Features of Amazon
Amazon has attractors incorporated into their Website as this helps to increase the number of visitors to their website. Furthermore the more original the attractor, the more difficult it is likely to be imitated, so the more effective it is likely to be. Amazon plan ahead and incorporate changing attractors to keep visitors coming back to their website. The giving of free gifts and samples can be an effective attractor but out of the three websites I compared only Amazon gave away freebies, WWF offers free screen savers as an attractor.
The last usability feature I used to compare the three sites was any ‘other useful information’ I could think of, that would make an excellent website, things like career opportunities, how easy it is to get in contact with each company, whether their financial results are easily attainable and whether each of them has a mission statement.
Amazon got 69 points, WWF got 49 points and Directgov got 37 points. Directgov got the lowest amount of points in this section due to the fact that their website had no career opportunities listed, which I felt would have been a good idea because any visitors to the Directgov website might, after finding the information they required, want to find out about jobs in governmental departments. It was also very difficult to find contact details for the Directgov HR department and trying to find financial results was also difficult and time consuming.
Usability in a website is when you don’t need to pick up a manual to learn how to use it, that, to me, has great usability. When you can go to a website and navigate around without getting confused, that is usability. When something is usable you don’t have to think how to use it. This means there is very little to learn, which grows your confidence in the company that created the product. This confidence may ultimately lead to the purchasing of other products from that company because you’ve come to expect a high level of usability from past dealings.
Usability breeds familiarity which leads to a positive user experience. If there were two websites that contained exactly the same information and graphics, the website that was the most usable would win more sales every time. After comparing the usability features of Amazon, Directgov and WWF I found that Amazon had the best usability features of the three websites. Out of a possible 320 points, Amazon got 267 points, WWF got 249 points and Directgov got 206 points. The difficult thing with usability is that it’s subjective – you might think a horizontal menu on a web site is easy to use, while I might prefer a vertical one – so companies have to aim to make something usable for the overwhelming majority of people, because no matter what they do they’ll never please everyone.