Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hitting the Software Nail on the Head

Usability affecting software salesHow many shirts do you need to try on before you find one you want to buy? How many cars do take for a test drive when shopping for a new car? And how many pieces of software do you download and try before you find one to solve your problem? Results from a study of software vendors show only about 1 sale is made for every hundred trials that are downloaded, which is a remarkably low number when you think how many programs people must end up trying or how often they just give up without finding what they want. In the blog post Why Hammers Sell Better Than Your Software, Bob Walsh concludes that the reason there are so many people walking away is that it is simply too hard to figure out how to use the program and they give up.

His suggestion to software companies is something that NCH has been striving for for years - make users immediately comfortable with your applications. Simplify things: provide quick start guides and tutorials or screenscasts to help get the user get through the first few minutes of uncertainty when they don't know what to do with the software they have just downloaded. We have long focused on the first three minutes of a user's experience when using our software, trying to remove as many road blocks as possible so that you can start using the program immediately. Our range of video tutorials and documentation resources helps those who prefer to see how it all works before they dive in. We are doing our best to make sure that when you download our software you will find that the shoe fits and you don't need to worry about breaking it in.

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