As many of you know, I bought a MINI Cooper S not long ago. I still love it, and I occasionally think about the great experience I had selecting it. Early on, I realized that MINI offers several models. So, I visited MINI.com to learn more about them.
What did I find? I could easily pick models and see how they stacked up in size, shape, and performance. I also could dig into details for issues important to me, such as gas mileage. Comparing was useful…and also kind of fun.
But, so many comparisons fail. Take a look at this comparison I ran into while trying to select a printer from Best Buy.
What’s the difference between those printers? After a lot of scrolling, I still didn’t know. With Best Buy, comparing is more of a chore than a delight.
Comparisons aren’t just for products or for sales, of course. You can compare other kinds of solutions or ideas. You also can compare usage, activity, or performance over time. The more I think about it, the more I realize neuroscience is right. We are constantly taking in new information and comparing it to what we already know to help us decide. Comparisons are critical to the decisions we make—and, of course, to the decisions your users make.
So, ask yourself or your team where could you and where should you care to compare. If your comparisons are missing or neglected, your organization could be missing the boat. (And the boat is money or happy users—or both.)
As with planning any content, planning comparisons well involves many considerations. What’s the right type of comparison? What content should we include? How can design help communicate a comparison? And that’s just scratching the surface. For help sorting through you sort through those considerations, my webinar on April 4 will share a four-step approach to forming effective comparisons. Count on plenty of examples and tips, too.