Interesting Website Usability Statistics

Website usability statistics are probably one of the more confusing things to understand, especially after a website has just been launched. There are a multitude of logistics, statistics and other information which can be pulled from the internet. There are many ways to obtain it and many purposes for this data. So what do you do with all this data?

Google, for example, is big business in web statistics. So is YouTube, Facebook, and many other user content system. But the data, pulled from these websites, doesn’t provide all of the important statistics of website usability.

So, what are the most important statistics when it comes to website usability, and why are they so important?

Well, there’s no direct answer to this question, (though, I really wish there was). I can’t give you a clean cut list.

The variation with statistics is so vast, that this is where most of the confusion lies. Statistics vary based on factors such as application, demographic and platform.

I will name some of the statistics that do matter and try my  best to demystify how I got there.

How to Read Statistics:

Statistics are post-launch, meaning that they are generated after the website is in place and the user-base has interacting with your UI. (Usability statistics can’t really be analyzed until about thirty days after launch).
Upon the first statistical read, the most important usability statistic is going to be concurrent use by individual users.

While the amount of traffic and ability to be found by search engines (and other indexing systems) is important, that won’t be my focus.

As far as usability is concerned, I’m interested in consistency. Concurrent use by a unique user multiple times, with consistency, indicates that these users are finding the websites user friendly. A good statistic of ‘concurrent navigation,’ should be about forty percent of average traffic coming in, with a sixty percent gain, for the first period of measurement.

Lower percentages of concurrency means that users who come to the page may encounter some kind of problem (either that page isn’t particularly useful to them or there are poor usability features). If it is higher than forty percent, it may not be a usability issue.

Page Load Errors and Browser Compatibility:

The next statistic involves page load errors and browser compatibility issues. Servers and indexers, like Google, can tabulate/log this. These statistics can indicate compatibility problems with mobile, browsers and other compliance issues. Website incompatibility is a severe problem for usability and UX departments. If you’re getting less than two percent, you’re doing well. Some errors and crashes will probably occur, regardless of what you do, because that’s the nature of changing technology .

These are just a few general, website usability statistics. As you dive deeper into the topic, the amount of statistics – available for analysis- will be endless.

Jessica Miller
Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.
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