LDLC Group is a french online business group, created in 1996, ranked 5th in France by FEVAD in 2016. Its major brand, LDLC.com is a major player in e-commerce computing and high-tech in France. In addition to the common characteristics of most e-commerce websites (top of the category sales, online product reviews, etc.), the site quickly set up a faceted search to facilitate the search for products such as motherboards, RAMs or monitors whose offer is sometimes in hundreds of models. The site also has the particularity of offering computers delivered without a pre-installed operating system.
During my time at LDLC, I was asked to set up usability tests to evaluate our solution and be able to identify the real problems of use that our customers might encounter. At the time, no test of this kind had ever been set up. Honestly, I didn't really know how to start and I was given complete freedom to choose how to proceed. I remember telling myself that there was mostly 2 ways to do it. The first one was to search for particular issues using analytics or expert evaluation for example and then, target the most critical ones to fix them. The second approach was much broader and was based on the main user goals such as buying a product or check for the availability of a product in a store. This is the second option I chose because it would allow me to observe the participants in more realistic conditions. Furthermore, I could also, at the end of the user tests, ask everyone to describe me the most common things he does on our website.
I first decided to use the 4 personas created earlier and for each of them, I defined two relevant scenarios to be used during the user test.
Each scenario described a particular goal to accomplish (like "buying a BlueTooth speaker"). Except one or two constraints maximum (like "for 65€ or less" or "pay by credit card"), the participant could choose how he intended to perform these tasks.
To set up these tests, I had to write some technical or legal documents :
Next step was to organize pre-tests to check that anything was missing. It was therefore necessary to make requests for computer equipment to the general services of the Group, reserve a meeting room, find volunteers for the pre-tests, and then test the material, softwares, duration and content itself of the test. Meanwhile, I asked the communication service to help me recruiting users inside the company (while we were over 700 employees) according to some criterias defined by the 4 personas, so the participants could perfectly match with them.
These criterias were :
For each of the 4 personas, we recruited 5 participants. We decided to meet 2 of these 20 participants a day, to organize a user test in the morning, and one in the afternoon, in order not to exceed 2 weeks of consecutive user tests.
Then came the analysis of the test results which included :
After having analyzed the results, we finally prioritized the different corrective actions with the marketing and IT teams. In an iterative and continuous improvement approach, these user tests are now reused to improve the customer experience. They are also completed by other kind of user tests like "in situ" tests.