Sigmund Freud on Web Usability?

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Website usability specialists, VKI Studios, has just published an article asserting that web usability practices are taking websites from bare technology into the realm of applied psychology.

The web usability evangelists at VKI Studios are raising eyebrows again, this time likening the advent of web usability to the resurrection of direct mail campaigns decades ago.

In an article just released in the Montgomery Research publication, Managing Performance: Strategies for Global Leaders, VKI notes that by incorporating the theories of such great thinkers as Sigmund Freud and (most importantly) a host of cognitive psychologists, the discipline of web usability is taking websites beyond bare technology and into the realm of applied psychology.

Drawing a parallel between websites and direct mail, VKI notes that it wasn’t until applied psychology was introduced that direct mail really took off:

“Applied psychology was effectively used to revitalize that industry decades ago, when its practitioners were looking for ways improve response rates. They found that by applying psychology to what had been a technological process, they were able to improve ROI to previously unimaginable levels. The same principle is at work with web usability.”

What is web usability?

Web usability is the ease with which website visitors can achieve their goals online. A truly usable website will keep visitors engaged and lead them through a seamless path to task completion.

Web users have short attention spans. They are on your site voluntarily and aren’t willing to take the time to “figure it out”. Functions must be more than self-explanatory; they must be self-evident. Frustrate your visitors with an awkward interface, and they’ll be gone in seconds. Delight them with an enjoyable experience, and you can turn those visitors into loyal customers.

Time for usability analysis?

Your website is now a vital touchpoint of customer interaction. What kind of customer experience is it delivering? And how do you know? To you, your website’s functions are obvious. But you and your in-house team are too close to your website to evaluate it impartially. The only way to determine whether your website is performing optimally is to commission a rigorous, third-party website usability evaluation.

Properly done, a usability evaluation of your website will reveal all its hidden stumbling blocks. Once these barriers are removed, your visitors will achieve their goals with much greater frequency.

Any website can benefit from a thorough usability evaluation. Even subtle usability improvements can have dramatic, positive effects which more than justify the investment in testing.

VKI Studios specializes in delivering insightful and actionable website usability evaluations. As an impartial entity, they’re not swayed by a client’s internal politics or previous design choices. They’re able to look at websites objectively, and make recommendations based purely on what works best for users.

For examples of how even the best websites exhibit usability issues, see VKI’s snapshot web usability reviews.

For the complete text of VKI’s article, please visit

Contact Information:

John Hossack, VP Usability

VKI Studios Inc


Released by VKI Studios – Web Usability and Internet Marketing


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