Navigation Plagues Web Experiences

In a recently published research report, I examined the results of more than 1,200 Web Site Reviews that Forrester has completed over the last 10 years. It turns out that Website experiences still need a lot of work. To begin with, 60% of sites ended up with “poor” or “very poor” scores in 2008.

Our expert review grades 25 criteria across four areas: Value, Navigation, Presentation, and Trust. When examining how sites have done in each of these areas, we find that they most often fail the Navigation criteria.


Source: 1,212 Website Reviews Completed By Forrester Research

As sites have become more complex, they’ve piled on content and functionality (more Value) which has made it more difficult for users to find what they need. Here are the five criteria which sites failed the most in 2008:

  1. Is text legible? (18% passed)
  2. Is the task flow efficient? (22% passed)
  3. Does the site present privacy and security policies in context? (30% passed)
  4. Do page layouts use space effectively? (31% passed)
  5. Are category and subcategory names clear and mutually exclusive? (34% passed)

The bottom line: Firms should consider an “ultrasimplicity” strategy.

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about these topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

6 Responses to Navigation Plagues Web Experiences

  1. Linda Ziemba says:

    So, would the ability for a company rep to give an on-demand guided tour of the company’s content-rich super-functional website help the scores?

    • Bruce Temkin says:

      Linda: The answer is quite definitive: it depends. That capability could help or hurt the scores depending on who the users are, what their goals were for going to the site, and how the guided tour was implemented. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Pingback: 8 Ways To Boost Online Gift Cards « Customer Experience Matters

  3. Pingback: Make It Easy For Customers, Most Of The Time « Customer Experience Matters

  4. Joe Matthews says:

    Curious to learn the criterion used to assess text legibility? Are font style and font size the only factors?

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