G2 - Business Software & Services Reviews
Needs Assessment & Usability Evaluation Project
1/1/17 - 4/30/17
For my Needs Assessment and Usability Evaluation master's course, I worked within a team to evaluate users' needs and the usability of the G2 website. G2 is a website that provides validated and unbiased peer-to-peer reviews of business software and service solutions. To evaluate the website, we used several techniques: mapping the primary user paths with an interaction map, conducting user interviews, performing a comparative evaluation of competitors, gathering quantitative data through surveys, and performing a heuristic evaluation and usability testing.
To begin evaluating the website, we created an interaction map to better understand its scope and variation. As this is a complex website, we did not map out every interaction. Instead, we gathered data from our client, G2, who informed us that users commonly take three different paths on the website, so we decided to focus on these. They include: Search Products (from the website's search bar), Browse Products, and Compare Products.
Interaction Map Results
Strong Support for Error Management
Contact Form Requests Too Much Personal Info
Presentation of Interaction Map Results
To help ensure our team clearly presented our findings, I wrote a clear and concise script for our team member to use during the presentation. As she was not used to public speaking, she found the script to be useful and it helped allay some of the anxiety many people feel when presenting to a large group.
The primary research focus was to evaluate the user experience of the G2 website and identify the different needs of key user groups. The overarching research question was: Is the experience of using G2 different for users of different business sizes? If so, should G2 personalize the experience for these different users? And how?
After completing the interaction map, we conducted a series of interviews, including one with the G2 Product Manager and 5 with a variety of users. User recruitment was completed with the help of G2. We created an interview protocol, and the team conducted the interviews in pairs, with 1 person moderating and both taking notes.
G2 Crowd Product Manager
Frequency of Use
The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. To analyze the data, we held interpretation sessions and collected affinity notes. Then we organized and analyzed the affinity notes to identify common themes and problems.
"I need help understanding and interpreting the graphs."
Users find it difficult to understand some of the graphs, especially the spider chart.
"Sometimes I can't tell when the screen has changed. You need to make it more obvious and user-friendly."
After using the sort function, users can't tell that they are seeing new data, due to a lack of visual feedback.
"Sometimes, I have to use the search function several times before I can find what I'm looking for."
Users find it difficult to find what they are looking for, because they don't know which keywords to use.
"When reviewing the grid, I want to know at glance how many people have reviewed the software."
Users want to immediately visualize how many reviews companies have received when they see G2 Crowd's 4-quadrant grid.
"The grid needs to show me how the software has been rated over time, not just recently."
Users are unable to see how or if software ratings have changed over time on the G2 Crowd 4-quadrant grid. They to be able to access historical ratings.
After completing the interviews, we developed personas based on the information we discovered. The personas helped the team remain connected and empathetic toward our users, always keeping their goals, motivations, frustrations, and the features most important to them in mind.
Based on the findings from the user interviews, we recommended several ways to better serve users' needs by making data easier to understand visually, improving accessibility and features of the data provided, helping users' find the information they were looking for, and providing clear indications when data are updated after users perform a sort function.
Remove the spider graphs and provide better guidelines to help users interpret the graphs and other data visualizations.
Provide users with stronger visual feedback when sorting and filtering data to indicate a change in results.
Improve keyword-based search by tagging the product type and the product name.
Provide immediate feedback to users of a product's average rating on the G2 Crowd 4-quadrant graph.
Add option for users to view the historical rating of software to help them make more informed buying decisions.