Vol. 03: Product Pages

3rd Edition

Report PDF cover image

Part of the E-Commerce User Experience Series

Customers need adequate information about a product before they will buy it online. Effective product pages use a combination of text and images to show product information, availability, price, and a clear way to purchase the item. This report also includes guidelines for designing product customization options and presenting user reviews.

This 225-page report contains 76 design recommendations based on our usability research. Discussions and 235 screenshot illustrations supplement the findings.


  • Elements of a successful product page
    • Doing the job of the salesman — without the hype
    • Allowing quick comparison
    • Providing second opinions
    • Starting the purchase process
  • Navigating among products
    • Finding products
  • Product descriptions
    • Best practices in writing and presenting product description
    • Layering product details
    • Layout considerations
    • Helping people make comparisons
    • Word choice boosts sales
    • Describing details and characteristics
    • Specification tables
  • User reviews and ratings
    • Visual elements for fast comprehension
    • Criteria to ask in reviews
    • Criteria to ask about the reviewer
    • Types of reviewers
  • Product images
    • Linking to and from images
    • Size, alternate views, detail, and composition
    • Communicating accurate information
    • Zoom tools
  • Price, costs and availability
    • How and where to show price
    • Relevant information related to cost
  • Specifying product options, like color and size
    • Naming the options
    • Indicating selected options
    • Color swatches
    • Multilevel lists and menus
    • Options that are not available
    • Error messages for non-selected options
  • Technical issues
    • Downloads and plug-ins
  • Special considerations
    • Seating charts
    • Product customization

Research Method

The information in this report is based on two separate rounds of e-commerce studies, including:

  • One-on-one usability testing
  • Diary-based longitudinal study
  • Eyetracking

Representative users tested 206 e-commerce websites. The studies took place in the United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and China (Hong Kong).

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