The Task-Based UX Benchmark Study

UserZoom ran a quick competitive UX benchmark study between Burberry and Belstaff, two of Britain’s most renowned high fashion brands, to see how users experienced navigational and core tasks, as well as how they rated their overall experience on the websites.

  • We ran an unmoderated remote task-based benchmark study with 60 in-the-wild users on their own devices over the course of a single day
  • Participants were equally divided between the brands’ UK localized sites so that 30 went to Burberry.co.uk and 30 went to Belstaff.co.uk
  • They completed several tasks while on the site: a screenshot click test, and 2 task-based tests where we asked them to find the opening times of a brand’s specified store and to learn more about the brands’ size guides
  • Brand perception and how they rated their overall experience was also measured

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First impressions are lasting impressions

We showed all 60 participants an image of Burberry’s and Belstaff’s UK homepages and asked them to choose which site they associated with several UX attributes.

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Belstaff’s site was related to the words Organized, Easy, Welcoming, Trustworthy, Informational and Helpful. On the other hand, Burberry’s site was linked to the words Lively and Overwhelming.

First impressions are important and even though its good that a website is seen as Lively it is not so good that its also Overwhelming.

Therefore in this case, Round 1 goes to Belstaff!

Screenshot Click Test

Competition in the retail industry is immense and increasing as more transactions happen online. It’s critical that visitors are able to easily find important information and be able to complete vital tasks on their sites. Therefore we showed visitors an image of the contenders’ homepages and asked them to complete a very important eCommerce task: “Where would you click to register for a new account?”

Burberry

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Belstaff

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The results show that the vast majority of the Burberry’s site visitors (83%) were able to correctly locate where they needed to click to create an account for the site. Only 13% of the Belstaff’s visitors clicked correctly on their site.

It’s interesting to notice that most of Belstaff’s visitors (77%) wrongly clicked on the “newsletter sign up” option when trying to create an account for the site.

Round 2 goes to Burberry!

Online Task-Based Tests

We asked all participants to complete 2 task-based tests on each site.

First Task: Get Store Details

We asked participants to find out the opening hours on a Sunday for a specific London store location for each brand. Each of the contenders’ sites had different paths through which its visitors could reach the stores’ details. So, instead of just evaluating the navigation they followed, we focused on the users’ goal and if they actually found the requested information.

The success validation of this task was done through a questionnaire. Only participants who reached the specific store page would know the correct answer to the question and have the task rated as ‘Success’.

A ‘Non-Success’ result meant participants either chose an incorrect answer, which would mark them as having made an ‘Error’, or they clicked the ‘Abandon’ button on the task.

So, were participants able to find the store details?

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14% more participants were able to find the requested store details on the Burberry site than the Belstaff site.

Burberry

Belstaff

Interestingly, when reviewing the Task Success efficiency metrics for both contenders we can see that even though there were many different ways to reach the different brands’ store details the amount of time, the number of pages viewed and total clicks done on both contenders’ sites are pretty much the same.

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Still, this round goes to Burberry for having more participants find out the opening hours for their New Bond Street store in center London.

Second Task: Get Sizing Information

It is commonly known that clothing brands tailor their garments in their own style and sizes, meaning that not all clothing sizes across brands are the same. For the second task we asked participants to pretend they were purchasing a pair of men’s jeans but they had to find out what size to pick depending on a given hip measurement. The visitors would have to find and use the sizing guide provided to correctly select a size.

To evaluate the Success of the task, a validation questionnaire was again used. There was only one right answer, so participants would only succeed if they did correctly reach the sizing chart and review the measurements and sizes.

A Non-Success result meant that the participant either Abandoned the task or was unable to correctly answer the validation question. In which case, that result would be labelled as an ‘Error’.

So, how did the two challengers do?

Task 2 Success Rates

Results show that only a third of Burberry’s visitors were able to successfully finish the task, finding and using the sizing guide to choose the correct jeans size to purchase. Non-success results show that another third of the visitors chose the wrong size of jeans and the last third decided to abandon the task when they couldn’t find the sizing guide.

On Belstaff’s site, results are not significantly better. Only 40% of the visitors successfully finished the task, choosing the correct jeans size for the purchase. 30% selected the wrong size for the purchase and the other 30% abandoned the task without selecting a size.

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Belstaff

It is important to note that when reviewing the task success Efficiency metrics we can see that visitors who did in fact successfully finish the task were able to do it twice as fast and in less clicks on the Belstaff website compared to Burberry’s site.

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In summary, even though very few of the visitors were able to successfully choose the correct jeans size for a 40” (101.5cm) hip size man on either of the brands’ websites, more visitors on the Belstaff site had Success and did so in less time.

Round 4 goes to Belstaff!

Problems & Frustrations

We asked the users which, if any, of the following problems they encountered while on the site.

Burberry

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Belstaff

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The results are very similar for both contenders. There were fewer people reporting that they encountered any problems on Belstaff’s site compared to Burberry’s site.

For both sites participants listed other problems they encountered which were all related to not being able to find the size guide.

Brand Perception

We asked participants to rate their perception of the brand before and after their experience with the site.

For the rating scale: 1 = Very Negative, 4 = Neutral, and 7 = Very Positive. We also included the option for participants to say they weren’t familiar with the brand before the task.

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Before participants interacted with the websites, Burberry had an average brand perception rating of 5.6 out of 7 with 7% of users saying they were not familiar with the brand. Belstaff’s brand perception was initially rated with 5.3 out of 7 with a huge 50% of users saying they were unfamiliar with the brand.

After the participants completed the different tasks, we asked if their brand perception changed. For both brands the perception slightly fell; 0.3 points for Burberry and 0.2 for Belstaff.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

After participants interacted with the sites we asked them to rate how likely it was they would recommend them to friends, family or colleagues.

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Results indicate that Burberry has a higher NPS than Belstaff. Even though a higher number of visitors reported having more problems on the Burberry site, they would still be more comfortable recommending it.

Conclusion

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This battle was a tight one, with very similar results and both brands beaten down by visitors who were not able to successfully finish the proposed tasks on their sites. This battle of the high fashion retail brands goes to Burberry.

Belstaff started with a good first round and had less visitors report problems but Burberry did better on the Screenshot test, the Store Details task and in general value perception, with a higher NPS and Brand Perception score.


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