Forrester: Your website #CX still #FAILS after all these years

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That’s right, your website. Unless you happen to be among the happy 3% that earn a passing score, based on Forrester’s website user experience reviews.

Forrester analyst Adele Sage, in a new report Lessons Learned From 1,500 Website User Experience Reviews, concludes that far too many websites subject users to poor or very poor experiences. The Forrester methodology considers 25 criteria across four big categories: value, navigation, presentation, and trust.

However, it’s worth noting that to get a “passing” score, a website needs to pass all 4 categories. Turns out that the majority of websites (roughly 55-65%) pass in individual categories, but only 3% pass in all four.

The top five #fails, affecting the majority of websites reviewed, are surprisingly basic issues like:

  1. Is text legible?
  2. Are task flows for the specified user goals efficient?
  3. Does the site present privacy and security policies in context?
  4. Do layouts use space effectively?
  5. Is the content that’s required to support the specified user goals available where needed?

However, if you look at some other statistics like overall average score and percentage of good/very good (65%) scores in the 2010-2012 time frame, the story is not quite so bleak. Web sites are getting better, but just not fast enough.

This report should serve as a wake-up call that there’s plenty of room for improving the website customer experience. Given the continuing shift to all things digital and e-commerce, it’s critical to make sure online experiences are working well. Adobe, Oracle and many other vendors are selling software to improve digital experiences; Forrester calls this tech segment CXM. And today, Salesforce.com announced Site.com to lend a hand.

But you probably don’t need to buy software to address some of the more basic issues like making sure text is legible. Or do you?

Thanks to Forrester for providing a free copy of the report for my review. Most Forrester reports are for individual sale, but this one — oddly — is not. You have to be a Forrester client to get it. I’d say that’s a website #fail on Forrester’s part, unless their goal is client acquisition.

See Adele Sage’s blog post for more about this research.

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