Research by User Interface Engineering, Inc., shows that people cannot find the information they seek on Web sites about 60% of the time. Industry expert Jakob Nielsen measured traffic at 42 major sites where usability had been emphasized at the design stage and found that they performed 135 percent better on average. Industry content expert Gerry McGovern stated that 90% of users went to only 1% of the Microsoft site
Site statistics showed that the rapid annual growth following our first website redesign in October 1999 had slowed, from a rate of 46% for hits and 43% for visitors from 2000-01 to 16% for hits and 15% for visitors from 2001-02. Although staying at near-record levels of 3.4 million hits and nearly 80,000 visitors per month, site usage had slowed. We decided to transition the site to a portal to accommodate our diverse audiences. To transition to a portal in the next 12-18 months under the eGov initiative, we would need audience analysis and usability/accessibility testing.
They believe that the answer is somewhere on the site, but can’t always find it quickly and often ask someone in the office who can point them in the right direction.
On this last item, we learned that significant numbers of our users were abandoning their search or even the site before selecting even a single match to view. This pointed to a more significant problem with our search engine than we had previously thought.
Usability Testing of RMA’s Website What We’ve Learned So Far for www.rma.usda.gov Janet Stevens RMA Website Project Manager [email_address] 202-690-3040
Visit Tools and Calculators extensively and most used either the Summary of Business or the Premium Calculator every week or several times a week
Tended to use the proprietary version of the Premium Calculator provided by their insurance company, not our version. Sometimes because they were used to it or they felt it had more features than ours, which some discovered wasn’t necessarily true