How to perform site evaluation based on industry trends?

To perform site evaluation based on industry trends is a tough cup of coffe.Performing Heuristics evaluation is much easier as compared to this.The reason being from industry to industry the evaluation parameter will vary.In an entertainment site Bread crumbs may not matter as compared to the real estate it occupies on the web page.The stakeholder's may want their users to go round the site without any bread crumb aids to explore more.Let me show you the steps we can follow to come up with a good site evaluation based on industry trends.

First step: Research on Website industry positioning
This research can be carried in the below manner.

  1. Client e-mail tracing: Read through the finer lines in e-mails send from the client, they mostly specifiy the industry sector in which they are positioned.Go through the meeting notes even to find out more, even you can schedule clinet calls to know exact details about the industry positioning of client business website.
  2. Online research - Forrester: Find out the latest industry trends that are affecting the website.What are the most important parameters that will affect the user experience on the site.Which features are most liked in the web application.If you can get Forrester account then your life will become easy in this respect else you have to do some searching in google.What makes the user experience good is important.
  3. Stream line Compitetive focus: Have a look at competetior's website, find out what are the best they are doing, the worst things they are doing etc.Try to formulate parameters & best practices by looking at the compitetion.Go through the client website also to have a good understanding about it also.

Second step: Finalize parameters

Collate the information from the above & ideate with the team to finalize the parameters.Once the parameters are done we can move on with the site evaluation.

Third step: Evaluate the website

Note : The biggest trick in site evaluation is that avoid taking a parameter first & try to find out issues related to that.Mostly if you do in this way you restrict your mind to see multiple issues on the website.My experience says "find out issues in the website & then classify it under suitable heads."

Fourth step: Evaluation presentation

We can either go for using word doc or presentation to present the evaluation.

Important tip: When we present the information in word doc, the biggest problem will be positoning the screen shots consistently.We can do this by placing the screen shots in tables & finally hiding the table borders.

In this way we perform site evaluations based on industry trends.In case you need any help & clarifications please mail me: smartsanjaykumar@gmail.com

Read more User Experience practices on my other write ups:

http://boxesandarrows.com/person/21120-sanjaykumar

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