DO WE HAVE A ‘GOOD’ WEBSITE?
That is a common question for most brands. Many marketing teams ask if their website is performing at its best, but few have a structured process in place to fully answer the question. When trying to find gaps and opportunities to increase your website’s sales, lead generation or other conversions, using a heuristic approach can lead to significantly better results.
WHAT THE #$% ARE HEURISTICS?
Heuristics are best practices derived from previous experiences with similar problems. The word heuristics is of Greek origin and means “to discover.”
When applied to the evaluation of a website, heuristics are the backbone of a systemized process for improving site performance. Your set of heuristics is based on best practices and the evaluation system is essentially measuring your site against those best practices.
Introduced by Jakob Nielsen in 1995, the below set of heuristics are considered standard.
- System Status. The system status should always be visible to users. For example, is the page still loading or is it completed?
- Expected Interface – Is the site intuitive and is the UI what users expect.
- User Control and freedom. Make your user feel at ease and confident by providing “emergency exits” and alternative routes.
- Consistency and Standards – Be consistent in everything (design elements, microcopy, etc). Make sure the same button doesn’t perform different actions.
- Error Prevention – Eliminate interface elements that cause confusion and lead to an error.
- Recognition – Never rely on user’s memory/recall.
- Efficiency of Use – The interface must be easy to navigate and should require little effort from the user.
- Aesthetic and Minimalist Design – Have less clutter and more focus on the content.
- Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors – Explain the error in a friendly voice and suggest further actions to recover from the error. Never let your user feel frustrated.
- Help and documentation – Make sure to have all important information and FAQ in place.
Evaluating a website’s performance requires incorporating a core set of heuristics inside of a holistic set of evaluation methods. For Angelsmith’s Website Optimization Audit, we combine website data, engage user testing, competitive benchmarking and expert evaluations to determine the next steps to optimize websites for better performance.
Using evaluation methods independently of each other can return unreliable results. Each assessment method has pros and cons, that alone are less likely to provide the insight needed to successfully improve your website’s conversions. However, when combined, they can return insights to power better returns from your site.
Part of the reason (and there are many) that a holistic and systematic approach to a website optimization audit outperforms single methodology is due to cognitive bias on behalf of both the evaluators and the brand’s stakeholders. With multiple approaches Angelsmith is able to mitigate those negative effects and raise the level of objectivity of the results.
If you are interested in learning more about Angelsmith’s Website Optimization Audit, please fill out the form below and we will contact you as soon as possible.