Capturing the Magic: How to Make Your Online Product Easy to Buy, Especially for Schools and Libraries


by Warren Buckleitner

Reviewing (and buying) online content can be tricky. It requires a trial registration, passwords, credit cards, and so on.
In August 2008, I was asked to review a site called Education City (www.educationcity.com).
The email contained a link that let me in with just one click.
They had already setup an account for my publication, so I could easily see the full service, from the eyes of a child. If you make IM, and have libraries or schools in mind as a potential customer, keep these rules in mind.

RULE #1: MAKE IT EASY FOR A HYPER-BUSY TEACHER TO REVIEW THE FULL VERSION OF YOUR SITE OR SERVICE
So, I had a look, and while I liked some parts of the design, I found the pedagogy to be stilted; certainly not state-of-the-art.
But I was impressed with overall ease-of-use, and was able to write up a review. I also was able to test the assessment system.

RULE #2: MAKE IT EASY TO BUY
First they show you this screen (below). Notice the "self quote" button. They also give you a blank order form option as well as a low-tech snail-mail address (so you know you're dealing with a real place) and a phone number in case you want to talk to a person. Brilliant!
Picture_5.png

Here's what you see when you select "Self Quote."
This is another time-saving, good idea.

Picture_6.png




























All my information is already filled in for me.
With two clicks, I get my quotation -- nice and official, in an easy-to-fax format.
I could just run this down to the business office, and I can get my order processed.

Picture_7.jpg