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60% of Brands Knowingly offer their customers sub-standard User Experience

Source: WhatUsersDo, 23 February 2013

A recent WhatUsersDo global research survey has found that a majority of brands are knowingly failing their online customers.

In the User Experience Survey Report, published by WhatUsersDo, over 60% of brand owners, including retailers, freely admitted they offered their online users only an average or below-average digital experience.

Although aware of the benefits of placing customer experience central to their digital marketing strategies, only 18% of brands surveyed admitted to being 'seriously' committed to delivering the best possible online user experience (UX).

This level of commitment may not seem overwhelming but it is still an encouraging sign for the whole field of UX, and especially for consumers who have been faced with unnecessarily difficult-to-use sites, apps or QR codes on mobiles, tablets or desktops. The findings might indi cate that although brands accept the conversion benefits of improving user experience it is still not perceived as an 'absolute necessity' for keeping ahead of competitors and the ever-evolving needs of the consumer.

There is no doubt that in a multichannel sales environment, customers now expect a seamless customer journey regardless of whether they interact with brands via their digital channels such as mobile, social media or more traditional methods such as phone or in-store.

With this in mind, it was still a surprise to see that only 7% of respondents believed they offered highly consistent user experience across digital channels with 37% rating their current user experience as good or excellent.

Lee Duddell, Head of User Experience and Founder of user testing company WhatUsersDo, said: 'The digital landscape is changing faster than it ever has and is becoming more complex. Companies are grappling with not only how they can improve user experience, but how they find the budget, get board buy-in, embed it  into their processes and prove the ROI.'

Although companies say they are committed to the best possible user experience, many are failing to test their web properties systematically and are reliant on hunches.

When asked about what informed their decisions to make user experience enhancements, the most commonly cited factors were customer feedback (75%), data driven from web stats package (67%) and 'own hunches and instinct' (62%).

The research found that nearly eight out of 10 (78%) companies were 'extremely' or 'quite' committed to delivering the best possible user experience, but only 55% actually conducted any user experience testing, with 39% of these only conducting it on major releases.

The research reveals that there is a missed opportunity for companies yet to embed user experience testing into how they develop and make improvements to their digital properties.

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