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This article was written by Janine Coover, Senior Usability Consultant at Catalyst Group and Nick Gould, CEO of Catalyst Group.

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Usability Study: Shopping For Bedsheets – How Hard Could It Be?

Online shopping is a great way to economize and reduce the stress of shopping, but shopping online for certain types of products can be harder than shopping in person. Recently, I looked at how well major online retailers (Macy's, Target and Overstock.com) facilitate shopping for a deceptively complex, though very common, item: a set of 300-thread-count, white cotton sheets for a queen-sized bed. Here's what I found.

Macy's Screenshot

As with all things Macy's, its website is highly polished and savvy with marketing. The home page is clear and well organized, with categories that are well delineated and prominently displayed. This clarity continues on the "Bed & Bath" landing page, where the "Sheets" option is emphasized, being listed under "Bedding" as well as in the "Featured Categories" on the right. But once they've made their big choices, most shoppers will undoubtedly run into problems.

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