The Rules of the Game Have Changed
Late last year, we announced that we would be transitioning from the siteIQ eBusiness Index to the siteIQ Usability Index beginning with our 2020 evaluations. Unlike the eBusiness Index, which ranked and rated websites based on Website Content, Usability, and Overall Performance, this new Index is strictly designed to help us identify which websites are the most practical, versatile, and useful for visitors – and which ones aren’t.
We achieve this by conducting detailed evaluations using a new Best Practices Benchmark that focuses on user experience as well as usability based on 16 different Dimensions ranging from Innovation & Interactivity to Ease of Using Resources & Features and Visitor Interaction. The results of these evaluations allow us to determine how well each site concisely presents information, provides efficient navigation, incorporates current convention, and facilitates user control throughout the visitor journey.
Welcome to the Club
As also announced, the new Usability Index won’t be limited to websites in Tech. Instead, we’re expanding the scope of our research to include websites from a bunch of other industry segments including Commercial Banks, Diversified Finance, Securities, Specialty Retailers, General Merchandisers, Internet Retailing, Beverages, Consumer Food Products, Food Production, Food Services, Railroads, Transportation Equipment, Logistics, and Trucking.
This means that in addition to ranking and rating some of the most renowned B2B and B2C sites in IT, we’ll be evaluating some of the heaviest hitters on the entire World Wide Web. This, of course, begs the question: How well will sites like BankofAmerica.com, PepsiCo.com, McDonalds.com, Walmart.com, Amazon.com, and Polaris.com stack up to IT usability winners? And, are these sites as user-centric as sites across the Systems, Software, Networking, Consumer, and Cloud sectors?
The Results are (Almost) In
Fortunately, we’ll soon have the data necessary to find out. In fact, our evaluators are wrapping up the first round of Usability Index evaluations, and we’ll soon start publishing results. To establish a baseline, Tech sites will be first, followed by industries in Finance, Merchandising, Food & Beverage and Transportation. When all is said and done, we’ll have a wealth of data for more than 100 websites that will help us identify conventions, establish trends, discover strategies — and ultimately — pinpoint Usability leaders.
Unfortunately, this data will also expose which sites plunge to the bottom of our ranking rosters because they fall short of Usability goals and targets, thus making them difficult for visitors to use. More unfortunate still, some of these sites are likely to belong to some of the biggest companies in the World.
Stay tuned for B2B Tech site results, including analysis that highlights the winners in the Systems, Software, Networking, Consumer, and Cloud industries.