I just stumbled across an interesting article (Yahoo! News) that seems to focus on the issue of the importance of UX (User Experience) and customer satisfaction. Take a gander at the article and see what you think...
> > > Yahoo edges Google in user satisfaction survey
The article is proof-positive that these days attending to the user experience is critical to product success and user adoption. User satisfaction and a positive user experience can separate your product from it's competition, give you immediate as well as long-term advantages in the race towards success, and build a strong foundation for customer loyalty.
I use both Yahoo! and Google's products, and I feel there are benefits to both. I am loyal to, and use both both of them daily -- but for different reasons. Which is better? For me it depends on what you're trying to achieve. I think Google's better from the stand-point that they have a "suite of tools" that work together well. I can get a lot done in a short amount of time using my "Google apps". Whereas, I prefer the look and feel of Yahoo!'s email client, but the general process-flows are kludgey and tend to drag because of their onslaught of advertising. Both Yahoo! and Google tools tend to pop me into far too many windows. Google's got a far better account creation flow, and the process is simple, painless -- and it works. Yahoo!'s account creation can be painful. I recently tried to help my daughter set-up a Flickr account (owned by Yahoo!) so we could share photos, but we were left scratching our heads trying to figure out why we weren't able to do so (we kept getting errors), and we were left with a less-than-optimal user experience.
It's becoming increasingly clear that a positive user experience can be an obvious differentiator when traveling the road to product adoption and long-term success. Customer satisfaction can also have a direct effect on the bottom-line.
Ultimately, it's all about the user. What are your thoughts?