MCM 721- Inspiration Journal 5

Usability testing is crucial to the development and growth of a website. Without testing, the input of the user and convenience of the site is unable to be captured appropriately. Through user feedback, site bugs and areas of improvement can be identified. The success of a website can impact the sales and overall success of a brand.

In order to get an accurate reflection of American Apparel’s website success, I asked 3 users to test the website of competitors as well. American Apparel, Forever 21, and Cacique’s websites were all tested. The following questions were asked:

Usability Test for Websites

  1. Locate a pair of black leggings on the website. In terms of site navigation, what was the overall experience? What were areas of opportunity for navigation.
  2. In terms of organization, how easy was it to locate products on the site without using the search feature?
  3. What areas of the website show strengths and convenience?
  4. What are areas of improvement for the website?
  5. Add three products to the shopping cart. Go through the check out process without actually finishing the transaction. What strengths and weaknesses were found throughout this process?
  6. Please provide any additional insights into the website experience below.

Results

Forever 21’s website received the best feedback. It provided users with multiple options and organization that was easy to browse and locate items within. The website included attention grabbing advertisements that related to a variety of products offered. Transparent drop-down menus also added to the overall site experience, as customers could browse categories while also viewing advertisements below. Lastly, Forever 21 included a wish list feature for customers. This additional features allowed users to save products for later for easy access. It increased convenience and the likelihood for users to return to purchase the saved products.

forever 21

American Apparel’s website had too few of tabs and too many categories within each tab. The site organization was rated as being very weak and inconvenient for the customer. Also, locating an item posed a great challenge as the tabs up top were not clear to customers. For example, there is a men tab, a women’s tab, and then a basic tab that includes men and women tabs within. This confusion and duplication of headers through customers off and weakened the overall experience.

american apparel screen shot

Cacique had a product menu that was displayed on the home page vertically in addition to tabs up top. The breakdown made it very convenient and easy for users to locate products. In addition, the tabs up top included a hover over feature that expanded. This condensed the amount of room the tabs took up on the homepage unless specifically scrolled over by the user. The interactivity of the website made it easy to engage with for the user.

cacique

cacique 2

Overall, American Apparel is lacking in terms of site appeal, navigation, organization, and interactivity. Users are not given enough interaction with their selections and item categories are not organized in an efficient way. Making changes to the site would improve the experience for customers and may eventually lead to increased sales.

References

American Apparel. (2015). Retrieved September 16, 2015, from http://store.americanapparel.net/

Lane Bryant. (2015). Retrieved September 16, 2015, from http://www.lanebryant.com/cacique-plus-size-sexy-bras-intimate-apparel/4043/index.cat

Forever 21 (2015). Retrieved September 16, 2015, from http://www.forever21.com/

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