- Airlines: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, United Air Lines
- Banks: Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wachovia, Wells Fargo
- Department stores: JC Penney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Sears
- Mp3 manufacturers: Apple, Creative, iRiver, Sony
The research used Forrester’s Web Site Review methodology (which is a form of an expert review) to grade the experiences across 25 criteria. Here are some of the findings from the research:
- None of the sites received a passing score [25 or higher]; the overall average was -5.2
- Airlines [0.8] got the highest average score; MP3 manufacturers [-17] got the lowest
- Delta Airlines  got the highest score; Sony [-21] got the lowest
- The criteria break down into four categories: Value, Navigation, Presentation, and Trust. Banks struggled the most with the Value criteria, while the other industries struggled most with Navigation criteria.
- For each of the 25 criteria, sites received a grade between -2 (severe failure) to +2 (best practice); a pass is +1 or more. Here are the criteria with the lowest average scores across the sites:
- Is text legible? [-2.0]
- Is the task flow efficient? [-1.5]
- Does the site help users avoid and recover from errors? [-1.2]
- Does the site present privacy and security policies in context? [-1.0]
- Does the landing page(s) provide evidence that the user goals can be completed? [-0.9]
- Are keyword-based searches comprehensive and precise? [-0.9]
- Do menu categories immediately expose or describe their subcategories? [-0.5]
- Do interactive elements behave as expected? [-0.4]
Interestingly, these results are consistent with the findings that I discussed in my first post Lessons Learned From 1,001 Web Site Reviews.
The bottom line: There’s no good reason for a bad Web experience.