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Interface and interaction design patterns for e-commerce checkouts

Kalsbeek, Maarten van (2012) Interface and interaction design patterns for e-commerce checkouts.

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Abstract:Checkout processes are an important aspect of e-commerce websites. The performance of these checkout processes relates directly to the revenues for such websites. The better they perform, the more visitors will manage to complete the checkout from start till end. Or more concretely: from clicking Add to cart to having ordered the product. The percentage of people reaching the goal, relative to the number of people that started the checkout, is called the checkout conversion percentage. Enhancing usability can greatly increase this percentage, as well as user satisfaction and subsequently brand loyalty. Therefore this research aims to discern promising interface and interaction design patterns that allow the usability of online checkout processes to be increased. Research Objective The goal of this master thesis project is to determine interface and interaction design patterns that can enhance the usability of e-commerce checkouts for new customers. Such interface and interaction design patterns are similar to software design patterns, although the focus is different. Software patterns describe solutions for repeating design challenges in a given context. The same goes for these interface and interaction design patterns. These patterns are like building blocks for user experiences. They deal with aspects such as, but not limited to, interaction structures (e.g. sections on one page versus spread across different pages), element positioning and text style. These patterns allow the user experience to be enhanced in a proven approach. As stated, this in turn allows both short term and long term e-commerce profits to increase, making it beneficial for e-commerce companies as well their (potential) customers. Methodology In order to achieve this goal, a number of interesting patterns are gathered from literature and practice. Following this, two prototypes are designed and developed, allowing these patterns to be evaluated. In addition, the prototypes will be compared with the current bol.com checkout, allowing a more complete evaluation. The research also takes place at bol.com, one of the two major Dutch e-commerce companies. The evaluations take place in the form of user studies where participants are asked to complete a number of tasks using both prototypes and the bol.com checkout. Feedback is obtained both in the form of user comments, using the think aloud protocol, as well as by means of observations. To allow this feedback to be processed, all evaluation sessions are recorded on video. Page iii Key Findings Based on this research, e-commerce sites would be advised to incorporate the following design patterns in their checkout processes: - Use as few pages as possible and preferably a one-page checkout. - Display the cart contents visually (i.e. the product images) on the right or left of all pages of the checkout process, or in a box that stays in place (fixed at a certain location) when scrolling. - Display delivery time when ordered within x hours, e.g. “Delivered tomorrow when ordered within 2 hours” (where “tomorrow” and “2” are updated and determined by the system). - Try and provide an experience more similar to brick-and-mortar stores. Do this by phrasing headings as questions, e.g. “Contact information” becomes “How may we contact you?” but take extreme care to use correct wording and matching of the question with the answer that follows. When offering a gift service, also make this the first question. Also try to evaluate the impact of reordering the questions. - When offering a gift service, present wrapping paper choices in a lightbox overlay at the moment the user clicks on the interface element to indicate that the item in the cart is a gift. - Ask billing details before shipping details (at least for Dutch customers).
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Clients:
Bol.com
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/62507
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