Users Have Higher Expectations of Web Sites than Designers – New Report

“Designers underestimate the thresholds for an effective site and should give greater consideration to overall effectiveness, thereby reducing the chance of failure for a user to find the information they seek”. This is one of the conclusions of a new report from the Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement which conducted a survey of almost 3000 respondents which included non-profit organizations, web designers and the general public.

The survey also showed that:

– Easy access to complete information is key to visitor enjoyment

– Visitors want information fast

– Visitors want a broad range of topics

– Designers are overly optimistic about visitors’ ability to maintain orientation

I love this kind of report, it just adds to the growing body of work which provides us good data from large scale surveys of what users want from a website. Like stone versus scissors, facts beat opinions every time.

One of the results from this survey which I find astounding is that only 60% of designers believe that up to date information is important (compared to 80% of users). What are they thinking? That the users are just visiting a site to look at the pretty pictures?