( By Nura Hill )
IN THIS PROJECT we conducted a Usability Evaluation for the Phydeaux website. Phydeaux is a locally owned pet specialty store with a physical store presence in Cary, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh in North Carolina. This usability assessment will concentrate on the usefulness and effectiveness of the e-commerce site Phetch. Four participants were run through a usability test in the Digital Media Lab at SILS at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, each being asked to complete four tasks. Both self-reported measures (e.g. user satisfaction, ease of use) and calculated metrics (e.g. time on task, number of page views) were recorded.
RESULTS INDICATE that participants struggled (e.g. 50% success rate) to navigate to Phetch from the Phydeaux’s main website and that participants were challenged with finding an ideal path for determining the availability of an out-of-stock item in one store in an adjacent store. The cognitive load in both these areas resulted in significantly larger amounts of time spent on a task, requiring the reflective question be posed: What percentage of users would abandon this information-seeking activity.
RECOMMENDED NEXT STEPS for these critical issues include re-architecting the site so that Phetch is the main landing page and consolidating the three stores’ separate sites into one integrated e-commerce platform that represents three physical store’s inventories. Less resource-intense resolutions are also posed in the main contents of this report.