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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
"John S. Rhodes" <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 11 Feb 1999 11:11:52 -0500
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"John S. Rhodes" <[log in to unmask]>
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At 09:42 AM 2/11/99 -0600, you wrote:
>In your attempt to build an "anti usability" site, you ended up building
>that looks like an amateur's first attempt at building a web page.
>I think lack of comments can be attributed to two causes,
>1) It is within the realm of normal internet experience. Sadly, the
usability of
>this site is probably within 2 standard deviations of the average web site
>usability. And this will probably not go away. The web allows anyone to put
>anything up.
>2) My working assumption is that people who find a site unusable just leave and
>never come back. There are enough sites existing that cater to their needs that
>they have no incentive to give you feedback. It is easier for them to look
for a
>site to help them now, then it is to tell you about it and wait for it to be
>The only real surprise is you audience. They should have been motivated to
>overcome these biases.


I fully agree with both points. In relation to point (2), I think this is
exactly what is going on. If a site isn't any good, there are plenty to
choose from.

We've heard the story of fickle users before. Here's what I think this
really means. Repeat visitors are *much* more valuable than most people want
to admit. Attracting new users is necessary, but having old users come back
is a supreme achievement. I'd wager that repeat visitors are those people
that recommend your site(s) to others, are most likely to buy your products,
and provide the most feedback.

Speaking of feedback again, for repeat visitors, it is worth their time to
invest in feedback since they visit often and they want a "clean house to
live in". They also might feel a sense of ownership and pride. Again, this
indicates to me that repeat visitors are worth 10 or perhaps even 100 unique
users. I also feel that 'total repeat users' is a much better estimation of
a site's *worth* than total page views or unique users.

On a related note, I also feel that newsletter subscribers are worth an
enormous amount. There are repeat visitors, AND they believe in your site
(assuming it is a newsletter that compliments a site). They believe in your
site so much, in fact, that you are allowed to send them e-mail. They have
actually requested to get *more* information from you and your site, despite
the killer competition. In short, I believe that newsletter or site
subscribers are perhaps your true power users.

- John

John S. Rhodes
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