How To Evaluate Website Requirements

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Notes on how to evaluate an eCommerce website to be optimal and engaging.

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How To Evaluate Website Requirements

  1. 1. How to Perform an Initial Website Optimization and Implement Enhancements 1. Requirements Analysis • Determine the goals for the website from the perspective of the user and the business. (a) Resolve keywords we wish to optimise. Execute fundamental SEO – meta tags, image tags, internal linking. Another practice that can increase usability is the use of semantic tags rather than format tags. Although format tags offer designers more control over the appearance of text, semantic tags can be more usable across platforms. People with different browsers will more likely get the proper interpretation of text regardless of how it is displayed. (b) Set up Google Maps http://www.google.com/local/add/lookup (c) Off site optimisation around relevant directory listings and engaging with selected social media for this product. • Determine the user needs and target usability requirements. • Examples of issues: (i) Many of the pages don’t deliver the content they are supposed to display. If the content doesn’t exist it should either be removed or a placeholder ‘items coming soon’ should be provided. (i) User should be able to turn music off. It can be very frustrating not to be able to turn control the sound. (ii) Nothing jumps out at me saying this is a reputable ecommerce site. ie. trusted, secure shopping logo or identification. Ex. Truste • Evaluate existing versions of the site. • Examples of issues: (i) Navigation isn’t consistent and there is a high level of duplication of content. ex. Spring/ Summer Women’s behaves differently from Autumn/Winter Women’s pages. Men’s pages are duplicated in Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. (ii) I recommend a slight reconstruction to optimize navigation and functionality. Please see attached wireframe for the Home Page. (iii) Most of the questions I’ve listed can be answered on the site, but require too much searching to locate. I’ve put together content restructuring guidelines to address most of the following entitled ‘The Website Basic Site Architecture’. (iv) Shopping pages should have option to ‘view all’ and should be easier to navigate. Ex. Use slideshow and expandable pop-ups to manage product information. (v) Eliminate duplicated content/pages. Ex. Plan A Party: There are 3 pages of duplicated content. • Perform a competitive analysis. • Perform user interviews and surveys. • Ask friends and family to use the site and provide feedback. 2. Conceptual Design • Compose fresh copy to address keyword strategy and SEO objectives. • Sketch out a site design and architecture at an abstract level.
  2. 2. • Basic wireframes will be provided to assist with redevelopment of the website - including directions for persistent navigation, information architecture, and consistent page elements. • Conduct a task analysis to find critical features. • The main goal of the redesign would be to address the issue of page indexing and improving navigation, and include the following elements: ✤ Unique Content - Highlight most valuable pages by applying static URLs and internal links. ✤ Monetization Plan - smooth/easy eCommerce experience 3. Mockups / Prototypes • Rapidly create visual representations (mockups) or interactive representations (prototypes) of the site. • Evaluate usability through focus groups, user tests, and walkthroughs. • Use the evaluation results to create more mockups or improve the prototypes. • Repeat this process (design iteration) until the design and usability goals are met 4. Production • Create the final product. • Evaluate functionality through testing, quality assurance, usability testing, and field testing. • Use the evaluation results to improve the product. • Repeat this process (production iteration) until the business goals are met. 5. Launch and Maintenance • Launch the website. • Maintain and refine with user feedback. • Use the feedback to create new requirements, and begin major design improvements (system iteration). 6. Future Focus: Measuring Success We can analyse traffic and track behaviour data; including monitoring social media widgets used to promote the brand and increase traffic. Additionally, the more external sites that link to The Website the better - can partners and related sites link to home page or info pages? Enhance affiliate program. Continue with off-site optimisation around relevant directory listings and engaging with selected social media for this product. the website Below is a short list of the most valuable elements in visitor tracking: • Campaign Tracking - The ability to put specific URLs or referrer strings onto ads, emails, or links and track their success. • Action Tracking - Adding the ability to track certain actions on a site like form submission, newsletter signups, add to cart buttons, and checkout or transaction completions and tying them together with campaigns and keyword tracking so you know what ads, links, terms, and campaigns are bringing you the best visitors. • Search Engine Referral Tracking - Seeing which search engines sent which visitors over time and tracking the terms and phrases they used to reach your site. Combined with action tracking, this can help you determine which terms are most valuable to target. • Referring URLs & Domain Tracking - This allows you to see what URLs and domains are responsible for sending you traffic. By tracking these individually, you can see where your most valuable links are coming from. • First-Time vs. Return Visitors - Find out what percentage of your visitors are coming back each day/week/month. This can help you to figure out how "sticky" and consistently interesting your site is.
  3. 3. • Entry Pages - Which pages are attracting the most visitors and which are converting them. You can also see pages that have a very high rate of loss - those pages which don't do a good job pulling people into the site. • Visitor Demographics - Where are your visitors coming from, what browsers are they using, what time do they visit? All these questions and many more can be answered with demographics. • Click Path Analysis - What paths do your visitors follow when they get to your site? This data can help you make more logical streams of pages for visitors to use as they navigate your site, attempt to find information, or complete a task. • Popular Pages - Which pages get the most visitors and which are neglected? Use this data to help improve low popularity pages and emulate highly trafficked ones. • Page Views per Session - This data can tell you how many pages each visitor to your site is viewing - another metric used to measure "stickiness”. Summary: Evaluation occurs at every stage of the process. Similar types of evaluation can occur at different stages of the design process to keep in mind the goals of the project and the users' needs. And if it comes down to a choice, reduce the scope of the project rather than the usability.

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