Is ease of use the primary value of a website?

The third annual website review of 20 car company websites has been published by Businesscar.

As noted in previous years, there is little consideration of the interactivity of the websites – RSS news feeds, engagement using social media, provision of multimedia information – although accessible email and phone numbers are rated.

Honda tops the list this year, praised for its “ease of use”.  Toyota is at the bottom and one of last year’s poor performers, Kia is noted as “most improved”.

The view of websites in this survey is still very much one of providing information to be accessed by fleet managers rather than consideration of how they can go further and assist the customer improve their operations.

Of course, the basics of any website has to be its ease of use, and the availability of relevant information is important.

BusinessCar’s own website offers many features designed to engage visitors – so why does it seem less keen for manufacturers to engage fleet managers in the same manner.  If the tools work for the magazine, wouldn’t they be appropriate for car companies too?

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

4 thoughts on “Is ease of use the primary value of a website?”

  1. For me, effectiveness of the website’s search engine is what’s most important. Half the time I don’t bother seeing how the website is structured, whether there are social media elements, etc. An effective search engine will get me to all references on the topic/product/service I am interested in. And that might include a blog post or posts–or not.

    But I’m one of those doubters who isn’t convinced that social media is most effective with a corporate face. Individual employees (CEO or others in an appropriate department) who are articulate, passionate and write about interesting topics are fine, but what happens if they move on to another position or company? Are the company’s products or services interesting enough to sustain human departures and make the (ease-of-use) SM aspect of the web of primary value? Maybe back posts/discussions would still be useful. Those would be picked up by search.

  2. Would websites like these use social media releases to put out their news? And if so would these press releases be any good to send to traditional print journalists or are these only geared towards the online community?

  3. The view of websites in this survey is still very much one of providing information to be accessed by fleet managers rather than consideration of how they can go further and assist the customer improve their operations.

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