most annoying realities of a user experience professional’s life is eBay, because it seems to flout everything we stand for. The Web’s most popular ‘pure play’ sports a remarkably unwieldy and unattractive design. eBay is wary of changing it because, hey, we’re making money, right? Yet I wonder about the untold billions more eBay could reap if it tightened up its experience.”

So it was with some interest that I read an article in the New York Times last week on the e-commerce battle between Amazon and eBay, where Amazon’s star has ascended while eBay’s fell. This struck me as possible vindication for those of us obsessed with customer experience, because Amazon has made a relentless focus on satisfying customers as job one, as explained in an earlier NY Times piece, ““And the reason I’m so obsessed with these drivers of the customer experience is that I believe that the success we have had over the past 12 years has been driven exclusively by that customer experience. We are not great advertisers. So we start with customers, figure out what they want, and figure out how to get it to them.””

Obviously, there are other factors at play, but I’d like to think this focus on experience has allowed Amazon to succeed where eBay seems to be failing."    (Continued via, New York Times)    [Usability Resources]


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