13 January 2010 12:08pm
Finding it really difficult to prove to the powers that be within my company that internal scrolling for our new website is not the way forward. My manager doesn't want any scrolling on any pages and in any cases where that's totally unavoidable wants internal scrolling. Scrolling in any case these days is standard and very web 2.0. I'm worried that not only will internal scrolling look odd, it will harm the user experience but they wont listen despite producing several articles which support my case. What to do?
Head of Ecommerce at Lovehoney
13 January 2010 15:28pm
Simple, work the new site up into a wireframe. User test the wireframe with recruited users within the demographics you're targetting. See if they scroll. You're designing for them not your manager. If your boss won't pay for user testing, Steve Krug has a good book called Rocket Surgery Made Easy which shows how to run your own tests.
Jakob Neilson has articles about scrolling. CXPartners did a post about the Myth of Scrolling (which I didn't agree with, but that's another thing), so there's plenty of stuff out there - however the only thing that really matters is your potential users.
14 January 2010 12:17pm
Thanks for your response Mark and good advice. I've been requesting for us to hold a usability testing session however this has not yet been approved and I fear that the results won't be listened to should we go ahead with one, since amendments are likely to incur costs (the design process is already underway). This is a really frustrating situation since I don't wish to be held responsible for the production of a bad site just because of the somewhat bizarre demands and wants of a manager who has no real web experience. Grrr...
14 January 2010 12:43pm
OK, this project has to stop, or at least be paused. You need to sit down with the manager and ask who the site is being designed for.
I would do a stakeholder interview with him. tell him at this stage it's vital to understand what the strategy for the site is. In an ideal world this would have been done at the beginning as part fo the IA.
Approach the subject of scrolling, ask why he doesn't like scrolling, and why he thinks users of the site won't want to scroll. You never know, he may have a parfectly valid reason, but it has to be based in the needs of the user. Use reiterative questioning to find out the underlying reasons for his beliefs.
If you email me at contactmattyATgooglemailDOTcom I'll send you an example stakeholder interview.
Matt (not mark :-) )
E-Business Consultant at Dan Barker
15 January 2010 18:36pm
Another simple thing you could do - Ask the users. Here's a 'minimum effort' option:
Put together a simple survey in surveygizmo/surveymonkey/zoomerang. Ask just 3 questions, send it out to anyone on your email list who's bought from you in the last few months. (assuming you're ecommerce, but the same principles apply for anything else).
My 3 questions would be:
Take the results of that, pay particular attention to the ones who rank you '0-2' & the ones who rank you '8-10'. Go through the sites they mention in answer 3 & tally them up against any of these big design decisions you're making. eg, lets say you get 100 unique responses to question 3, you may have a score of '88' of them which feature scrolling. You may have '32' which feature 3-column navigation.
That won't make any decisions for you, but it gives you a non-aggressive way of saying to your boss "look, our customers love all of these other websites, and all of them feature scrolling".
Once your boss has overruled you & the site goes live with internal scrolling, run the survey all over again. Ask the same questions 1 & 2. See whether your 'satisfaction score' has gone down for answer 1. See whether anyone mentions the scrolling in answer 2.
Hope that's of some use,
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