Zag Multiple Partner Platform Baseline Usability Study
conducted independently © 2008 by Susan Oslin : (323) 664-3880 :

Heuristic Evaluation

A - Site Structure and 'Ease of Use'

home page image
  1. locate dealer button is confusing, should be omitted
  2. not certain on home page what the process is
  3. not clear what the benefit of using this site is
  4. new car and used car buying process is predominantly parallel, consider having 1 approach that is consistent
new car page image
  1. header instructions get lost on the page, should be more prominent
  2. reevaluate the steps; should have 1 step for each page or progression in the process--choose your car is 3-4 pages, i.e. no step for registration or what to do with the certificate, locate your dealer is not a step the user takes, its something the system does for them
  3. steps are not explicit enough and are often misleading; on new car page instructions says choose you car but you actually are entering your zip code;
registration page image
  1. more information is required on the registration page, make sure the visitor understands exactly what is happening to their information, where is it going? who gets it and what do they do with it? again the steps and process are unclear
certificate page image
  1. redesign of certificate page to clarify next steps, header vague
  2. instructions are buried at the bottom of the page and very small, clearly define next action
certificate page image
  1. avoid unexpected pop ups at all cost, distracting and annoying (lowest/closet when entering configurator page, alternatives when entering the certificate page)
  2. one user actually failed getting to the certifciate because of the pop-up preceeding the certificate page
  1. give better feedback on used car search, when a search fails give tips on on how to expand search, consider redesign of page to make search options more clear
  2. no use of bread crumbs, no sense of where you are on the site relative to anything else, like a tunnel and very confining

B - Content

  1. decent amount of information regarding individual cars; consumer testing, environmental and safety reports, comparative articles, etc. would enhance experience
  2. no customer support for the site, not even an option to contact someone, only a funnel to the dealer; giving the visitor, at minimum, an opportunity to ask questions about the site would increase confidence
  3. not enough information on the site to clarify the process or convince me that this is a good deal, left with too many questions, erodes trust

C - Features and Functionality

  1. tabs on configurator get lost, additional information overlooked
  2. compare should not be buried in a tab but prominent an integrated experience while 'pricing with options'
  3. photos not very well displayed, too small, awkward to thumb through, experience could be enriched with more web 2.0 solutions
  4. selecting options is terribly confusing, not smart, it should unselect individual items if included in a selected package
  5. the flow for styles, color, options, incentive confusing, need to simplify

D - Visual Design

  1. unobtrusive, clean, simple, appropriate
image to demonstrate visual hierarchy
  1. greater hierarchy of elements would improve usability, elements tend to be of equal weight and the eye doesn't always know where to go
image of hidden next button
  1. important elements(like next button) often below the fold, design the layout such that all critical elements are above the fold

E - Merchandising and Purchasing

  1. nothing to bring the visitor back after purchase
  2. no option to get additional purchasing support, or post purchasing support (will Drive Your Dream help me if I get a lemon? if I have a negative experience with the dealer who do I tell?)
  3. no way to save selected vehicles or comparisons
  4. now way to share selections (may want input from friend, family member, partner)