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7 Deadly Flaws - What's wrong with your business website

Crafting a business website as a valuable asset and a beautiful representation of a business's brand is a confluence of many diverse skills. One of the most important of these is matching the expectations of your audience, leveraging the de facto standards of the web medium. Having assessed many business web presences over the years, we repeatedly see some very easily rectifiable mistakes. In this blog post we explain each and offer methods to resolve them.  

1Too many menu items. The main menu on your website should contain, ideally, 7 items (±2). The reason for this is to avoid information overload - we can only keep 7±2 items in our working memory at any single point in time. The number 7 comes from a famous 1956 Psychological Review paper by cognitive psychologist George Miller which is one of the most highly cited in psychology. To reduce a main menu to fewer items, we can relegate the less important items to other menu areas such as footer menus, and/or we can use drop down sub-menus to futher chunk the items, organising them to assist visitors quick understanding of the information being presented.

 

2Your about us pages rehashes what you do. A surprising amount of "About us" pages don't actually tell us about the business and its people. In fact, we commonly find that the about us page rehases what the company does rather than why they do it. That's a very important distinction. The purpose of an about us page is to display how trustworthy you are as a business. To do that you need to tell me your name and where you are in the world. Even more importantly, tell me why you do this work, how you got into it and why you love it. Tell me your story, tell me why you do what you do. This builds huge trust and helps me to be more comfortable transacting with because now I know you just a little bit better.

 

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User Experience Testing

User Experience (UX) testing is a way of learning about how your customers experience your software, in their natural environment. UX testing techniques developed from the idea of tracing cognitive processes as methods to study actual behaviour at an atomic level, the use of verbal reports and protocols for their analysis in data collection has evolved largely from efforts at understanding human problem solving in the field of psychology (Ericsson & Simon, 1980; Newell & Simon, 1972).

How UX is conducted

The UX testing technique most often used today is the Think-Aloud Protocol (TAP) method developed by Lewis (1980) at IBM research. In think-aloud protocol (TAP) sessions, the participant is asked to vocalise their thoughts, their actions, their expectations of the results of those actions and, any confusion or concerns arising, in the presence of a facilitator. This facilitator also observes the session and may prompt the participant in order to keep the commentary alive. There are two distinct types of TAP, which produce the best results when used in conjunction - Concurrent Analysis and Retrospective Analysis.

 

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