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Assignment: Website Analysis
Lecturer: Ian Knox
Marc Cook: 2553006
On the Web, usability is a necessary condition for survival. If a website is difficult to use, people leave. If the homepage fails to clearly state what a company offers and what users can do on the site, people leave. If users get lost on a website, they leave. If a website's information is hard to read or doesn't answer users' key questions, they leave (Nielsen 2003).Data show that web users exhibit an extreme form of channel surfing. They can click through hyperlinks at a scorching pace, leaving only valuable seconds for the web designer to tempt them to stop, look around, and with token effort, find what it is they are searching for and make a purchase. How a site is designed -- typography, color, page layout, site hierarchy, to name just a few elements -- can have an immediate and lasting impression on visitors. And it can keep them coming back. According to a study conducted by Forrester Research, three of four factors most likely to drive repeat visitors to a web site were design related: ease of use, download time, and freshness. (Rappa 2007). The first law of e-commerce is that if users cannot find the product, they cannot buy it either (Nielsen 2003). The area of website analysis is a contentious issue. Web analytics is an ever-growing tool used in website analysis. Web analytics and metrics are often used interchangeably. “Metrics are an integral part of all businesses and it can be a major $ expense both directly and indirectly” (Knox, 2007, Week 3). Usability of a website seems regularly to bring to mind dealings between the site and the site visitor. A company’s Website may be the first contact that potential customers have with your business. The conversion of visitors into customers must be a primary goal for all web based businesses. How? Commercial and non-profit successful websites usually have these things in common:
Usefulness of information - (Keep in mind that information is only useful if it pertains to decisions that need to be made. Therefore, firms should be
judicious about what their information requirements truly are and plan accordingly (Knox 2007))
• • • • • •
Ease of surfing on the site Quick response time Excellent product information flow Readability and originality Friendly layout Good listings on major search engines (Website Analyst 2007).
From a business point of view the checklist is very focused on first impressions. This is understandable because if users don’t like a site they are just a mouse click away from leaving. If they do stay, what web page features can help and encourage users to complete a transaction? Some of the most important features are included in the following checklist: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Is the company name and logo on every page? Is it linked to the home page? Does the site have search (if needed) and does it work adequately? Are headlines and page titles clear? Are photos well placed, and a suitable size? Do links work and clearly describe the page they will lead to? Is font size and color easy to read against the background? Is the transaction process simple and secure? Are transactions acknowledged and can shipping be tracked? Does the site have contact information and/or help?
10. Is the purpose of the website clear? 11. Do I TRUST this web site with my information?
12. Can you leave feedback or extend the relationship e.g. newsletter? (Knox 2007).
The above mentioned checklist will be the basis used for analysis for the following three websites: Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) ANZ Bank Merlo
Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
A user, at first glance of the ASX website, might be somewhat overcome by the plethora of information and graphics on offer. However, the site is well designed and relatively easy to navigate.
There is a company logo on each page; therefore, the user will be aware if they have ‘clicked’ away from the ASX. The website offers a very useful search function that
assists the user to find just about any form of information to do with the ASX or a listed security. This will save the user time because, as mentioned above, there is an abundance of information which can be sourced throughout the site. In addition to the standard search engine, the ASX site gives the ability to a user to search for a
particular securities price by typing the company’s name or code into the search field. Both of these search functions are available to all users of the site and are located at the top, right of the home page..
Get price / announcement / info
Codes: Detailed search Find a code
The website is clear and precise to all users of the stock exchange. It has the following links which relate to the information or tools required depending on the capacity of the user.
• • • • • • •
First-time investors Brokers & participants Institutional investors Listed companies ASX shareholders SFE participants Supervision
The headlines and titles are obvious with all of the main features and events highlighted, such as: Listed top companies; Price sensitive announcements; Upcoming events; Upcoming floats etc. The graphics, fonts and color schemes all seem to work for this site. It is easily read and there aren’t any parts of the page that look unsightly. Although the purpose of the website is precise, there are help options such as FAQ’s “contact us,” site map and glossary links available to the user. One of the better functions of the ASX website is the ability to register and use their online training facility. As a potential investor, the ASX can provide you with the basics required in understanding, analysing, and buying and selling in the market. The website covers the three most important aspects when it comes to driving repeat visitors; it is relatively user friendly, it has decent download speeds and it conveys a sense of security and trust. In a brief study, I encouraged 5 different people to browse the ASX website. All, after the initial shock from a cluttered homepage, found it to be
relatively simple to navigate, finding information they needed and were in little doubt about the purpose of the website. If there was to be a negative for the site, it would be the flashy advertising that catches your attention occasionally and may force a user to forget what they were looking for or encourage them to leave the site altogether.
The first thought I get when I browse the ANZ website is: why didn’t they use the whole page? I know it is not favourable to overcrowd a page, but surely you would use the space provided. As you can see above, when the page is maximized only just over half of the page is utilised. It may be a personal opinion, but it actually feels like it is a “pop-up” link rather than a banks homepage, which does little for ones sense of security. Once a user is past the initial first feelings, the site is navigated with ease. As highlighted below there are a number of options for a user depending on their capacity.
Home Loans Credit Cards Visa Debit & Giftcard Transacting & Saving Personal & Car loans more...
Financial Planning Super & Retirement Invest your money Life Insurance Private Bank more...
Transaction Banking Business Finance Small Business Merchants/multiPOS Business Cards more...
Economics@anz Cash Management Finance Solutions Trade Finance Markets more...
Agribusiness Community Rural Managers Deposits/Investment Long Term Finance more...
The links and link names are used rather well on this website, which allows for are more tailored navigating experience for the first time user. There are three different search options. One is the standard search ANZ function using key words. The other two, however, are slightly different. One is an “I need” search function and the other is an “apply” search function. Both options provide scroll-down boxes with provided links to make searching a little easier.
As with the ASX, the ANZ displays their logo on each page so a user is aware of when they are viewing an ANZ page.
To test the site I decided that I would try and open an account and link that account with the internet banking facilities. The results were somewhat mixed. Although it was easy to find exactly what I was looking for, only part of the actual application is online the rest needs to be downloaded, printed, filled in and then handed in at a local branch. As an existing customer, I am and have been more than impressed with the online banking facilities that the ANZ offer. Once an existing customer has logged on (which
can accessed from the home page), they have access to all of their ANZ accounts and the ability to do just about anything they wish. A menu of the main functions within the internet banking link is located on the left of the page. Functions such as the ones listed below make banking online a pleasant experience.
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Balances and transactions Pay anyone Pay bills View bills Transfer between my accounts Pay Credit card Purchase a bank cheque Multiple future payment/transfers Future payment transfer Past payment transfer
In addition to the functions above, an online banker has the ability to view and download their transaction history of any of their accounts, up to 120 days. Overall, the ANZ website is easy for users to accomplish basic tasks the first time they encounter the design, reasonably efficient, memorable, and satisfying. The graphics, colours and fonts appear to be a high-quality combination and the security is first-rate. The drawback relates to my first comment; why isn’t the home page fully utilised?
Merlo is a business that stated as a coffee shop in QLD and has now expanded to 5 coffee shops and an efficient coffee and coffee related product distributor. The above picture is that of the Merlo homepage. It is a no-thrills page with excellent colours set on a black background. From the homepage there are three options: • • • Bar Merlo Merlo Coffee Merlo Kitchen.
Clicking any of the three links will open up what appears to be the homepage for that particular section. It is easy to see that Merlo have made a point of not annoying their visitors with pointless animated graphics or other large unnecessary images. They
have designed their website so that visitors/potential customers can quickly and easily find the product and/or service they wish. The functionality and usability of the Merlo site is of a high standard. It is quite easy to navigate around finding information or adding products to the shopping cart. However, the site does not have a search function to fast track a visitor to a particular piece of information or a product. Shopping on the Merlo site is fairly straightforward. A customer finds the product they require and adds to their shopping cart. From a consumers perspective shopping carts evoke the physical analogy of placing products in a container as we shop (Rappa 2007). As each item is added to the cart, it is itemized and a running tally is kept for those shoppers who are budget conscious. Also after each item the customer is given options to check out, continue shopping or cancel cart contents. The one thing I find a little annoying with online shopping, and Merlo is no different, is that you always have to either log in or register before you can make a purchase. I understand that there has to be some sort of postage details made available but the rest can be irritating and time consuming. Merlo uses icons as navigational devices to give visitors a sense of movement through a site. The web storefront visually conveys the company's image and its products in a manner that is synonymous with its business objects (Rappa 2007).
ANZ. (2007). ANZ Website. Retrieved: 1 May 2007, from: http://www.anz.com.au/
Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). (2007). ASX Website. Retrieved: 1 May 2007, from: http://www.asx.com.au/
Barnes, V. (2007). Web Site Functionality. Retrieved: 1 May 2007, from: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/introduction/intro/article.php/3473631
Flanders, V. (2006). Biggest Mistakes in Web Design 1995-2015. Retrieved: 1 May 2007, from: http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/biggest-mistakes-inweb-design-1995-2015.html
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Knox, I. (2007). Week 3 Lecture - Web Analytics and Business Models.
Merlo (2007). Merlo Website. Retrieved 1 May 2007, from: http://www.merlo.com.au/
Neilson, J. (2003). Usability 101: Introduction to Usability. Retrieved: 1 May 2007, from: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20030825.html
Rappa, M. (2007). Managing the Digital Enterprise – Digital Design. Retrived: 3 April 2007, from: http://digitalenterprise.org/design/design.html
Website Analyst. (2007). Can your website actually benefit from the Internet? Retrieved: 1 May 2007, from: http://www.website-analyst.co.il/
Website Analyst. (2007). Tips and Ideas. Retrieved: 1 May 2007, from: http://www.website-analyst.co.il/tips.html