Should you devote all your resources to the problems that make users fail and forget those that simply cause annoyances and minor difficulties? We don't think so, which is why we analyzed the data both ways. Usability problems that are not the direct cause of a task failure can still hurt your business in many ways. Constantly annoying users with problems like low readability eventually makes them like you less, which is not good for the many sites whose main goal is marketing and promotion. Most important, when enough little irritations add up to a bad user experience, people are likely to leave and not return.
The data presented in this chapter should help you prioritize your own usability and design resources. In particular, we recommend more emphasis on content usability than what we find in most projects. Having the information users need and presenting it in an appropriate writing style are crucial for success on the Web. Of course, it's also extremely important to work on Search and findability, but most people already know this. For the remainder of this book, we will discuss these top issues that most influence people's ability to use your Web site and how you can correct them.