When discussing function and your Web site, it's good to take into account how function might influence a customer's overall experience, as well as the potential effect on revenue. Whether you're talking about a shopping cart application or a registration box that lets customers sign up for your newsletters, function is what drives a customer's experience. If a particular function adds value for the customer, it's likely to increase your revenues, either directly or indirectly.
Think back to one of your recent visits to a Web site. Maybe the site is one of your favorites or one you visited for the first time. How would you rate your experience? Did you find what you wanted quickly and easily? Did you glean the information you needed? Did your browsing lead to a purchase? Or were you frustrated by the whole thing and chose instead to move on to another site? Well, guess what? Your customers think about the same issues every time they visit your site.
Ultimately, customer experience leads them to make two important decisions:
For example, the Small Business Administration site (www.sba.gov) uses different functions to make locating facts, figures, and helpful business tools easier (see Figure 2-4). Throughout the rest of this chapter, we point out several examples of these functions (such as quick-loading pages, a site search function, and ...