LoveFilm’s usable site sets the right example

LoveFilm combines usable design with clever recommendations – a near
perfect online service.

Its DVD rental website contains lots of examples of usable design which
other sites could learn from.

When introducing a totally new concept, as LoveFilm…

LoveFilm combines usable design with clever recommendations – a near perfect online service.

Its DVD rental website contains lots of examples of usable design which other sites could learn from.

When introducing a totally new concept, as LoveFilm did, it’s important to explain it upfront and clearly to new site visitors. LoveFilm does the right thing by placing a simple guide to its delivery and return method right at the top of its homepage. The simple images convey the basic message without users having to read a detailed and extensive piece of text.

LoveFilm is an example of how the online experience can be made so much better than the offline one. In traditional video rental shops, customers struggle to choose from aisles of DVDs with little guidance, which can lead to disappointment.

LoveFilm offers lots of help to prevent a horror fan picking a film like Pretty Woman by mistake. Good websites offer different ways to browse, and LoveFilm does exactly this by letting users browse by genres, new releases and charts.

However, the most useful guidance comes from user ratingsand clever recommendations. Websites often struggle to get users to rate products because it takes too many steps.

LoveFilm succeeds because it makes it incredibly easy to do. One click is all it takes for a user to give a star rating. Then, it recommends DVDs to that user based on what other people with similar tastes rated highly. The system works remarkably well.

But it is facing increasingcompetition from video-on-demand and video download services, like those from Sky, Apple and Amazon. It must do more to promote itsown download service to stay inthe game.

LoveFilm does lots of things right and few things wrong. Its service is generally very easy to use and offers users help in making selections – perfect for a night in with a DVD and some microwave popcorn.

Usability assessment provided by Abid Warsi, user experience consultant at Webcredible

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