Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! (usability ode to the good doctor)

Today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday! Originally written in 2001, this is still timely and captures the consequences of poor usability:

“One link two link, red link blue link,
Oh my gosh here comes a new link.

This click that click, here click there click

Huh? click HELP! click Who knows where click?

New rules new day, how you must play.

Who say? You say! I squeal “Oy-vey!”

Shockwave, Flash until I drop
When all I want to do is shop,
And when I decide this is absurd
I stumble across help written by a nerd.
My brain must not be made like yours;
Perhaps I shop the wrong web stores.
Sorry guys, I did my best
To pass your little website test.
I sought to find a rocking horse
And wound up in an obstacle course.

I’m gibbly-eyed, my brain is fried
And heaven knows how hard I tried
But cannot find the thing I seek.
I could not find it in a week.
All I want to do is buy,
Yet the chaos only makes me cry,
“I do not like this mahoooky stuff
I think I’ve had more than enough.”
I do not like this Internet,
This Internet I do not get.
So to my real-world car I’m bound;
I’ll search on terra-firmer ground”.

(hat tip to The Grok)

On a more serious note (apologies to the good doctor), Watermark Consulting reports this week that firms that invested in customer experience over a three year period, out-performed their peers in their respective industries:

“From 2007 to 2009, through the best and worst of times, customer experience leaders outperformed the broader market, generating total returns that were 41% better on average than the S&P 500 and 145% better than customer experience laggards,” explained Jon Picoult, Founder of Watermark Consulting.

The analysis, which focused on the ten highest and ten lowest ranked public companies in Forrester Research’s 2007 Customer Experience Index study, provides a compelling testament to the power of great customer experiences.

“Some business leaders are skeptical about the return on customer experience investments,” said Picoult.  “They’re reticent to invest in improving and differentiating their customer touchpoints, because it can be difficult to quantify the resulting bottom line benefits.”

Bottom line: good user experience strategy and excellent usability can help you leap-frog the competition.

Best wishes,

Frank Spillers, MS

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