Great post. So true.
A lot of the things we read about usability and UX in regards to web-design can be applied to offline situations and business. Of course the opposite is also true-things we learn offline can be applied online.
On my own sites, I spend time analyzing traffic, audience, click through rates, page views, ad placements, search engine rankings and a bunch of other things, and I try to provide my users with a great experience (hopefully). Needless to say I'm amazed when I walk into a store or a restaurant and think that they must not care about their customers. Sometimes I can't help but wonder how come the store I just walked in is still in business.
Lesson #1: If you need to add unnecessary visual cues in order for your users to find their way around, you should probably rethink the whole thing. Especially if those visual cues prove to be ineffective. Your users are not stupid.
Lesson #2: Make sure customers are happier when they leave then they were before coming into your store. If you can achieve that, they'll come back. Same goes for the web.
Lesson #3: Plan ahead! Make sure it's easy to scale and try to fix problems before they even occur. There is always room for improvement. Always be on the lookout for simple and inexpensive things you can do to provide a better user experience.
Lesson #4: If you don’t care about your users, they won’t care about you.
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