I regularly find that web sites and web applications do not handle my use cases and it drives me nuts.
It is often just a little thing but it is enough to cause significant frustration and the site/app loses out on engagement or a potential sale.
Here’s a few scenarios I’ve encountered recently that if I had the power to fix I’d fix immediately. I’m sure I’m not alone on these.
Use Case 1: Any Clothing Retailer
As an adult (the typical demographic making online clothing purchases) my sizes are pretty much stable. (For the sake of some level of anonymity I’m going to list values that may or may not be accurate). Gender male, my shoe size is 11, waist 34, inseam 32, and shirt/hoodie size (XL). I’m also not a huge fan of brown, orange or neon colors.
Rather than me having to enter these preferences on every single site I visit… every single time I visit! For the love of god let me save this to a profile, or even just to the browsers temporary localStorage. Instead every time I visit a site I either need to wade through tons of clothes that I just categorically could care less about, or spend 5min setting filters that won’t stick past my initial search! Your sales will increase if you show me the things I’m potentially interested in purchasing!
Use Case 2: Any Big Box Retailers
I’m looking for something specific from a window A/C unit, to pressure treated lumber my my fence/deck, to plumbing fittings or a new TV/washer/dryer/desk. All good so far, but when I want to add it to my cart (e.g. “save it”)… I can’t because my current store does not have the item in stock.
I get the programming logic behind this… don’t let a user add something to their cart if we don’t have it in stock! However that only covers the most basic use case. Let me add it to my cart… feel free to flag it as unavailable or out of stock/back order.
1.) This lets you know I’m interested in an item (maybe this affects the quantities you stock?)
2.) If it is on backorder or there’s more shipments coming maybe I’m not in a rush and will happily accept a later delivery date?
3.) I might need accessories to go with my big item (sound bar speaker and HDMI cables for my TV)… don’t miss out on the sale of the other things just because my big ticket item isn’t currently available at this store!
4.) Just because my default store is the one close by, doesn’t mean I’m not willing to travel to another store to get it. I’m within reasonable driving distance of 8 or more Home Depot / Lowe’s / RONA stores… if I can’t get something from my closest one I can drive to a different one.
5.) Let me add it to my cart… and 4 weeks later when you have the item in stock… email me (presuming I was logged in before) and let me know you know I was looking at the mega-slicer-dicer before but you were out of stock… good news is you now have it in stock… click here to reserve it, come to the store and pick it up… or get it delivered!
6.) In the case of landing on a specific color version of a product… don’t block me because the blue one is out of stock… show me the other options I can choose! (or if size options (think GB storage on a tablet)… show me the other options, I may even buy the more expensive version!
Use Case 3: News / Information Sites
I use the Internet a lot, browse social media, blogs etc. These sites have all sorts of links to external articles that are on your news site. E.g. “local grocery store introduces touch less shopping”. I come to read the article… I don’t want to subscribe to your email newsletter, I don’t want 10% off the product or service I haven’t seen yet, (Sorry GDPR… I couldn’t care less that you serve up cookies), I don’t want to see the latest “breaking” news… I came to read the article! By all means add links/content after the article… “Are these kittens too cute?”, “Interested? Get 10% off your next purchase here!”, “subscribe to our newsletter to get all the inspirational stories delivered to your inbox”. You will have a MUCH better conversion rate after you’ve let me read what I came for, and after we’ve built up at least 3minutes towards a trusting relationship.
Use Case 4: Just The Facts Jack!
I can’t count the number of times I’ve visited a business/restaurant/store site specifically looking for:
A.) Are you open? What about on Saturday/Sunday… what are your hours?
B.) What is your phone number?
C.) What is your address? Give me a map link/directions please!
D.) What is your email address or contact options? Always provide at least one option to email a general inquiry… don’t block a feedback channel that someone might want to use to contact you… you’ll miss things like my feedback telling site owners they’ve got broken links, site errors, embarrassing typos, exposed secrets, XSS issues, outages, x-browser issues, etc.
Long story short… take a few minutes to think of all the ways that your users might want to use your site/app… you might be overlooking a bunch of use cases that would massively increase your users experience.