The Task-Based UX Benchmark Study

UserZoom ran a quick task-based UX benchmark study between Kellogg’s and General Mills, two well-known food manufacturers, to compare the experience of finding product information online.

  • We ran the unmoderated remote task-based benchmark study with 60 in-the-wild users on their own devices over the course of a single day
  • We split participants equally between each website so that 30 went to Kellogg’s and 30 went to General Mills
  • The Online Task: From the homepage, find the allergen information for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes / Honey Nut Cheerios 
  • We validated the tasks via a validation question

conclusion anchor button

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!

We showed all participants an image of Kellogg’s and General Mills’ homepage and asked them to choose which site they associated with several UX attributes.

Kellogg's v General Mills homepage

UX Battle of the Week: Kellogg's vs General Mills

As we usually see when one homepage has minimal text and requires little scrolling (Kellogg’s) and one is more text heavy and requires more scrolling (General Mills), participants first impressions tend to be more favorable towards the minimalist homepage.

You can see this in the Organized, Easy, Welcoming and Trustworthy columns.

What’s interesting is that despite the differences, both sites were practically tied when it comes to being seen as Helpful.

Screenshot Click Test

We split the participants evenly and asked where they would click if they wanted to find a product locator.

Kellogg’s

Kellogg's heatmap

33% of participants successfully clicked on Where to Buy. 33% also clicked on Our Brands, which would eventually lead to a product locator. The next highest cluster of clicks was 17% on the Search bar.

General Mills

General Mills heatmap

Only 17% of participants clicked directly on Product Locator in the footer. The vast majority, 53%, clicked on Brands which would eventually lead to a product locator.

Tree Test

We split the participants evenly and asked where they thought they’d find information about the company’s environmental policies and initiatives.

Kellogg’s

Kellogg's Tree Test

17% of participants successfully clicked Environmental Initiatives, while 73% incorrectly clicked on What We Believe.

General Mills

General Mills Tree Test

An impressive 97% of participants were successful in finding the right area, with a majority of them getting it right on their first click.

Online Task Outcomes

We asked participants to find the allergens in a specific brand of cereal – either Kellogg’s Corn Flakes or Honey Nut Cheerios depending on which site. In order to validate whether users were successful we asked users a validation question after they finished.

If users chose the correct answer they were labeled as Success.

Non Success meant that a user either Abandoned the task due to difficulties with the website or chose an incorrect answer during the validation question, which we labeled as Error.

Kellogg's vs General Mills success rates

Success

Users on both sites were fairly successful in finding the allergen information, with General Mills pulling ahead by a single user for a 3% higher success rate.

UX Battle of the Week: Kellogg's vs General Mills

The efficiency metrics for the task on both sites, like the success rates, are very close. On average, finding the information on both sites took just over 2 minutes.

Kellogg’s user session

General Mills user session

Non Success

Kellogg's vs General Mills non success ratios

Of the non successful participants on both sites, users were more likely to choose an incorrect answer than they were to abandon the site.

We asked the users who abandoned to explain why they had abandoned the task, here are their open-ended responses:

Kellogg's vs General Mills user abandons

Kellogg’s user session

General Mills user session

Ease of Use

After the tasks we asked all the users to rate how easy or difficult it was to accomplish, with 1 = Very Difficult, 4 = Neutral and 7 = Very Easy.

Kellogg's vs General Mills ease of use

Despite having a wide range of responses, ranging from very easy to very difficult, both sites ended with a nearly tied average ease of use rating falling just under Neutral. Kellogg’s beat General Mills by a fraction of a point to end with the higher score of 3.5 out of 7.

Problems & Frustrations

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

Kellogg’s

Kellogg's problems and frustrations

Participants who selected “Other” were given an open-ended follow up question to explain. The users who chose with for Kellogg’s said:

  • I clicked on a link on the product page and it went to a broken page
  • It was not possible for me to find the allergen info. Not easy to find

General Mills

General Mills problems and frustrations

Participants who selected “Other” were given an open-ended follow up question to explain. The users who chose with for General Mills said:

  • Too much going on, needs to be more simple
  • I looked in several areas of the site and couldn’t find the allergen information – if I was searching for my personal use I wouldn’t feel comfortable purchasing

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.

Kellogg's vs General Mills pre and post task brand perception

Both brands saw a decrease in brand perception after participants interacted with the sites. Kellogg’s started and ended with a higher overall brand perception rating than General Mills.

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.

Kellogg's vs General Mills NPS

Kellogg’s participants were 27% more likely to recommend the site than General Mills’ participants.

Conclusion

Kellogg's v General Mills winner

Both sites performed well and this battle was extremely close. The winner, however, in this week’s usability battle is General Mills for having a higher overall success rate on the taxonomy and online tasks with fewer abandons. Kellogg’s put up a tough fight, and should be proud of their brand perception and NPS ratings.


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