E-commerce: 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Next-gen Web Design
5. Decentralize Web content, providing the freedom to share, re-mix and re-use content (i.e., via really simple syndication and XML). Messing noted that Apple.com and epicurious.com use this technology.
1. Don’t assume customers want to spend a lot of time on your site. For example, try to avoid forced things like password hints, forced login to checkout (which both the Wal-Mart and Target sites do, they noted), forced e-mail address at checkout to collect e-mail addresses for the company e-mail list (i.e., Gap.com).
2. Don’t give your customers inaccurate information. In fact, include information about actual shipping costs, shipping duration and merchandise availability.
3. Don’t write cryptic error messages. For example, use the phrase, “Please enter your password,” instead of, “This string is shorter than the minimum allowed length.”
4. Don’t forget to link your logo to the domain homepage. For example, on its overstock pages, the Lands’ End logo doesn’t take shoppers back to the main Landsend.com homepage, which Messing said makes for an awkward experience.
5. Don’t overbuild your site. Think about what your customers really want, and if you want to extend or build on that experience, test it and provide scaffolding to help bridge customers to your new feature or technology.
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