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Research Methods and Usability Guidelines for Ecommerce Web Sites Mary Czerwinski Microsoft Research Note: Many of these slides came from a Keynote address.

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Presentation on theme: "Research Methods and Usability Guidelines for Ecommerce Web Sites Mary Czerwinski Microsoft Research Note: Many of these slides came from a Keynote address."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research Methods and Usability Guidelines for Ecommerce Web Sites Mary Czerwinski Microsoft Research Note: Many of these slides came from a Keynote address by Kirsten Risden at Web99

2 Key ecommerce ingredients Most sources agreed that navigation clear content organization product information availability trust Extras: personalized services and/or providing updated content or activities.

3 Building trust Building Trust: What It Takes A clearly stated return policy A clearly stated security/encryption policy and seals of approval from authoritative organizations The ability to back out of a transaction Fast and easy navigation Source: eCommerce Trust Study, Cheskin Research and Studio Archetype/Sapient, January 1999

4 From browsers to buyers…. Seth Gordon recommends: Make Buyers Feel Comfortable: good content and a personality Get Users to the Goods: make the products easy to find and educate along the way Make It Easy to Complete a Purchase: no roadblocks in your checkout tunnel Build Buyer Loyalty: deliver on your promise and give reasons to return From Builder.com Design section, January 25, 2000.

5 Serco ecommerce guidelines Make it easy for users to enter the store Use a meaningful store layout and product categories Ensure descriptive terms or pictures are used Allow users to find and use search facilities

6 Serco ecommerce guidelines Provide meaningful and relevant search results Make it clear whether items are available in the on-line store Allow users to see what's in their shopping basket Provide sufficient product information and explain technical terms Clearly flag the financial security features of the site

7 How do we get there? Information Structure Site organization should reflect users conceptual categorization of content Can be very different from designers categorization of content Derived empirically Card Sort Need < ~200 distinct information types Find Task (a.k.a. reverse card sort) If > ~200 distinct information types

8 Card Sort Study Cluster Analysis

9 Find Study ( a.k.a. Reverse Cart Sort ) If more than 200 items, make initial design prototype….(s) Record user paths through browse hierarchy of ecommerce site Map out confusability Determine where problems are and why

10 Find Study

11 Reckless redundancy reduces learnability

12 Information structure take-aways For ease in finding information, ecommerce site organization must fit users conceptual categorization be easy to learn

13 Presentation Support and guide scan and focus visual processing through design Layout and graphical design Labels Text

14 Layout and Graphical Design Use mostly text and avoid pictures Provide landmarks Use simple configurations Use blocking appropriately Dont break configurations up Make high contrast choices Avoid animations

15 Use Text and Avoid Pictures

16 At least...keep navigation elements away from graphics

17 Use clean, simple configurations

18 Use blocking appropriately

19 Use High Contrast Colors Click Here Avoid animations….

20 Labels Use distinctive, differentiating terms Concrete terms are more attractive than abstract terms Put supporting detail in tool tips or look ahead text Asking users to generate labels is highly instructive

21 Use tool tips or look ahead text

22 User generated labels For groupings in card sort For content For subordinate categories

23 Delivery Performance First page download should be < 10 seconds on Secondary pages can be somewhat slower to download. Resolution 60% of Media Metrix sample using 6X4 Number is changing slowly.

24 Key Take-aways Match users conception of how ecommerce domain is organized. Remember that you are supporting a scan and focus approach to visual information processing. Words can be worth thousands of pictures. There is a high bar with little room to error when it comes to performance.


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