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As an ardent supporter of local teams, rather than the most successful outfit at any given time, I am frequently antagonized and ferociously vexed by the influence of money in the world of professional sports. Small, family clubs with legions of loyal fans, rich traditions and often trophy laden histories, are commonly and habitually forgotten. As the corporate world lurches further into sports franchises and impinges on the previously untouchable traditions of the past, the little clubs are being left to embrace their position as nothing more than also-rans. To see fine bastions of sporting pursuit relegated to this domain is nothing short of scandalous and nothing more than an utter and ignominious disgrace.

Some may intone that this makes me nothing more than a luddite or somehow suggests that I am exhibiting classic signs of jealousy; in both cases, such accusations are entirely without foundation and based on a patent lack of comprehension on the part of those who level such scurrilous imputations. My ire is merely a reflection of my consideration that big business has its place but, sadly, that now seems to be within sporting organizations to the extent that the landscape has changed forever.

So what on earth has all this circumlocutory nonsense got to do with Website Usability? Keep reading and all will be revealed, lest I digress further. Companies such as Rolex, Audi, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Sony and Mitsubishi are, I think it is indisputable, huge corporations with budgets arguably bigger than the GDP of many small nations. Why, therefore, with all that money at their disposal, do they insist on ignoring the importance of Usability? Their sites are aesthetically pleasing, rather flashy and often fairly decent. That said, as you will see if you take a brief browse through our Usability snapshots, many problems still persist.

It may seem a touch simplistic to some and unimportant to others, but ensuring good usability is something which cannot and must not be relegated, postponed, delayed, or belated. The cynic may intone that usability is not a critical element for well established brands or preposterously pecunious companies, but I beg to differ. Flashy may be splendid for creating a prima facie impression, but usability is the key to successful ecommerce and a memorable user experience.