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Do you really need that?

Anything that slows down the purchase process is a bad thing.

Example: Does your web shopping cart ask what kind of credit card the customer is using? Your form can figure it out from the card number.

One less step = faster checkout = happier customer = more word of mouth and repeat visits.

Step 1: Find and remove anything between you and the customer’s money.

Step 2: Are your programmers thinking about less work for the customer or for themselves?

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  1. Tim March 26, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    Er, your shopping cart for your book asks for type of credit card. But I agree wholeheartedly with the idea. Some businesses make it soooo hard to buy from them. What is it with that?

  2. Aidan Nulman March 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    Great point on usability–too few people think about minimizing friction!

    When it comes to credit cards, though, I actually went through this exact debate a couple of weeks ago. My company opted to leave the choice in for usability’s sake: when we tested with users, it was much easier for them to think of “my card fits/doesn’t fit in these categories” as an option in the form, rather than a guideline (ex: “we accept Visa, MasterCard…”). People got confused when we couldn’t process their card because our merchant account won’t accept it, and offering that choice minimized errors with no effect on form submission.

    There *are*, however, a ton of cases where we removed unnecessary options. I just hope our experience with this specific one can help some readers!

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