[thelist] shopping cart usability

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Thu Jan 11 07:27:29 CST 2001

> From: Peter Van Dijck <peter at vardus.com>
> I posted some examples of shopping cart design, I thought it might be 
> useful for someone.
> It's at:
> http://poorbuthappy.com/usability/talk41.html
> It has screenshots of early shopping cart designs, and some comments on 
> shopping cart design.

no offense, but the interface you show looks very mom&pop... a shopping 
cart is a very important part of an e-comm interface, and many users base 
their opinions of the site's quality, experience, and professionalism on what 
they see in that cart...  for instance, lower-case field names, no indication 
of what's required, no instructions, inadequate breakdown of elements in 
the cart, etc...

that being said, there is a great article on dack.com:

Best Practices for Designing Shopping Cart and Checkout Interfaces

personally, i've designed and built shopping carts for a few years... i've built 
them for Microsoft, Adaptec, Starfish, Visioneer, etc... i've had a *lot* of 
experience doing this, and given my user-centric focus and my constant 
polling of users on their experience coupled with user testing, dack's done 
a pretty good job of nailing it... in fact, his samples look eeroly similar to 
my own...

even my low-budget carts follow the same principals...

for instance, you list two rules of shopping cart design (and i disagree with 
your interpretations of these rules) but leave out one of the most important --
 be *very* up-front with your users... tell a user immediately all costs, stock 
status, information you'll request, how they'll get receipts and order 
numbers, privacy and return policies, tax rules, etc... that alone will 
immediately show less abandoned carts...

and don't forget that some users are filling out the cart right up the credit 
card page because they want to some price comparison... make sure it's 
easy for them, too, instead of trying to lock them in...

some of my experience:

i wish i could show more, but CnC agreements forbid me... one of these 
days i'm gonna do a tutorial on this...

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