For a while now we’ve been observing and listening to our users as they respond to our new website and are working away in the background develop the next set of improvements.
Back in January 2013 we set out to create a responsive website with an improved user experience and updated design. We spoke to our users to understand their needs and released a beta version of the site to test some early concepts. We then made some improvements and released a few key sections with the new design.
Since releasing the new design we’ve continued to build our understanding of what’s working well, and what needs further improvement. Here are just some of the improvements we’ve made:
Our users expect simple navigation and clear signposting. With the new design, our aim was to remove distractions and provide direct access to the content our users value the most.
- We’ve added a new landing page providing straightforward navigation to the product reviews, plus shortcuts to best buy tables for our members.
- The product search results are now fully responsive (display across device) and advice articles now have their own section, making the most of the space available to show products.
- We’ve also made some improved links between advice and product pages with related links and product tables.
- Following clear feedback from our users, we’ve recently improved our navigation to ensure that you are always only one click away from related products.
In the initial beta release we tested a ‘Why not try’ section offering relevant alternatives from the product summary page. People told us that they really liked this feature. ‘Why not try’ has been temporarily removed for the latest release, however, we’ll be working on making it even better and re-releasing it in the near future.
We’re also planning to improve links between advice and products so that wherever you are in the choosing process, you have relevant expert help at your fingertips to help you choose.
Narrowing down your selection
From talking to users we know that as well as having access to the latest products on Which? they also want tools to narrow their selection and access recommendations.
- We now have a ‘Best Buys’ tab showcasing all of the Best Buys and Don’t Buys in one place.
- The Best Buy tables are optimised for mobile devices for the first time.
- For some product areas we now have whole market coverage to ensure we have something to say about every product.
Filters are critical to a smooth and efficient navigation, and it’s important to our users that we provide coverage without overwhelming them with options.
- People have told us the filters are too hidden. We’re working on opening up our filters to make it easier to select the relevant options.
- We have learned that our users care about the fine detail, and are planning to provide more advanced filtering options.
- Whole market coverage has give our users access to more products, however can be overwhelming, so we now want to make it easy to find the latest product recommendations, whilst still providing access to relevant alternatives.
When users are browsing products, we’ve found that they often read the key information about a product, then see how it compares with similar products.
The new product summary page aims to give a snapshot of the most important product information in one place to enable quick decision making.
- New large, high quality images and multiple views give close up views of the product at various angles.
- The ‘Hotspots’ combine the test result and short review for a quick overview of the key features.
- We’ve moved Which? verdict, score, and pros and cons to the forefront, so that people can make a decision about the product quickly and easily.
We’ve found that big images are engaging, and people are clicking on the hotspots frequently. To make this even better, we’d like to add a more product images zoomed in at the right level (for example close up views of the ports on a television).
Comparison is frequently used on the site, and we tested a new comparison tool that enables people to compare up to 4 products:
- You can see the product summary permanently in view at the top as you scroll to provide an easy reference.
- ‘Personalise your comparison’ lets you select a number of features to compare only those factors that you need.
We now understand that people want to be able to compare more than 4 products. We’re also testing new ways to compare products on a mobile device. We’ve found that not many people personalise their comparison, and this might well make way in the future for other more desirable comparison capabilities.
Opinions that matter
When evaluating a product, it’s important to our users to get the perspective from people who own the product. For the TV beta we added owners’ reviews in combination with our Which? review and Which? members reviews.
We have learned that the Which? Review and Which? Members reviews take precedence, and our members expect Which? to provide a curated view of owner content, so we’ve got a bit of work to do to get the balance right.
Our old advice guides were based on a single template with limited flexibility for authors and poor readability on small devices. We’ve now:
- Created responsive advice guides that they are easy to read on any device.
- Introduced a range of advice guide templates to provide a reading experience that fits the content, for example ‘How to’ guides have a new step by step component.
- To give articles a sense of structure and progression, we’ve adopted a ‘paddle, swim, dive’ approach:
• Paddle: snapshot of the key points.
• Swim: immersive exploratory content i.e. video.
• Dive: detailed facts and figures.
We’d like to do more to enrich our deep dive content in the future, for example providing up to date top 5 product tables within advice articles. We’re also going to be keeping an eye on how people engage with articles on mobile so that we can ensure optimal readability.
Since releasing the new sections of the site we’ve been tracking usage using Google Analytics and also getting feedback from our Voice of Consumer survey to see what works and where we need to iterate the solution. We’re working on the next iteration, prototyping solutions and testing our ideas with users. These insights are informing all of our work as we push towards our goal of providing an outstanding experience that users love and return to again and again.
We’ve made a start on meeting our experience principles, and will be focusing on these more as we iterate the product. In future iterations we’ll be ramping up our efforts to achieve Elegant Simplicity: fine tuning the interactions to provide a graceful and refined experience; Clearly Signed: making the navigation more logical, intuitive and familiar; Opinions that matter: promoting expert opinions balanced appropriately with other relevant opinions.
Find out how we’ve been putting users at the heart of the Reviews redesign.
You can also see the new design for yourself at http://www.which.co.uk/tv-and-home-entertainment.