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Designing Search: UX Strategies for eCommerce Success by Greg Nudelman

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CHAPTER 18

SEARCH FOR ECOMMERCE HELP SYSTEMS

COAUTHORED BY TRICIA CLEMENT OF JUXTWORKS.COM

Aspirin versus Vitamins PAGE 2

Stick to Established Best Practices PAGE 4

Creating a Comprehensive User Assistance Strategy PAGE 12

Web site user support that consistently exceeds customer's expectations can help catapult your company to legendary status and create brand equity you can measure in billions of dollars. To shed light on this important topic, in this chapter, I have teamed up with renowned cognitive psychologist and Web site user assistance expert Tricia Clement to offer some actionable insights about online user assistance mechanisms.

ASPIRIN VERSUS VITAMINS

We can broadly classify Web site user assistance content or components as either:

  • aspirin—Painkiller solutions that address an acute problem for people who need assistance right now
  • vitamins—Supplement solutions for process optimization and longer-term learning and training

Aspirin-oriented help features should be aimed at immediately alleviating the short-term pain of an acute problem. Problems in need of painkiller-oriented help mechanisms represent clear diversions from customers' desired tasks and usually arise when customers are completely stuck and looking for an immediate fix to their problems.

A customer's mindset when looking for such content is that of fear—for example, a fear of losing money, losing time, or feeling stupid. The natural response to such fear is usually anger and frustration, a highly emotional ...

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