LOS ANGELES: Enterprises are missing out on profits because of poor web site design, Adobe has claimed.
While many consumer web sites are designed to attract people with clear and interactive tools, too many enterprise sites are basic and less user friendly, turning potential customers off and losing possible business.
"Good design helps business not just at the top line by increasing interactions, but in making more business and becoming more profitable," said Ben Watson, principal product marketing manager of enterprise user experience for Adobe's Digital Enterprise Solutions Business Unit.
Companies must clearly identify their customers and the needs they are looking to fill before embarking on this route, however. This needs collaboration between business managers, designers and site builders to get the best possible result.
Adobe has been working with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) on just such a system, with very positive results.
Despite having some back-end IT systems, SARS had been sending out 30-page tax forms and taking 90 days to supply refunds. The decision was made to move to electronic filing since the main SARS building could no longer house the sheer volume of paper.
"We wanted to change the perception of the taxman being a nasty person," said Christopher Belford, systems integrator with SARS.
The organisation designed a new web site that was more customer friendly, and cut the tax forms from 30 pages to two. It also offered a four-month extension if users filed online.
As a result, the number of people filing taxes online jumped from 25,000 to 1.6 million within a few weeks, and 95 per cent of South African businesses now file taxes online.
SARS now processes 85 to 90 per cent of tax returns and dispenses refunds in 24 hours.
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