Thursday, January 18, 2007

Measuring User Experience

While reading this article on how eBay heightens its precautions, I started thinking about how User Experience will continue to be seen as a mystical art as long as you can't measure it easily:

Executives at eBay Inc. are touting security as their top priority in 2007 after an internal survey showed that online scammers may be denting the company's reputation.

How do you measure a dent in your reputation? Whip out your Stanley watch ruler and have at it. Maybe that is why they are saying that it "may be" denting it? As if 58,300 fraudulent auctions every 3 months aren't creating repeated bad experiences. So how do you fix it if you can't measure it? Furthermore, how do you budget for this? I want to increase my reputation by do I do this? All technology companies know how many developers can churn out how many lines of code and can easily budget for this. If this could be quantified, there might be more UX people hired.

We're never going to completely stop the bad guys from using the Internet, but we do know that negative experiences are a major reason people leave eBay — and they pass along word of mouth to other people," Durzy said. "In 2007, you'll see a sea change in our approach to trust and safety."

Doesn't every business face this? I'd like to see the "sea of change" budget.

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