“Usability comes first” is a true rule of website development, but design plays a critical role in creating great user experience (Felton, 2013). According to Nielson (2006), “Website designers make a huge mistake when they focus around usability alone, just because it is thought to be more important for users. Usability and design should go together as CSS and PHP, as Header and Footer, as content and layout.” This week’s blog post will discuss the design and usability of Burger King’s website along with the websites of McDonalds and Wendy’s.
As mentioned above, a site’s usability mainly depends on its design. A fast website with a friendly entry form, yet colored in an unsuitable color palette and with old-fashioned fonts would never succeed among the users. However, website usability is about user-centered design. Burger King’s website is primarily designed to engage the viewers and to promote exciting offers. The web designer chose a warm color palette in the design of this brand’s website. The images used on the website are very colorful and appealing. Also, the site lists menu items in traditional navigation style.
The five tasks, assigned to the three users, to test the usability of this website and other two sites were:
- Browse the site from a mobile device and a tablet.
- Order some food online
- List some of their current promotional offers
- Sign up for the newsletter
- Find out store locations and hours of operations
The tasks above were chosen as the different criteria to be used to compare the companies’ websites. The results after interpreting the data collected from the users are discussed below:
All of the users were able to browse the websites from their mobile devices. However, two of them mentioned that they struggled with the site of Burger King. According to them, the navigation style of its mobile web is not user-friendly. Since the homepage of BK is very long, it takes substantial time to load the page. The users did not like the wait time. Compared to BK, McDonalds and Wendy’s have clearer and more concise homepage in their mobile webs.
Navigation style and links:
Two of the users said they could easily know where they were on the McDonalds website. Another user said the site of Burger King provided useful clues and links for the users to get the desired information. However, all of them noted that it was difficult to move around at the website of Burger King. The animation used on the surface to display the images are very distracting. According to them, it is much easier to move around at McDonald’s website by using the links or back button of the browser. They also think, the links at McDonald’s website are well maintained and updated. Placement of links or menu is standard throughout the website and easily recognizable.
User Interface Design:
All of the users think that the BK’s website interface design is attractive. All of them were comfortable with the colors used on this website. However, as mentioned earlier, they think that the site contains some features that at times irritated them such as scrolling and looping animations. According to the users, McDonalds’ website has a consistent feel and look. The design of the site makes sense, and it is easy to learn how to use it. Nevertheless, two of the users mentioned that the website of Burger King is much more user-friendly than the site of Wendy’s.
Performance and effectiveness of the Website:
As mentioned above, the users needed to wait too long to open the homepage of Burger King. However, two of the users agreed that the homepage of BK loads faster than the homepage of McDonald’s. It is because of the flash video used by McDonalds on their homepage. Considering the wait time, Wendy’s website is the most effective among three of these sites. However, the users noted that all these websites responded to their actions as expected.
According to Nielson (2006), “A usable website is user-friendly, easy to read, it is flying (in the literal and metaphoric senses), and it makes users come back.” When users arrive at a website, they should understand how the navigation works, how to act via CTA, where to find any particular section of the site or information they are interested in, and all this is called website usability. Burger King should improve their navigation style to make the site more user-friendly. Also, to improve the overall user-experience BK should refine the animations of their web page. It is recommended to the company to make the homepage crisper, which will eventually make the website more swimmable by the users.