zara usability research + testing

March 2023

Navigating ZARA by Uncovering User Obstacles Through Usability Testing

  1. System Evaluation Methods

  2. Usability Testing

  3. Research Planning

  4. Report Documentation

A usability test seeking to identify obstacles ZARA customers may experience when interacting with the site. Test sessions were conducted in a hybrid model (in-person and remote) with a total of ten participants, age ranging from 22 to 28 years old. Participants also had varying frequency in online shopping, including frequent, semi-frequent , and infrequent shoppers.

Google Forms | Zoom | Fig Jam | Google Docs | Optimal Workshop | Otter.Ai

whatt’s cookin’

March 2023

Navigating ZARA by Uncovering User Obstacles Through Usability Testing

  1. System Evaluation Methods

  2. Usability Testing

  3. Research Planning

  4. Report Documentation

A usability test seeking to identify obstacles ZARA customers may experience when interacting with the site. Test sessions were conducted in a hybrid model (in-person and remote) with a total of ten participants, age ranging from 22 to 28 years old. Participants also had varying frequency in online shopping, including frequent, semi-frequent , and infrequent shoppers.

Google Forms | Zoom | Fig Jam | Google Docs | Optimal Workshop | Otter.Ai

Discovering ZARA’s UI obstacles.

Challenges

• Recruiting people who fit the user profiles.

• Testing was overwhelming when conducted by only two people.

• It’s best to having at least three members in each test session.

Focus

• Identifying obstacles experienced during checkout.

• Determine site’s feasibility for user navigation.

• Make “help and documentation” accessible to users.

How-Might-We

...reduce the number of errors experienced by users?

...make the site navigation smoother and intuitive to users?

... be inclusive and considerate to users with visual impairment?

Key Takeaway

Understanding the importance of teamwork in usability testing is essential in order to succeed with this research methodology by recognising the significance of different roles within the testing team.

Designing for food, students & sustainability.

Challenges

• Recruiting people who fit the user profiles.

• Testing was overwhelming when conducted by only two people.

• It’s best to having at least three members in each test session.

Focus

• Identifying obstacles experienced during checkout.

• Determine site’s feasibility for user navigation.

• Make “help and documentation” accessible to users.

How-Might-We

...reduce the number of errors experienced by users?

...make the site navigation smoother and intuitive to users?

... be inclusive and considerate to users with visual impairment?

Key Takeaway

Understanding the importance of teamwork in usability testing is essential in order to succeed with this research methodology by recognising the significance of different roles within the testing team.

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Introduction

Introduction

Introduction

ZARA is a fashion brand that sells trendy clothes, accessories, shoes and home goods worldwide. The fashion enterprise uses their website as a online platform that allows users to browse and purchase brand name items to be shipped directly to them, or picking the items up at a physical store or drop point.

The goal of this project was to conducts a usability test to identify obstacles current and prospect ZARA customers may experience when interacting with the site.


This is a brief presentation of the case study and a complete version is available upon request.

ZARA is a fashion brand that sells trendy clothes, accessories, shoes and home goods worldwide. The fashion enterprise uses their website as a online platform that allows users to browse and purchase brand name items to be shipped directly to them, or picking the items up at a physical store or drop point.

The goal of this project was to conducts a usability test to identify obstacles current and prospect ZARA customers may experience when interacting with the site.


This is a brief presentation of the case study and a complete version is available upon request.

ZARA is a fashion brand that sells trendy clothes, accessories, shoes and home goods worldwide. The fashion enterprise uses their website as a online platform that allows users to browse and purchase brand name items to be shipped directly to them, or picking the items up at a physical store or drop point.

The goal of this project was to conducts a usability test to identify obstacles current and prospect ZARA customers may experience when interacting with the site.


This is a brief presentation of the case study and a complete version is available upon request.

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Methodology

Methodology

Methodology

To assess the usability of Zara’s website, 10 people experienced with online shopping will participate in two sessions. In the first session, they will think aloud as they complete tasks on the website. The tasks were designed to test the website's navigation, design, and features. In the second session, they will be interviewed about their experiences with the website. The data collected from both sessions will be analysed to identify areas where the website can be improved.

To assess the usability of Zara’s website, 10 people experienced with online shopping will participate in two sessions. In the first session, they will think aloud as they complete tasks on the website. The tasks were designed to test the website's navigation, design, and features. In the second session, they will be interviewed about their experiences with the website. The data collected from both sessions will be analysed to identify areas where the website can be improved.

To assess the usability of Zara’s website, 10 people experienced with online shopping will participate in two sessions. In the first session, they will think aloud as they complete tasks on the website. The tasks were designed to test the website's navigation, design, and features. In the second session, they will be interviewed about their experiences with the website. The data collected from both sessions will be analysed to identify areas where the website can be improved.

Sessions

Sessions

A hybrid test was conducted using Zoom’s video conferencing software. The software recorded audio and video of participants, their screens, and the moderator. Tests were administered on Apple MacBook laptops, using the Safari web browser. In-person sessions were held in a conference room at a specified location.

A hybrid test was conducted using Zoom’s video conferencing software. The software recorded audio and video of participants, their screens, and the moderator. Tests were administered on Apple MacBook laptops, using the Safari web browser. In-person sessions were held in a conference room at a specified location.

A hybrid test was conducted using Zoom’s video conferencing software. The software recorded audio and video of participants, their screens, and the moderator. Tests were administered on Apple MacBook laptops, using the Safari web browser. In-person sessions were held in a conference room at a specified location.

Participants

Participants

Ten participants took part in the sessions. 6 were female and 4 were male. Ages ranged from 22 to 28, with 6 participants between 24 and 25. All participants had a Bachelor's degree, and 2 had a Master's degree. 3 participants were frequent or semi-frequent shoppers, and 4 were infrequent shoppers.

Ten participants took part in the sessions. 6 were female and 4 were male. Ages ranged from 22 to 28, with 6 participants between 24 and 25. All participants had a Bachelor's degree, and 2 had a Master's degree. 3 participants were frequent or semi-frequent shoppers, and 4 were infrequent shoppers.

Ten participants took part in the sessions. 6 were female and 4 were male. Ages ranged from 22 to 28, with 6 participants between 24 and 25. All participants had a Bachelor's degree, and 2 had a Master's degree. 3 participants were frequent or semi-frequent shoppers, and 4 were infrequent shoppers.

Tasks/Scenarios

Tasks/Scenarios

The tasks and scenarios for the usability test were based on previous research by the evaluation team, including a heuristic evaluation and a cognitive walkthrough. The scenarios were created to simulate common tasks that users might want to do on the Zara website.

The tasks and scenarios for the usability test were based on previous research by the evaluation team, including a heuristic evaluation and a cognitive walkthrough. The scenarios were created to simulate common tasks that users might want to do on the Zara website.

The tasks and scenarios for the usability test were based on previous research by the evaluation team, including a heuristic evaluation and a cognitive walkthrough. The scenarios were created to simulate common tasks that users might want to do on the Zara website.

Research

Research

Research

Preliminary research is the first step taken when we started approaching the task of performing a usability test on Zara’s site. In the research, we looked at secondary research materials and spent most of the time drafting research questions and implement different research methods.

Preliminary research is the first step taken when we started approaching the task of performing a usability test on Zara’s site. In the research, we looked at secondary research materials and spent most of the time drafting research questions and implement different research methods.

Preliminary research is the first step taken when we started approaching the task of performing a usability test on Zara’s site. In the research, we looked at secondary research materials and spent most of the time drafting research questions and implement different research methods.

Research Questions

Research Questions

Does the user experience any errors while navigating the site?

Does the user experience any errors while navigating the site?

How long does it take the user to complete a purchase while shopping on the ZARA website?

How long does it take the user to complete a purchase while shopping on the ZARA website?

How easy is it for users to add/remove items from their shopping carts?

How easy is it for users to add/remove items from their shopping carts?

For users that require special accessibility features, can they access them without any interruption?

For users that require special accessibility features, can they access them without any interruption?

Is the customer service information easy to access?

Is the customer service information easy to access?

Is the user confident in using site features to find their correct size?

Is the user confident in using site features to find their correct size?

How easy is it for users to correct mistakes during checkout?

How easy is it for users to correct mistakes during checkout?

Research Methods

Research Methods

Heuristic Evaluation

Heuristic Evaluation

Heuristic Evaluation

A general evaluation of the website using the 10 heuristics guidelines. We picked actions with higher severity to include in our findings.

A general evaluation of the website using the 10 heuristics guidelines. We picked actions with higher severity to include in our findings.

A general evaluation of the website using the 10 heuristics guidelines. We picked actions with higher severity to include in our findings.

Methods

Methods

  • Rapid and analytical inspection with no users.

  • 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design by Nielsen Norman Group.

  • Measured severity on a scale of 0 to 4.

  • Rapid and analytical inspection with no users.

  • 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design by Nielsen Norman Group.

  • Measured severity on a scale of 0 to 4.

  • Rapid and analytical inspection with no users.

  • 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design by Nielsen Norman Group.

  • Measured severity on a scale of 0 to 4.

Findings

Findings

  • Consistency and standards came up 16 times.

  • Error prevention came up 8 times and was the most severe.

  • Consistency and standards came up 16 times.

  • Error prevention came up 8 times and was the most severe.

  • Consistency and standards came up 16 times.

  • Error prevention came up 8 times and was the most severe.

Cognitive Walkthrough

Cognitive Walkthrough

Cognitive Walkthrough

Evaluated 3 tasks to observe individual steps and action success vs failure. The data helped in creating tasks for the usability test.

Methods

Methods

  • Rigorous and analytical inspection, task driven walkthrough

  • Evaluated 3 task

    1. Finding the right size

    2. Contact customer service for a return

    3. Select an item and go to checkout until selecting your credit card

  • Rigorous and analytical inspection, task driven walkthrough

  • Evaluated 3 task

    1. Finding the right size

    2. Contact customer service for a return

    3. Select an item and go to checkout until selecting your credit card

Findings

Findings

Contacting customer services had the most errors with 4 Action failures.

Contacting customer services had the most errors with 4 Action failures.

Usability Test

Usability Test

Usability Test

Identified key problem areas and used the data to recommend improvements to the website.

Identified key problem areas and used the data to recommend improvements to the website.

Identified key problem areas and used the data to recommend improvements to the website.

Testing Methods Overview

Evaluation sessions were conducted in a hybrid format, with three sessions being conducted in-person, and seven sessions conducted remotely.

Zoom online software was used in all sessions to record participants and their screens, capturing both audio and video.

In-person sessions were conducted in a conference room with a moderator and at least one evaluator.

Remote sessions were conducted with a moderator, at least one evaluator, and one or more observers.

Evaluation sessions were conducted in a hybrid format, with three sessions being conducted in-person, and seven sessions conducted remotely.

Zoom online software was used in all sessions to record participants and their screens, capturing both audio and video.

In-person sessions were conducted in a conference room with a moderator and at least one evaluator.

Remote sessions were conducted with a moderator, at least one evaluator, and one or more observers.

Testing Methods Overview

Evaluation sessions were conducted in a hybrid format, with three sessions being conducted in-person, and seven sessions conducted remotely.

Zoom online software was used in all sessions to record participants and their screens, capturing both audio and video.

In-person sessions were conducted in a conference room with a moderator and at least one evaluator.

Remote sessions were conducted with a moderator, at least one evaluator, and one or more observers.

Recruitment Methods

Participants were recruited for the study via personal relationships with the evaluation team.

Four participants were colleagues.

Six participants are friends and partners.

Participants were recruited for the study via personal relationships with the evaluation team.

Four participants were colleagues.

Six participants are friends and partners.

Recruitment Methods

Participants were recruited for the study via personal relationships with the evaluation team.

Four participants were colleagues.

Six participants are friends and partners.

Participant Characteristics

Usability evaluations were conducted on a total of ten participants.

Six participants identified as female, and four participants identified as male.

All participants were between the ages of 22 and 28 years old.

All ten participants had completed a Bachelor’s Degree, and two participants had also completed a Master’s Degree.

Usability evaluations were conducted on a total of ten participants.

Six participants identified as female, and four participants identified as male.

All participants were between the ages of 22 and 28 years old.

All ten participants had completed a Bachelor’s Degree, and two participants had also completed a Master’s Degree.

Participant Characteristics

Usability evaluations were conducted on a total of ten participants.

Six participants identified as female, and four participants identified as male.

All participants were between the ages of 22 and 28 years old.

All ten participants had completed a Bachelor’s Degree, and two participants had also completed a Master’s Degree.

Results + Feedback

Results + Feedback

Results + Feedback

During the observation, we made a record of error types per task, average task completion time and participant confidence level in their choices. We then followed up with post test and demographic questions to conclude the testing session.

During the observation, we made a record of error types per task, average task completion time and participant confidence level in their choices. We then followed up with post test and demographic questions to conclude the testing session.

During the observation, we made a record of error types per task, average task completion time and participant confidence level in their choices. We then followed up with post test and demographic questions to conclude the testing session.

Task 01

Task 01

Task 01

Add an item to the cart and check out.

No errors observed.

Over half of the participants reported to be very confident in completing the task.

No errors observed.

Over half of the participants reported to be very confident in completing the task.

No errors observed.

Over half of the participants reported to be very confident in completing the task.

Key Participant Feedback

Key Participant Feedback

Key Participant Feedback

Participants were not satisfied with the layout of the products on the page.

Participants did not like the moving picture elements on the homepage.

Participants were not satisfied with the layout of the products on the page.

Participants did not like the moving picture elements on the homepage.

Participants were not satisfied with the layout of the products on the page.

Participants did not like the moving picture elements on the homepage.

Task 02

Task 02

Task 02

Check In-Store Availability for an item.

2 participants made errors - 3 errors in total .

Confidence levels ranged between confident to very confident.

2 participants made errors - 3 errors in total .

Confidence levels ranged between confident to very confident.

2 participants made errors - 3 errors in total .

Confidence levels ranged between confident to very confident.

Key Participant Feedback

Key Participant Feedback

Key Participant Feedback

Participants were dissatisfied with the lack of distance mileage on nearby store locations.

Participants were dissatisfied with the lack of distance mileage on nearby store locations.

Participants were dissatisfied with the lack of distance mileage on nearby store locations.

Task 03

Task 03

Task 03

Contact Customer Service for a return order.

No errors observed.

Over half of the participants reported to be very confident in completing the task.

No errors observed.

Over half of the participants reported to be very confident in completing the task.

No errors observed.

Over half of the participants reported to be very confident in completing the task.

Key Participant Feedback

Key Participant Feedback

Key Participant Feedback

Participants were not satisfied with the layout of the products on the page.

Participants did not like the moving picture elements on the homepage.

Participants were not satisfied with the layout of the products on the page.

Participants did not like the moving picture elements on the homepage.

Participants were not satisfied with the layout of the products on the page.

Participants did not like the moving picture elements on the homepage.

Task 04

Task 04

Task 04

Open the Accessibility menu and enable the Bright High Contrast option.

2 participants made errors - 3 errors in total .

Confidence levels ranged between confident to very confident.

2 participants made errors - 3 errors in total .

Confidence levels ranged between confident to very confident.

2 participants made errors - 3 errors in total .

Confidence levels ranged between confident to very confident.

Key Participant Feedback

Key Participant Feedback

Key Participant Feedback

Participants were dissatisfied with the lack of distance mileage on nearby store locations.

Participants were dissatisfied with the lack of distance mileage on nearby store locations.

Participants were dissatisfied with the lack of distance mileage on nearby store locations.

Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendations

Findings from the usability testing are found in the complete case study which is available upon request. This section will discuss several ideas as recommendations to improve the overall website experience. These recommendations mostly came from commentaries made by participants when completing different tasks.

Findings from the usability testing are found in the complete case study which is available upon request. This section will discuss several ideas as recommendations to improve the overall website experience. These recommendations mostly came from commentaries made by participants when completing different tasks.

Findings from the usability testing are found in the complete case study which is available upon request. This section will discuss several ideas as recommendations to improve the overall website experience. These recommendations mostly came from commentaries made by participants when completing different tasks.

Accessibility

Accessibility

Relocate the accessibility feature

Relocate the accessibility feature

Severity: 4

Severity: 4

Severity: 4

ZARA should consider having the accessibility feature relocated to a location that is easy to find or familiar to participants. Most participants had low success with task 4 because they could not easily find the accessibility icon and its location did not call for exploration. Data from the test shows participants scanned the top of the page, and bottom of the page and interacted with the help page and side menu. Relocating the accessibility button to any of these locations will improve users’ experience.

ZARA should consider having the accessibility feature relocated to a location that is easy to find or familiar to participants. Most participants had low success with task 4 because they could not easily find the accessibility icon and its location did not call for exploration. Data from the test shows participants scanned the top of the page, and bottom of the page and interacted with the help page and side menu. Relocating the accessibility button to any of these locations will improve users’ experience.

ZARA should consider having the accessibility feature relocated to a location that is easy to find or familiar to participants. Most participants had low success with task 4 because they could not easily find the accessibility icon and its location did not call for exploration. Data from the test shows participants scanned the top of the page, and bottom of the page and interacted with the help page and side menu. Relocating the accessibility button to any of these locations will improve users’ experience.

Simplify landing page

Simplify landing page

Severity: 4

Severity: 4

Severity: 4

From the test data, half of the participants commented on having a simpler landing page that is straightforward and reduces distraction. As stated in the findings, participants are only interested in the product they want to buy and not the flashy animations visible on the landing page. ZARA should consider using Our Legacy’s website landing page as an inspiration on how to fully utilise minimal design. Simplifying the landing page will also create room for other features to be noticed.

From the test data, half of the participants commented on having a simpler landing page that is straightforward and reduces distraction. As stated in the findings, participants are only interested in the product they want to buy and not the flashy animations visible on the landing page. ZARA should consider using Our Legacy’s website landing page as an inspiration on how to fully utilise minimal design. Simplifying the landing page will also create room for other features to be noticed.

From the test data, half of the participants commented on having a simpler landing page that is straightforward and reduces distraction. As stated in the findings, participants are only interested in the product they want to buy and not the flashy animations visible on the landing page. ZARA should consider using Our Legacy’s website landing page as an inspiration on how to fully utilise minimal design. Simplifying the landing page will also create room for other features to be noticed.

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Add to Cart

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Make buttons more noticeable

Make buttons more noticeable

Severity: 3

Severity: 3

Severity: 3

ZARA’s minimal aesthetics in the website are visually appealing but some sections are too minimal for the buttons to be noticed. They should consider having a consistent design language for all the buttons to improve familiarity with users. The tasks that had lower success rates (tasks 3 and 4) suffered from having buttons that blended with the rest of the content.


From the example (right), main button is colour filled, while secondary/tertiary buttons are underlined with arrow icons.

ZARA’s minimal aesthetics in the website are visually appealing but some sections are too minimal for the buttons to be noticed. They should consider having a consistent design language for all the buttons to improve familiarity with users. The tasks that had lower success rates (tasks 3 and 4) suffered from having buttons that blended with the rest of the content.


From the example (right), main button is colour filled, while secondary/tertiary buttons are underlined with arrow icons.

ZARA’s minimal aesthetics in the website are visually appealing but some sections are too minimal for the buttons to be noticed. They should consider having a consistent design language for all the buttons to improve familiarity with users. The tasks that had lower success rates (tasks 3 and 4) suffered from having buttons that blended with the rest of the content.


From the example (right), main button is colour filled, while secondary/tertiary buttons are underlined with arrow icons.

Improve text legibility

Improve text legibility

Severity: 3

Severity: 3

Severity: 3

The test result reports that more than half of our participants found the text on ZARA’s website difficult to read. Participants stated that the text uses a light font weight and size which isn’t consistent across the site, thus impacting readability from lack of contrast. ZARA should consider increasing the font size across the board and a medium font-weight can be used for the regular text to make it consistent and readable on different backgrounds. Bold font weight can be used for headers and to emphasize important text for users to notice quickly. A good example is Our Legacy’s website and how they used a regular/medium font weight for regular text and a bold font weight for headers. This format keeps the website minimal while maintaining text legibility at the same time.

The test result reports that more than half of our participants found the text on ZARA’s website difficult to read. Participants stated that the text uses a light font weight and size which isn’t consistent across the site, thus impacting readability from lack of contrast. ZARA should consider increasing the font size across the board and a medium font-weight can be used for the regular text to make it consistent and readable on different backgrounds. Bold font weight can be used for headers and to emphasize important text for users to notice quickly. A good example is Our Legacy’s website and how they used a regular/medium font weight for regular text and a bold font weight for headers. This format keeps the website minimal while maintaining text legibility at the same time.

The test result reports that more than half of our participants found the text on ZARA’s website difficult to read. Participants stated that the text uses a light font weight and size which isn’t consistent across the site, thus impacting readability from lack of contrast. ZARA should consider increasing the font size across the board and a medium font-weight can be used for the regular text to make it consistent and readable on different backgrounds. Bold font weight can be used for headers and to emphasize important text for users to notice quickly. A good example is Our Legacy’s website and how they used a regular/medium font weight for regular text and a bold font weight for headers. This format keeps the website minimal while maintaining text legibility at the same time.

Jeans for Men

If there is an acclaimed, on-trend and iconic garment, it's certainly men's jeans. The edit is all about maximum style with minimum effort, which is why ZARA's jeans bring a laid-back vibe for flawless everyday looks without the hassle. When the occasion calls for it, simply add a blazer for a contrasting outfit with a...

Jeans for Men

If there is an acclaimed, on-trend and iconic garment, it's certainly men's jeans. The edit is all about maximum style with minimum effort, which is why ZARA's jeans bring a laid-back vibe for flawless everyday looks without the hassle. When the occasion calls for it, simply add a blazer for a contrasting outfit with a...

Takeaways

Takeaways

Takeaways

Working on this project has helped me understand the importance of working with a team in usability testing. Use of different evaluation methods such as Heuristics and Cognitive Walkthroughs, provided insight on how users would potentially experience a system.

Creating a test plan was also a useful skill to learn as it provides a blueprint of how the usability testing should be conducted. Evidently, a proper test plan can also be used to guide to other researchers in later phases of the project.

Lastly, I now understand what is expected in each role during testing. In my team, I was able to contribute as a Moderator, Evaluator and Observer. Some roles are better than others but it was a necessary skill to learn.

In the future, I would like to incorporate interviews and focus groups as part of the testing. It will help me understand participant’s thought processes and behavioural patterns.

Working on this project has helped me understand the importance of working with a team in usability testing. Use of different evaluation methods such as Heuristics and Cognitive Walkthroughs, provided insight on how users would potentially experience a system.

Creating a test plan was also a useful skill to learn as it provides a blueprint of how the usability testing should be conducted. Evidently, a proper test plan can also be used to guide to other researchers in later phases of the project.

Lastly, I now understand what is expected in each role during testing. In my team, I was able to contribute as a Moderator, Evaluator and Observer. Some roles are better than others but it was a necessary skill to learn.

In the future, I would like to incorporate interviews and focus groups as part of the testing. It will help me understand participant’s thought processes and behavioural patterns.

Working on this project has helped me understand the importance of working with a team in usability testing. Use of different evaluation methods such as Heuristics and Cognitive Walkthroughs, provided insight on how users would potentially experience a system.

Creating a test plan was also a useful skill to learn as it provides a blueprint of how the usability testing should be conducted. Evidently, a proper test plan can also be used to guide to other researchers in later phases of the project.

Lastly, I now understand what is expected in each role during testing. In my team, I was able to contribute as a Moderator, Evaluator and Observer. Some roles are better than others but it was a necessary skill to learn.

In the future, I would like to incorporate interviews and focus groups as part of the testing. It will help me understand participant’s thought processes and behavioural patterns.

Request Complete Case Study

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Request Complete Case Study

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