Hyper-performance Online Marketing Consulting. Welcome to Fat-Free SEO by Hamilton Buchanan (Pty) Ltd.

Website Usability Evaluation

There is no question that there is a direct relationship between improving the usability of the key areas within your site and successfully achieving some or all of the following target goals;

  1. Visitor retention – encouraging visitors to become loyal visitors.
  2. Visit to download ratio – increasing the number of visitors who visit a host site and then go  on to download an app.
  3. Increasing visit length – increasing the time visitors spend on your site during any single visit.
  4. Increasing spend per visit – increasing the customers spend per visit.
  5. Cross selling – other offerings available via host site.

A formal Usability Evaluation can be conducted in a one-to-one facilitated lab testing environment or conducted informally by analysing your site wire-frames and design mock-ups and providing feedback and recommendations for improvement.

A formal Usability Evaluation will involve recruiting participants from the target audience and having them attempt to complete tasks similar to those they would attempt in the real world on a number of competitor sites. The tasks are carefully designed to enable us to review the general usability of your site whilst also focussing specifically on aspects of the site that hinder customers completing agreed goal conversions.

A formal Usability Evaluation will enable the project team to gain a complete picture of the environment, with a particular focus on the behaviour they exhibit when interacting with the site and the features that would encourage then to become more valuable and loyal customers.

In addition, where issues were raised in the online survey, a formal Usability Evaluation will allow us investigate these in more depth with users in a lab testing environment.

The exact number of participants required for a Usability Evaluation will be determined based on the demographic data obtained in the Online Survey. As a guide, we recommend that 8 participants are tested per segment of the target audience. This is recognised as best practice. Therefore, if we discover that your customers are a homogenous group, then 8 participants will suffice, however, if there are distinct subgroups, then more participants will need to be tested.

Online User Groups

A number of user groups will be conducted with your core target market. Participants will be recruited from the target audience and asked to participate in a group discussion involving a total of 8 participants per group. The User Groups will generate discussion and ideas that will help to define the target audience group, their wants and needs.

During the groups, participants would be shown a number of competitor sites and discussion of each site will focus on those aspects that work well for that User Group and any additional features and/or functionality that would further engage your customers.

The exact number of groups to be conducted will be determined once the demographic data from the online surveys is analysed, but a general rule of thumb is that per each segment of the target audience 1 – 2 user groups should be conducted.

Formal Usability Evaluation takes preparation, time and effort. It’s not Hamilton Buchanan’s core service proposition however, we are more than comfortable working with our specialist consultants who provide these unique services.


"The Internet is really about highly specialized information, highly specialized targeting."
Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google Inc.

"The ultimate search engine would basically understand everything in the world, and it would always give you the right thing. And we're a long, long ways from that."
Larry Page, co-founder of Google.

"We want Google to be the third half of your brain."
Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google.

"It's quite complicated and sounds circular, but we've worked out a way to calculate a Web site's importance."
Larry Page, co-founder of Google.

"Some say Google is God. Others say Google is Satan. But if they think Google is too powerful, remember that with search engines unlike other companies, all it takes is a single click to go to another search engine."
Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google.

"There's a difference between being able to make long distance phone calls cheaper on the Internet and walking around Riyadh with a PDA where you can have all of Google in your pocket. It's a difference in degree that's so enormous it becomes a difference in kind."
Thomas Friedman

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
Albert Einstein

"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."
Steve Jobs

"Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one."
Bill Gates

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."
Steve Jobs

"With Google I'm starting to burn out on knowing the answer to everything. People in the year 2020 are going to be nostalgic for the sensation of feeling clueless."
Doug Coupland

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