Software sites must market and sell very expensive — and highly complex — products to specialized audiences that have unique needs. They must also provide support and training for their customized products to customers who have varying degrees of technical knowledge.
To assess how well seven prominent Software sites — Adobe.com, Citirix.com, IBM.com, Microsoft.com, Oracle.com, SAP.com, and Symantec.com — achieve these objectives, the siteIQ team conducts siteIQ Usability Index evaluations, which measure website usability and effectiveness from the visitor’s point of view. These evaluations are performed using the Software version of the new siteIQ Best Practices Usability Benchmark, which includes 420 questions across five major categories and 18 distinct sub-categories.
These questions measure the overall practicality, versatility, and convenience of any given website. A second review recategorizes the 420 questions into 16 unique Usability Dimensions that illustrate how sufficiently each website allows users to achieve common tasks, objectives, and goals.
The results of these evaluations allow the team to rank and rate each site based on category and sub-category scores to determine the winner overall. This case study announces key findings for the Software industry segment based on Website Usability and Website Usability by Dimension scores.
No matter how you slice it, SAP.com is the clear leader among tracked websites in the Software segment. It is the only one of the seven sites evaluated to receive an Above Average Competitive Rating or earn Good Practice status. A look behind the data reveals that SAP.com has a clear advantage over competitors not only in one area but nearly across the board.
Case in point, SAP.com registers triple the number of first-place rankings as its closest competitor based on Website Usability by Sub-Category scores and earns a double-digit number of Good Practice ratings based on the same criteria. Likewise, SAP.com ranks first in nearly every single Website Usability Dimension and registers twice as many Good Practice scores by Dimension than the next contender.
That’s not to say that SAP.com doesn’t face any usability challenges. On the contrary. SAP.com’s eCommerce processes/zones can seem illogical, which makes it difficult to navigate. In fact, Logic of Features & Site Zones is SAP.com’s lowest-scoring Usability Dimension.
That’s also not to say that the other software sites we track don’t display any usability strengths. They do.
- Oracle.com excels at providing useful and effective marketing resources, as is evidenced by its Good Practice scores in Product Marketing, Industry Marketing, and Channel & Alliance/Partner Marketing.
- Symantec.com achieves Good Practice status in Call to Action, which means it does well in compelling visitors to contact the company.
- Microsoft.com provides eCommerce facilities that are easy to locate and purchasing processes that are logical for users.
- Adobe.com uses consistent page templates and effective corporate branding.
- IBM.com is built to promote goods to consumers through effective Product, Services, and Industry Marketing zones.
- Citrix.com does a decent job of providing post-purchase support for customers.
At the end of the day, however, SAP.com is a more well-rounded site than any other Software competitor, so it claims victory in all the areas that really matter. This, of course, means that SAP.com will be tough to beat, which leaves competitive sites with little choice but to emulate its strengths — and learn from its weaknesses.
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About the siteIQ Usability Index
siteIQ evaluated the twenty-five Tech Websites listed on the 2020 siteIQ Usability Index. These Websites are categorized into five industry-specific segments including:
- Software (Adobe.com, Citrix.com, IBM.com, Microsoft.com, Oracle.com, SAP.com, Symantec.com)
- Systems (CDW.com, Dell.com, HPE.com, Huawei Enterprise, IBM.com, Intel.com, Lenovo.com)
- Networking (Cisco.com, Juniper.net, PaloAltoNetworks.com, Riverbed.com)
- Cloud (AWS.com, Google Cloud, Salesforce.com, VMWare.com)
- Consumer (Apple.com, Dell.com, HP.com, Lenovo.com, LG.com, Samsung.com)
These in-depth evaluations were conducted using the 2020 edition of the siteIQ Usability Index Best Practices Benchmark, which tracks results in 18 sub-categories and 16 Usability Dimensions.
The 2020 evaluations were performed during the first quarter of 2020.
Category: Index Rankings
Class: Website Reviews and Rankings
Websites Profiled: siteIQ Usability Index Websites – Tech Industry