Global B2B food & beverage supplier
Our client had redeveloped their site but concerns about its usability meant they needed evidence to counter the view of some stakeholders that the site was fine.
For the functional roles we needed primarily decision makers and influencers in marketing, procurement and R&D in both CPG (consumer packaged goods) food & beverage manufacturing and food service (chain restaurants) operations; most of these were quite senior and included the International Marketing Manager for a CPG manufacturer, the Head of Innovation for another CPG manufacturer, and the Head of Marketing for a fast growing mid-market sit down restaurant chain. For the jobseekers, we recruited people at the beginning, early and experienced stages of their careers.
We used smartphone and laptop devices during the testing – our client’s own stats indicated that smartphones are becoming increasingly important for their customers. We undertook the testing in usability labs and also remotely (by sharing a desktop) as some testers were either too distant or too busy to get into the research studios.
At the beginning of each session the tester identified the information they wanted from the site and we then asked them to find this. We also had a list of tasks, derived from the personas, to act as prompts but testers covered most of these by exploring the site naturally. This meant that the testers used the site as they would have done on their own rather than being set arbitrary tasks.
There were difficulties with:
- Content: there was too much content and testers found it confusing and intimidating – the sheer volume of text made it difficult for people to find the information they wanted, and often what they wanted wasn’t there. Testers wanted to see evidence of the benefits of the products and services – instead the site contained hyperbole with the client just saying how good they were
- Navigation: The navigation was ineffective as there was a poor ‘scent of information’, navigation pages were inconsistent and navigational elements were used inconsistently reducing the ‘learnability’ of the site
- Search: search functionality didn’t work properly
We know, having done UX insight work for more than 14 years, that the quality of the outcomes is significantly better if our client observes at least some of the research in its entirety – this increases buy-in to the research outcomes and informs the discussion about appropriate actions. As we were working ‘virtually’ with the client over a number of time zones we uploaded the tester videos to our client portal so the client and their design agency were able to watch the testers’ experiences before we discussed the outcomes.