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Poor Web Usability Can Produce Poor Profits

Most people probably don’t know this, but you can order USPS boxes and supplies online for free.

Anyhoo…

I added an item to my shopping cart at USPS.com and wanted to continue shopping. Come to find out there isn’t a “Continue Shopping” button anywhere on my screen.

This is poor design and poor website usability. The website is NOT user friendly to the visitor or purchaser. I wanted to buy more, but USPS.com is not giving me that option. Big mistake.

After doing some “shopping cart sleuthing”, I realize I can continue shopping, but I have to click on the “Shop Home” button or the links in the upper navigation. How am I supposed to know that I can continue shopping by using these other links? I should’t need to know – that’s my whole point. The website should be intuitive and not waste my time.

…it gets better…

I’m ready to purchase. After going through the complete sign-up process and submitting my credit card information, I get this error:

Wow! I wish they would’ve told me the store was experiencing problems before I spent all this time entering in my personal information. Greaaaat.

I needed to know where my data went? Did it get entered? I went back and tried to login to my new account. My information did go through. So USPS’ website crashed while processing my data. Other visitors may have been so lucky or have tried to login again. USPS’ users are probably contacting USPS directly about the problem and wasting everyone’s time.

Test Your Website

The point of all this is when designing your website make sure you test, test, and do some more testing to avoid errors that can cost your business money. Build a website that all of your visitors can successfully use.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I agree 1000% with what this article says. The USPS is an abysmal organization involved in way too much stuff instead of sticking to what they were intended for in the first place — delivering mail.

    I have often encountered the woefully poor design of their web sites.
    On example that really frosts me is the fact that you CAN’T purchase everything they sell in the way of stamps using the web site they set up to sell you stamps.
    I’m a stamp collector and I recently decided to give up on buying the new issues that come out because not everything they issue is available on the web site.
    Certain items can ONLY be purchased by calling the folks in the cave in Kansas City — I don’t believe there exists a good reason for this other than the fact that the USPS is managed by folks from the lower tier of business school graduates or no graduates at all.

    I think the biggest reason for the poor web site design is the use of 8(a) companies to build the sites — that will probably never change until a new world war occurs.

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