Navigation Plagues Web Experiences

In a recently published research report, I examined the results of more than 1,200 Web Site Reviews that Forrester has completed over the last 10 years. It turns out that Website experiences still need a lot of work. To begin with, 60% of sites ended up with “poor” or “very poor” scores in 2008.

Our expert review grades 25 criteria across four areas: Value, Navigation, Presentation, and Trust. When examining how sites have done in each of these areas, we find that they most often fail the Navigation criteria.

Source: 1,212 Website Reviews Completed By Forrester Research

As sites have become more complex, they’ve piled on content and functionality (more Value) which has made it more difficult for users to find what they need. Here are the five criteria which sites failed the most in 2008:

  1. Is text legible? (18% passed)
  2. Is the task flow efficient? (22% passed)
  3. Does the site present privacy and security policies in context? (30% passed)
  4. Do page layouts use space effectively? (31% passed)
  5. Are category and subcategory names clear and mutually exclusive? (34% passed)

The bottom line: Firms should consider an “ultrasimplicity” strategy.

Written by 

I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile:

6 thoughts on “Navigation Plagues Web Experiences”

    1. Linda: The answer is quite definitive: it depends. That capability could help or hurt the scores depending on who the users are, what their goals were for going to the site, and how the guided tour was implemented. Thanks for commenting.

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