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Designing for Evaluators

Evaluators are users who have an idea of what they want and are looking at various options but haven't yet decided on a particular option. Your web site should be designed to help such users understand your products, services, and features, and arrive at a decision (hopefully, one to your liking). Following are some design tips that can help you reach evaluators:

  • Differentiate products and services options. Instead of simply displaying a list of products such as MEM-12A, MEM-13B, and so on, provide more descriptions, such as MEM-12A (camcorder without laser link-up), MEM-13B (camcorder with laser link-up), and so on. This will help in distinguishing your products and prevent the evaluator from having to do a lot of "research."

  • Include product reviews such as those shown at Amazon.com (for books and other products). These reviews help the evaluator to understand the experiences of other customers.

  • Provide product photos where appropriate. One of the biggest disadvantages of e-commerce is the lack of "touch and feel" of products. A visual image of the product (where appropriate) can sometimes help in this matter by putting the products in perspective.

  • Provide decision-making tools. For example, mortgage calculators on a financial services web site can help prospective home buyers in determining how much load they can afford.

  • Provide competitive information and analysis. This helps evaluators in quickly comparing your products and services with those provided by your competitors, so that the user can easily determine the advantages of working with you.

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