Paco Underhill and usability

I just finished The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill, a retail anthropologist who studies how people shop.

I liked the chapter on online usability. Especially interesting: his idea of paying for something online but picking it up at the store, thus avoiding checkout hell. I often buy something locally after researching it on the Internet because I want it now. I also loved his idea that stores should have a men's health section, in which all the shaving supplies and the like would get their own section, instead of the odd situation now where they are mixed in with women's stuff.

Underhill talks about women as the dominant shoppers. In the computer world, women tend to not care about raw Megaherz figures. They want style and an 800 number and ease of use.

The same is true of the usability of digital cameras, which manufacturers are taking more seriously now. Speaking of color cameras, read all about color and usability as they relate to blenders and credit card machines. I've noticed the bad usability of those credit card swipe machines and so read with delight the story of a machine with a tiny blue "Yes" button.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Thursday, March 20, 2003 (Link)


Posted by Shannon Thursday, March 20, 2003 at 10:13 AM

They've obviously never seen me shop. I'd go for big MHz over style and color any day.

Because, well, size really does matter. In that context.