Gaming Strategy
Featured Stories
Legal News Financial News Casino Opening and Remodeling News Gaming Industry Executives Author Home Author Archives Search Articles Subscribe
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Vicky Nolan

Measuring Your Site's Navigability

19 April 2000

Is your website as profitable as you'd like it to be? Are you looking for new ways to increase revenue? Perhaps it's time to take a look closer at home. Have you considered whether visitors are fleeing because your site is too difficult to navigate?

If you're not getting the results you want, perhaps all your site really needs is a little "spiffing" up to make it more attractive or easier to navigate.

A U.S. firm called WebCriteria claims that it has the solution. The company provides three evaluation/analysis services that grade a site's usability.

The first service, the SiteProfile, can measure your site for potential problems, including speed, ease of navigation and aspects of content. An evaluation report, available within 72 hours, usually compares three websites and one "Industry Benchmark," a database that rates high, low and average scores for more than 28 industries', and includes nearly 300 websites. Information from the database is freely available to anyone who registers on the WebCriteria site.

The second service is the Visitor Satisfaction Profile, a real-time online survey that registers your customers' reaction to your site's usability. Results of the survey are automatically delivered to the site operators.

Finally, the SiteAdvisory service provides recommendations for website improvement and is based on the SiteProfile analysis and measurements.

Powering the SiteProfile is MaxTM, an intelligent agent programmed with human browsing characteristics. When surveying a site, the agent considers cognitive, perceptual and motor cycles humans use while browsing a website, explained Marta George, the company's communications manager.

For example, Max can determine the amount of time needed to read text on a page, how many choices a user is given, where the navigational bars are placed, and much more.

Over the past 10 months, WebCriteria has performed these services for numerous clients, including Proctor and Gamble, IBM,, British Airways, Crayola and Nintendo. Whether the client is a major corporation or a dot com, WebCriteria helps the client improve the users' surfing experience and keeps multiple sites consistent.

The company, constantly striving to improve Max's understanding of how a user views a website, is conducting a study to investigate the browsing patterns of different user segments. The research, conducted by Design Technologies, focuses on various demographics, including age, gender and the Web browsing experience level of users, to understand the impact of these factors on Web browsing behavior and to further refine Max.

Not all sites can be surveyed yet. If a site uses Flash, JavaScript or HTTPS, there may be some problems using WebCriteria's services, according to application engineer Kent Dahlgren. "We're working night and day on JavaScript," he said. "The problem with Flash is that even though it can register, we just can't pull the URL (to identify which page might have a problem). We can measure the cognitive cost, however."

For customers comparing their site to others, size can also be a factor. If one of the sites is much smaller in comparison to the others, it just doesn't compare well, Dahlgren explained. WebCriteria researchers are working on ways to overcome this as well.

To supplement this story, WebCriteria examined the usability of several online gaming-related websites. Nine gaming,,,,,, and measured for speed and ease of use and content.

Click here to view the report.

For further information about the survey or WebCriteria's services, visit

Measuring Your Site's Navigability is republished from
Vicky Nolan
Vicky Nolan