Overlooking industry standards can affect interaction costs, even for big businesses.

Illustration : Laura Grant

A deep understanding of one’s users, what their workflow is, what their problems really are and how they are using your product is key to creating successful products. Because what might work for one product, may not work for another? Right? So using research to obtain these insights is always necessary? Right?

Well what happens when there are basic industry standards that get overlooked?

The argument is that with the age of the internet, more and more people are getting used to using websites, and the need for old industry standards become obsolete. But not everyone is at that stage. There can be ‘rule of thumb’ principles for basic usability that will always help users interact with products. Either based on psychology, past research, or both.

User behaviour and usability heuristics, on the whole, don’t change much. Especially for elements of the web that are still around; links, navigation, information architecture, calls to action, the list goes on.

In this article, I have chosen to look at Money Supermarket. There are many great things about this site, this study is merely meant to provide insight into how even big companies can overlook very simple usability practices. Whether they seem arbitrary or obvious, these little changes can reduce cognitive load on users. Although mistakes can be found in most websites/there always being room for improvement, the very basic of usability standards should be evident in every design.

The notion is that these usability standards can be implemented without radical redesigns to ensure a more consistent, easier to understand interface. Theoretically leading to a more satisfying user experience.

Elements I have chosen to look at:

  • Navigation Inconsistency
  • Structure Inconsistency
  • Returning Home
  • Signing in/Retrieving quotes
  • Letting the User Know Where They Are
  • Removal of the Hamburger Menu
  • Using Blue for Non-link Text
  • Repetitive Links

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