This Is What Stops Companies From Fixing Simple Problems For Their Customers

Usability problems plague companies everywhere. For instance, customers may have trouble finding a log-in screen on a website.

Yet, many simple problems end up going unfixed for ages — even if they’re identified by the company.

Why is that?

Steve Krug and Caroline Jarrett put together a presentation on Slideshare about usability problems and their underlying issues. They surveyed a group and asked them about the main reasons the problems go unfixed. The pair thought that people would say it was because of lack of resources, or because they just decided to refer to the next big update.

But they underestimated the power of one thing: office politics.

Here’s how people responded:

usability survey chart

Photo: Screengrab from Caroline Jarrett on Slideshare

Four of those (conflicted with decision maker’s beliefs, no effective decision maker, team did not have power to make it happen, disagreements emerged later), including the top reason, fall in the “politics” group.

Krug delves deeper and summarizes what he thinks are the most important reasons.

1) Since you can’t fix everything, you have to prioritise

2) Serious problems are often familiar problems, people assume they’re hard to fix

3) “We’ll fix it in the next redesign” is always prevalent

4) Often, someone who’s not in the room disagrees and shoots it down

Check out the full presentation below:

Why do usability problems go unfixed?

View more presentations from Caroline Jarrett

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