Transportation websites span the gamut from equipment and trucking to railroads and logistics. Railroad sites must market services to those interested in moving goods through the supply chain. They must effectively convey the parent company’s expertise and reliability to encourage visitors to become customers, and they must allow existing customers to buy or book services and track shipments.
To assess how well prominent sites in the Railroad sector achieve these objectives, the siteIQ team evaluated a total of four sites using the Railroad 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 Railroad industry segment based on Website Usability and Website Usability by Dimension scores.
The websites evaluated in this segment include BNSF.com, CSX.com, NSCorp.com, and UP.com.
The results of our inaugural Railroad evaluations reveal that sites in this segment perform better than any other sector within the Transportation industry — but that doesn’t necessarily mean they perform well. In fact, overall scoring among these sites rates as Average or below.
What’s more, a close look at evaluation scoring shows that Railroad sites don’t do very well in the most critical areas — and that they aren’t very well aligned to user expectations, activities, or goals. Unfortunately, this means that Railroad sites include some serious — and systemic — usability issues that make them difficult to use.
Most problematic are Product / Services Marketing scores that fall at or below 50% because they signal ineffective content or a lack of resources where visitors need them most. Also troublesome are Call to Action scores below 60% since they indicate that Railroad sites aren’t big on engaging users or encouraging them to take the next step.
But these poor scores are nothing compared to Usability Dimension scores that fall below 50% in Ease of Locating Content & Features, Visitor Interaction, User Encouragement, and Online Selling & Sales Links. Additionally, Railroad sites register unremarkable scores in Ease of Locating Links, Navigational Usability, Ease of Using Resources & Features, Usefulness of Resources & Features, and Logic of Features & Site Zones.
In combination, all these low scores are a clear indication that Railroad sites are far from being optimally useful for visitors despite their high rankings among their Transportation industry brethren. More significant, the less than stellar performance these sites display should serve as a wake-up call for the teams managing them to review current approaches and realign current strategies, so their properties better align with visitor expectations, activities, and needs.
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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