Can a design decrease the efficiency of a site?

The design of a site has to generate a certain behaviour that will help users to solve the task for which they have come to the site. 

Is it possible a design does the exact opposite and makes things more difficult for the user? Let’s look into it… 

In order to make our point this week, I will work with an example experts of my team have worked on. This was during a mission together with Internet experts of the insurance company MAAF in France. 

To make things a bit more clear, here are the different steps of the mission.

  1. identify the important scenarios users will want to do on the site
  2. translate these scenarios into behavioural data
  3. build a tree diagram and the navigation
  4. test this tree diagram with real customers
  5. build the composition of the interfaces
  6. support the communication agency in the creation of two styles of graphic  designs. 

Afterwards, we have tested these designs with real customers in order to choose one final design (both were valid options). We wanted to choose the design that corresponded best with the business objectives. 

So, which design do you think was the most efficient? A or B?  

MAAF interface comparison

A first important point: an expert doesn’t share his opinion because the only efficient way to know the answer is to use a test battery to gather objective data. However, the expert will make hypotheses that will help to improve the designs. 

MAAF interface comparison

And here are the results of a unique model Netway developed in 2006, called the “Netway de biolley’s Potential Diagram”. This model allows for a comparison of the results of the scenarios performed on the two designs. 

The tasks on design A had a success score of 75%. 

And that’s where you see the value of behavioural techniques.

Imagine for a minute what that means: the site doesn’t exist and our experts have built interfaces that will already reach a success ratio of 75%! 

Don’t you just love my job ☺? I do, and I love working with my team

The tasks on design B had a 71% success ratio. Furthermore, this design increased the number of errors by 7%, compared to design A. 

The above results already indicate how to answer the question of the week. Yes, there are differences between one design and the other. 

When we were creating a navigational system, the interfaces didn’t exist yet. We have tested the tree diagram with real customers. 

Here’s the comparison between the results of the tests without the design and the results with the design: 

MAAF interface comparison

Design A generates 1% more errors compared to the structure alone, whereas design B generates 8% more errors and decreases the perfect success by 2%. 

The above results give us a second indication to answer our question: yes, a design can decrease the efficiency of a structure. 

Here’s the reworked final version, in order to reach a minimum success ratio of 80%. 

MAAF new website

What I am showing you today is but a small part of the work done during this mission.

But the result helps us to generate an optimal customer experience!  

MAAF User Experience

The business results are impressive:

  • +200% offers in the health section 
  • +110% use of the MAAF 
  • +300% visits in the management sections 

Now, it’s your turn…

I wish you an excellent week!