When is a shopping basket not a shopping basket?

I was reading through Jakob Nielsen’s ‘Prioritizing Web Usability’ recently and there is a brief discussion of a website called watches.co.uk.  Jakob is usually worth reading as a lot of web developers will tell you, but on this ocassion he made a very strange comment about use of the term ‘shopping basket.’

Nielsen prefers that they use ‘Shopping Cart’ instead as apparently most users look for the term ‘Cart’, not ‘Basket’.

Numerically, he may be correct, as I am certain that American users look for the term ‘Cart’ as they are used to that term.  In the UK however we are used to doing our weekly trip to Tesco and putting the products into a ‘shopping basket’, not a ‘cart’. The term ‘cart’ is very un-English and as (I strongly suspect) the target audience of watches.co.uk is English – surely the visitors on that site are looking for the term ‘Basket’, not ‘Cart’.

Of course an argument could be made that the site in question might wish to export goods to America, even if that is the case I would still say that their primary market is the UK, otherwise surely they would be using a .com (global) web address and offering the option to display prices in US Dollars.

I’ve just had a look at their updated site and spotted that they haven’t taken any notice of Nielsen’s advice (I suspect they aren’t even aware of it), and have actually made certain things even worse by removing the textual link entirely and replacing it with just a very small basket icon.

Not often I disagree with Nielsen’s advice, but in this case – I feel he is very wrong!

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