Jakob Nielsen: Usability drives up revenue

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Want 30 % more customers visiting your web-site? Want 80% more customer satisfaction? Want to triple your conversion rates? Well, you can have all of these, if only you invest in usability.

This was the promise of Jakob Nielsen at his opening keynote presentation this morning at the “usability days conference” (held by Dansk IT in corporation with among others FDIM – my organisation).

30 % more customers
Studies performed by Jakob Nielsen shows that on 66 % of users are able to complete normal tasks like buying a cap or a T-shirt on an e-commerce site. That is: Websites are so poorly designed that they waste 34 % of all potential customers.

“What should be the success criteria” I asked Jakob Nielsen. “Surely you cannot accomplish a hundred percent, no matter how good a usability job you pull off”. “Theoretically you should”, replied Jakob, “but if you’re able to loose no more than 10 % of your users, you’ve done a good job”

80 % more customer satisfaction
Another study showed that if you allocate 10 % of your budget, customer satisfaction skyrockets to 180 %. And it might actually be cheaper, one understands from listening to Jakob. Bringing in usability specialist often eliminates expensive features from your requirement specs that prove not to contribute to customer satisfaction.

Triple conversions
A third study showed how Ancestry.com tripled their conversion rates from 1,1 % to 3,4 %. Conversion here referring to users signing up to a free trial, supplying both contact info and credit card information in exchange.

How? Primarily through moving an input form requiring the users to supply their name and email on the first page to later on in the process. And instead telling the users of the four main benefits of signing up: learning, sharing, motivating and connecting.

Jakob Nielsen at the “usability dagene”. Photo by Andreas Johannsen.