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 a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

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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