Great article today. I am in the electronic payments business and we work with a wide range of web merchants. Many Web sites are so poorly designed that I, myself, would never patronize them. Perhaps the most mind-boggling design flaw is where you can’t figure out how to buy what you’re looking at. There’s a reason the checkout counter is at the front of the store...you can’t miss it on the way out. You should never be more than one click away from an easy way to pay. My personal pet peeve is when a message box pops up asking me if I want to make your little Web site my default home page. What?! Not only NO, but I’ll never return. You mentioned your dislike of having to create a user profile and I agree with that, especially for a one-off purchase. There are certain best practices in the payments business that suggest having a user account as a means of validating the customer, which is useless as far as I’m concerned, but there are better non-intrusive ways of achieving the same goal. What all of this says is that many companies rely on the tech people to design the most non-technical part of their business, its personality. Rarely do you encounter a web designer with advanced skills in both the technology and the psychology of doing business on the web.
I would love to distribute some of those wacky domain name selections outlined in your latest newsletter article...(only if I had a way to make a few bucks of it... 🙂 very funny and informative thanks.