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I've recently designed the UX for retail product page for a website.

Hierarchy is as follows:

Image> Product title> Review score> Price

Then in the details section:

Product features>Reviews

However, I've been asked to change the details section to:

Reviews>Product features

I was told because reviews are more important than features (no analytics or stats to prove this are available). I know reviews increase purchases rates, however surely having seen the review score and price the next thing you would want to see are the features and then read the reviews to see if it really is that good?

  • Who told you to change it? – JonW May 14 '15 at 11:01
  • my line manager – Digital Robot Gorilla May 14 '15 at 11:03
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    Personally, I'd go with Review Score first, and then features. Most people checks their peers opinions and then check if the product is what they need. That's why most people buys things they don't need or that doesn't fit the exact needs they have: because they trust peers opinion rather than the product itself (and explaining this would take pages and pages of explanations, there are countless books to explain this behavior) – Devin May 15 '15 at 19:55
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Assumptions are assumptions

You are making an assumption, and while it could well be a valid one, it is still an assumption.

It is perfectly fine to make assumptions in UX and we do this often as you can't gather, analyse and validate data on every single aspect of a system. But for anything other that minor, you hope some data will emerge or be collected at later date.

So if there isn't any real data to prove otherwise, your assumption is as good as that of your line manager. And these sort of things are dead-easy to test on the web with A/B test frameworks like Optimizely.

Let them have it

If I'm honest, if I don't know something or can't provide a strong argument for or against it, I'd rather use other's assumptions than mine, especially of those above me - they may know better and I'm off the hook if any bad feedback is given.

Common sense is not that common

It is impossible to even start an argument with the details you have provided (what are the products? what features they may have? who are the users?), but consider this:

  • I won't even bother with a product if it has 2 or less starts in a 5 star system - on Amazon or Apple's app store this will be the first thing I'll be looking at, before even reading the description.
  • If you sell books, what features books have that are of interest to users?

This is just to say that your assumption may not be as clear-cut right as you may think.

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I agree with Izaki's statement but would recommend you research instead. Your job is to create the experience, not to submit to uneducated guesses.

How? Easiest way is to show comparable examples. eBay, Amazon, and other major retailers almost always follow a particular style, and they have the money to research directly how consumers determine whether the product is worth buying. Use those examples.

For example, one of my first projects was to create a task management app within a much larger scheduling app. So I went and found all of the apps that did task management. Not just the big ones, but the smaller ones too, and even those that were out of business. Then, using that research, I made user flows that they all used and determined what was the critical path they chose, and what the similarities were.

At that point -- and this is critical -- I pointed to our differentiation and offered a choice: to go with what everyone else was doing that didn't match our use case, or to go with my suggested path that does. People who make bad decisions are rarely people with poor judgment. Usually they just lack critical data.

So, for yourself, find and provide that data however you can. Then offer the facts in an easily digestible way. If they still go with what you consider is the wrong path, you've at the very least done your job and determined what is the best course of action. Because really that's your job as a UX designer.

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