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Wie „Visual Discoverability“ die Conversion zerstört – ein Interview mit Michael Summers

Michael Summers über Visual DiscoverabilityIch weiss, es muss heissen „wie fehlende Visual Discoverability die Conversion zerstört“ – egal. Im März traf ich Michael Summers in San Francisco auf der Conversion Conference, wo er eine beeindruckende und mitreissende Keynote zu diesem bislang namenlosen Erfolgsfaktor hielt: Visual Discoverability. Auf dem ConversionSUMMIT am 01.09. in Frankfurt wird Michael in seiner Keynote uns noch mehr darüber erzählen. Vorab gibt es hier ein Interview mit dem UX-Forscher über Komplexität, UX, Facettierte Navigation und den IQ von Online-Nutzern:

Michael, at ConversionConference in May, your keynote showed us very impressively how users fail to use ecommerce websites. What is the main reason that makes people fail?

E-Commerce websites tend to look like an old relative’s attic. They are just packed with stuff! Images. Large text. Small text. Links, links, links. So many visual elements that the mind can’t decode everything. In the early days of the web, site owners would fail to actually include the information or control users needed to accomplish tasks. However, now I am seeing that site owners do in fact include the items users are looking for — but for a host of reasons users are not able to locate the necessary item with their visual system. They just can’t “discover” the right element quickly enough with their visual system. We’re calling it “visual discoverability.”

What is visual discoverability?

Well, most of us who work on user interfaces have to deal with sometimes inheriting all or part of the layouts we work on. While we all enjoy it when we get to do the “the big redesign” — instead, we sometimes have to add to or modify existing layouts.

What we’re doing now is encouraging teams to think in terms of the visual discoverability of any element they’re adding or modifying. In other words, how likely is this new widget (be it social links, an add-to-cart button, signal to “clear” faceted nav filters, etc.) to be actually perceived or seen? No matter how lovely, or integrated it is, if users can’t discover it, it truly is as though it doesn’t exist.

Can you tell us something about the critical success factors for visual discovery?

The elements that impact the visual discoverability of items on a 2-D screen are governed by lots and lots of variables — both in terms of the literacy level, IQ, and visual acuity of the human doing the visual search performance task — as well as in terms of the screen resolution, quality of the monitor, distance from the monitor, and visual characteristics not only of the element, but also the overall page.

Some of the more basic include, scale, color, contrast, visual grouping (positioning), and overall cognitive load of the layout (how “busy” the page is). It’s no big surprise to anyone that 6 point grey text on a grey background isn’t discovered. But it would shock most people to see eyetracking footage of young, computer-savvy users with normal vision unable to find controls that we in the business — who think about screen layouts every day — assume are obvious.

So more functions make things more complicated… What do you think for example about faceted navigations? What are the challenges?

Faceted navigation is still emerging and no strong or permanent conventions have settled. Users have to 1) discover the faceted navigation in the first place, 2) figure out how to set a filter — determine if multiple filters can be applied etc., and 3) figure out how to clear filters, or avoid existentially combining filters that they didn’t mean to combine.

We recently watch users on the USA site Endless.com. Multiple women did not realize filters they’d already chosen, such as Wedges, were being combined with new selections, such as boots. When they saw few choices they concluded the site didn’t have many boots. Users don’t always realize filtering is in play and try to use it like old-school secondary navigation.

The results are not pretty.

Thank you Michael for this interview, we are looking forward to seeing you in September in Frankfurt with all this real life examples!

Wer dringend noch ein Ticket braucht, sollte sich noch schnell auf die Warteliste setzen lassen, zur Zeit werden noch letzte Kontingente verteilt! Mehr Infos:

www.conversionsummit.org // www.facebook.com/conversionSUMMIT // twitter.com/convSUMMIT

André Morys

André Morys ist Gründer und Vorstand der Web Arts AG und beschäftigt sich seit 1996 mit der Conversion Optimierung von Websites und Onlineshops. André Morys ist Dozent für User Experience an der TH Mittelhessen und Autor des Fachbuchs "Conversion Optimierung". Er ist häufiger Sprecher und Moderator auf Konferenzen.
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