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How poor design can cost a sale

I’m in the market for a new greenhouse. Until this morning, I’d settled on a model (made by Gardman) and a retailer (greenfingers.com). Then I read the customer reviews.

Every single one commented on the terrible instructions provided with the product: three different documents; poor pictures; unclear directions; etc. Why would I put myself through the same experience, I thought.

As a direct result, I didn’t buy that model from that retailer. They both lost a sale simply because they didn’t invest a little bit of money in good information design. In fact, they’d probably only need to sell a few greenhouses to get that investment back.

People talk about the Return on Investment of good design. I think they should be thinking more about the danger of not investing.