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How Your Web to Print User Interface Impacts Customer Satisfaction and Adoption

  • Howie Fenton
  • |
  • March 05, 2024

Customers today expect a seamless ordering experience, akin to the experiences they encounter on e-commerce platforms like Amazon. 

That means the user interface of your Web to Print ordering portal plays a pivotal role in shaping customer satisfaction and adoption rates. A customer’s perception of your in-plant is heavily influenced by their interaction with your website. And their experience, in turn, will help determine the success or failure of your Web to Print ordering system implementation. 

But what does that mean exactly? And what should you consider when it comes to choosing a Web to Print solution that will keep your users happy? 

In this blog post, we’ll explore exactly that.

Why User Experience Matters 

There’s a mistake businesses often make when implementing e-commerce or Web to Print software. That is, they use the same approach they would use for internal software tools. 

Yet, when evaluating internal software, the emphasis is typically on features and functionality. And this overlooks one critical component: customer acceptance. But for e-commerce and Web to Print software, that’s more critical than ever. 

Web to Print software is customer-facing — meaning it's directly utilized by the end customer or client of a business. Regardless of its features, its success hinges on customer adoption. And features and finishes aren’t the only thing that matter to customers. 

They aren’t going to want to use your Web to Print solution if its user experience is sub-par. 

The Good, Bad, and the Ugly  

Business literature abounds with tales of how suboptimal user interfaces have led to the downfall of online ventures.  

A prime illustration of this is the initial launch of Healthcare.gov. Mohit Sharma, in his work The Cost of Bad User Experience: Impact and Examples, highlights that the website's debut was plagued by design issues, such as account creation obstacles, a convoluted interface, and a cumbersome enrollment process. These usability problems garnered widespread critique, undermined the program's integrity, and resulted in significant enrollment delays. 

In my consultancy practice, we collaborated with a university in-plant administrator in Minnesota who contemplated shutting down the facility due to feedback of discontent regarding the in-plant. Through focus groups and surveys, we pinpointed that the complaints primarily stemmed from the Web to Print software's user interface. Identifying this underlying issue allowed them to switch to a more user-friendly software, which not only elevated customer satisfaction but also ensured the facility's continued operation. 

The design of a user interface is paramount in persuading consumers to utilize e-commerce for their shopping needs. It acts as the main conduit for interactions between the consumer and the digital platform, molding their shopping experience and their perception of the brand. An interface that is both aesthetically pleasing and simple to use enhances user satisfaction by streamlining the shopping journey, making it more enjoyable and effective. 

Conversely, an interface that is difficult to use can deter users, leading to incomplete purchases and a hesitancy to revisit the site. Fundamentally, the user interface facilitates the adoption of e-commerce by providing an easy and engaging environment that encourages consumers to take part in online shopping. 

The Elements of a Good User Experience  

So what goes into a good Web to Print user experience? For that, it helps to understand the “Amazon Effect.” 

The Amazon Effect refers to the significant impact Amazon's user interface has on consumer expectations. It has raised the bar and reshaped how websites should operate, compelling the makers of Web to Print software to elevate their user experience to meet the heightened expectations set by Amazon.   

The Amazon Effect has redefined customer expectations across various sectors, but notably for Web to Print sites it includes several key expectations: 

  • Ease of Use: Amazon's streamlined process for browsing, selecting, and ordering items online has established a benchmark for customer experience. Individuals seeking printed products now anticipate a frictionless online shopping journey that offers comprehensive product details and straightforward search capabilities. 
  • Visual Previews: Shoppers expect to see thumbnails of products to quickly identify the right item and confirm that its appearance aligns with their expectations. 
  • Reordering Facility: Users see value in the convenience of reordering a previously purchased product at the same price. 
  • Flexible Delivery Options: Customers appreciate having choices regarding delivery times, including the availability of expedited shipping for an additional fee. 
  • Simplified Checkout and Billing: Customers today believe that a hassle-free checkout process and automatic billing are critical to a positive user experience. 
  • Customization and Personalization: There's a growing demand for custom print products, driving the need for software that supports extensive customization and personalization. This includes products like customized books, personalized gifts, and bespoke marketing materials. 

Addressing Concerns Around a Poor User Interface 

If you feel that your website is not meeting the expectations above and is potentially having a negative effect on your user experience, you should consider the following six steps: 

  1. Engage with Your Customers: Utilize surveys and focus groups to capture your customers' preferences, level of satisfaction, and the features they value most and/or think are missing. 
  2. Evaluate Software Options: Assess whether the software you have or are considering meets your customers' needs. 
  3. Implement a Beta Version: If you need to update or change your software, start with a beta version for key customers, inviting their input to refine the platform. 
  4. Solicit Comprehensive Feedback: Seek feedback on usability, loading speed, accessibility on various devices, and the visibility of previous purchases. 
  5. Iterate and Educate: Address feedback, officially launch the updated software, and offer training sessions and instructional videos to users. 
  6. Develop a Support Infrastructure: Establish a robust support system with FAQs, written guides, and helpful hyperlinks. 


A poor Web to Print user experience can do more than just turn your customers off. It can lead to customer complaints and drops in business.  

Getting your user experience right, then, is essential.   

That means listening to and addressing the needs and preferences of your customers, and identifying issues that may be detracting from their overall satisfaction. It also means taking proactive steps to enhance the user interface and functionality of your Web to Print software — to promote adoption and maintain high levels of customer satisfaction as a whole. 

How Your Web to Print User Interface Impacts Customer Satisfaction and Adoption

An excellent user experience isn’t just a “nice to have” in today’s Web to Print software. Rather, it’s the difference between solutions that get used and those that don’t. So what goes into a good Web to Print user experience? And what can you do if you feel like your Web to Print environment isn’t meeting user expectations? This blog post explores those questions and more.


About the Author

Howie Fenton

Howie Fenton is an independent consultant and trusted advisor to in-plant printers. He recommends equipment, best practices and workflow automation tools to streamline operations. To learn more about measuring performance, benchmarking to leaders, and improving your value e-mail Howie@howiefentonconsulting.com

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