Author:

Christian Holst is co-founder of Baymard Institute where he writes bi-weekly articles on web usability and e-commerce optimization. He's also the author of the E-Commerce Checkout Usability and Mobile E-Commerce Usability research reports.

Twitter: Follow Christian Holst on Twitter

Google Profile: https://plus.google.com/100812534079229327257

The Current State Of E-Commerce Filtering

When done right, filters enable users to narrow down a website’s selection of thousands of products to only those few items that match their particular needs and interests. Yet, despite it being a central aspect of the user’s e-commerce product browsing, most websites offer a lacklustre filtering experience. In fact, our 2015 benchmark reveals that only 16% of major e-commerce websites offer a reasonably good filtering experience.

The Current State Of E-Commerce Filtering

Given the importance of filtering, we — the entire team at the Baymard Institute — spent the last nine months researching how users browse, filter and evaluate products in e-commerce product lists. We examined both search- and category-based product lists. At the core of this research was a large-scale usability study testing 19 leading e-commerce websites with real end users, following the think-aloud protocol.

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The Current State Of E-Commerce Search

When e-commerce search works, it’s fast, convenient and efficient. It’s no wonder that so many users prefer searching over clicking categories. Unfortunately, our recent large-scale usability study and top-50 benchmark of e-commerce search finds that search often doesn’t work very well.

The State of E-Commerce Search: 2014

On-site search is a key component of almost any e-commerce website. That’s why we at Baymard Institute have invested months conducting a large-scale usability study, testing the e-commerce search experience of 19 major e-commerce websites with real-world end users.

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An E-Commerce Study: Guidelines For Better Navigation And Categories

Product findability is key to any e-commerce business — after all, if customers can’t find a product, they can’t buy it. Therefore, at Baymard Institute, we invested eight months conducting a large-scale usability research study on the product-finding experience. We set out to explore how users navigate, find and select products on e-commerce websites, using the home page and category navigation.

An E-Commerce Study: Guidelines For Better Navigation And Categories

The one-on-one usability testing was conducted following the “think aloud” protocol, and we tested the following websites: Amazon, Best Buy, Blue Nile, Chemist Direct, Drugstore.com, eBags, GILT, GoOutdoors, H&M, IKEA, Macy’s, Newegg, Pixmania, Pottery Barn, REI, Tesco, Toys’R’Us, The Entertainer, and Zappos. The pages and design elements that we tested include the home page, category navigation, subcategories, and product lists.

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A Guide To Designing Touch Keyboards (With Cheat Sheet)

Touch devices have rightfully been praised for generally being much more intuitive than the decades-old computer mouse and keyboard. Users interact directly with touch interfaces, which narrows the gap between human act and software response.

A Guide To Designing Touch Keyboards (With Cheat Sheet)

Yet typing on mobile devices — in particular on smartphones — is quite the horror story. It’s slow, painful and error-prone. The obvious culprits are keyboard character size and proximity of the keys, but there are many other important aspects to consider.

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Exploring Ten Fundamental Aspects Of M-Commerce Usability

Everyone is talking about mobile. Some e-commerce websites are venturing into it. Mobile commerce (also known as “m-commerce”) has immense potential, exhibiting a 86% growth rate and hitting $25 billion in 2012 (set to reach $86 billion by 2016, according to eMarketer).

Exploring Ten Fundamental Aspects Of M-Commerce Usability

It’s also a whole new platform, with new interaction methods and usage contexts that introduce a host of limitations and pitfalls to watch out for when designing and running an m-commerce website. With few best practices yet established, m-commerce is, to a large degree, unchartered territory when it comes to actual implementation.

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Account Creation, Standalone Mobile Websites, And Dealing With Non-UX Designers

Editor’s note: Welcome to Smashing Magazine UX Design Q&A. It works like this: you send in questions you have about UX Design, and each month we’ll pick a handful of questions asked by our readers about best practices in designing smart and usable experiences.

Account Creation, Standalone Mobile Websites, And Dealing With None-UX Designers

They will be answered by Christian Holst, a regular author here on Smashing Magazine and founder of the Baymard Institute. Prior to cofounding the Baymard Institute in 2009, he worked as a usability engineer in the hearing-aid, credit-card and consulting industries.

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Adaptive Vs. Responsive Layouts And Optimal Form Field Labels

Welcome to a new column in the UX Design section on Smashing Magazine! Each month we'll pick a handful of popular questions asked by our readers around good practices in designing smart and usable experiences.

UX Design Q&A With Christian Holst: Adaptive Vs. Responsive Layouts And Optimal Form Field Labels

They will be answered by Christian Holst, a regular author here on Smashing and founder of Baymard Institute. Prior to co-founding Baymard Institute in 2009, he worked as a usability engineer in the hearing aid, credit card and consulting industries. If you have any questions that you would like me to tackle for a future Usability Q&A column here on Smashing Magazine, please ask them in the article's comment section!

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UX Study The State Of E-Commerce Checkout Design 2012

A year ago we published an article on 11 fundamental guidelines for e-commerce checkout design here at Smashing Magazine. The guidelines presented were based on the 63 findings of a larger E-Commerce Checkout Usability research study we conducted in 2011 focusing strictly on the checkout user experience, from “cart” to “completed order".

The State Of E-Commerce Checkout Design 2012

This year we've taken a look at the state of e-commerce checkouts by documenting and benchmarking the checkout processes of the top 100 grossing e-commerce websites based on the findings from the original research study. This has lead to a massive checkout database with 508 checkout steps reviewed, 975 screenshots, and 3,000+ examples of adherences and violations of the checkout usability guidelines.

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Form-Field Validation: The Errors-Only Approach

Error pages for form-field validation are dreadful. You’ve just filled out 20 form fields, yet you get the same bloated page thrown back in your face because a single field failed to validate. I clearly recall the often loud sighs of despair during our last usability study each time a test subject encountered a validation error page.

Form-Field Validation: The Errors-Only Approach

We reflected on this problem and got an idea that we call “error fields only” — which is exactly what this article is about. Before exploring this idea, let’s look at three traditional types of validation techniques: “same page reload,” “optimized same page reload” and “live inline validation.”

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Redesigning The Country Selector

The country selector. It’s there when you create an account for a new Web service, check out of an e-commerce store or sign up for a conference. The normal design? A drop-down list with all of the available countries. However, when conducting a large session of user testing on check-out usability (which we wrote about here on Smashing Magazine back in April 2011), we consistently found usability issues with the massive country selector drop-downs.

Typical country selector

Jakob Nielsen reported similar issues as far back as 2000 and 2007 when testing drop-downs with a large number of options, such as state and country lists. So, this past summer we set out to redesign the country selector. This article focuses on the four design iterations we went through before arriving at the solution (free jQuery plugin included).

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