Transportation websites span the gamut from equipment and trucking to railroads and logistics. Equipment sites must market products to customers who need specialized machinery or vehicles. They must effectively convey the parent company’s expertise and innovation to encourage visitors to become customers and allow existing customers to buy accessories, attachments, parts, gear, and apparel — and in some cases — services.
To assess how well prominent sites in the Equipment sector achieve these objectives, the siteIQ team evaluated a total of four sites using the Equipment version of the siteIQ Best Practices Usability benchmark. This benchmark includes 196 questions across four categories and nine sub-categories.
These questions measure the overall practicality, versatility, and convenience of any given website. A second review recategorizes the 196 questions into 16 unique Usability Dimensions that illustrate how sufficiently each website allows users to achieve everyday tasks, objectives, and goals.
The results of these evaluations allow the team to rank and rate each site to determine the winner overall. This case study announces key findings for the Equipment industry segment based on Website Usability and Website Usability by Dimension scores.
The websites evaluated in this segment include ArcticCat.txtsv.com, Deere.com, Harley-Davidson.com, and Polaris.com.
The results of our inaugural Equipment sector evaluations reveal that overall scoring among these sites is average at best. This comes as little surprise given that Transportation sites perform pretty poorly overall.
What is surprising, however, is just how poorly tracked Equipment sites perform in key areas that are critical to the tenet of any website – no matter the industry segment, market sector, or target audience. Search Features & Facilities, Product / Services Marketing, and Call to Action are persistent problem areas. All four sites register Below Average or Poor scores in these sub-categories.
On a positive note, Navigation & Architecture scores are Average across the board, so Equipment sites aren’t that difficult to navigate. Still, less than stellar scores across essential sub-categories are indicative of some serious — and systemic — usability issues that make Equipment sites challenging to use.
More problematic, less than exemplary sub-category scores translate to mediocre performance when website usability is measured by Dimension. This means that Equipment sites aren’t well aligned to common visitor activities or objectives, so users will find it incredibly difficult to achieve specific tasks or goals.
Equipment sites, as a group, register scores that rate as Below Average — or worse — in Ease of Locating Links, Ease of Locating Content & Features, Acceptability of Click Streams, and Logic of Features & Site Zones. These poor performances suggest that tracked sites don’t follow standard linking, navigational, or architectural conventions.
Additionally, Equipment sites register Below Average — or worse — scores in Ease of Understanding Content & Features, Ease of Using Resources & Features, and Usefulness of Resources & Features. This indicates that resources can be difficult to comprehend and use, and are often of dubious value once located.
These low scores — combined with truly abysmal performance in Visitor Interaction, User Encouragement, and Online Selling & Sales Links — are a clear indication that the teams managing these sites should go back to the drawing board and rethink their design, navigational, and marketing approaches to better align with user expectations.
The overall performance of Equipment sites should be a cause for concern that sparks discussions among management teams about how to identify strengths and challenges and better address visitor needs. Until that happens, Equipment sites will remain only marginally useful and effective for visitors.
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About the siteIQ Usability Index
siteIQ evaluated the 16 Transportation Websites listed on the 2020 siteIQ Usability Index. These Websites are categorized into four industry-specific segments including:
- Railroads (BMSF.com, CSX.com, NSCorp.com, UP.com)
- Equipment (ArcticCat.txtsv.com, Deere.com, Harley-Davidson.com, Polaris.com)
- Logistics (CHRobinson.com, Expeditors.com, TQL.com, XPO.com)
- Trucking, Truck Leasing (JBHunt.com, PGTTrucking.com, Ryder.com, Uhaul.com)
These in-depth evaluations were conducted using the 2020 edition of the siteIQ Usability Index Best Practices Benchmark, which tracks results in 10 sub-categories and 16 Usability Dimensions.
The 2020 evaluations were performed during the second quarter of 2020.
Category: Index Rankings
Class: Website Reviews and Rankings
Websites Profiled: siteIQ Usability Index Websites – Food & Beverage Industry