Marks and Spencer – Our Eye Tracking Review

January 19, 2009 12:36 pm

Marks and Spencer – Our Eye Tracking Review

Our team  conducted an eye tracking review of the new Marks and Spencer website for the December edition of Internet Retailing Magazine. The article can be read here: Marks and Spencer Eye Tracking Article

M&S seems to have some issues with a key roll-over menu that’s hidden to some users and secondary navigation/filters that could be made more efficient. The site performed reasonably well and is commonly quoted by our research participants as a benchmark ecommerce site for ease of use.

Our user group was made up of 50:50 split of male to female with 40% having previously ordered online from Marks and Spencer. For this eye tracking analysis, users were asked to buy an outfit for a black tie event.

People who hadn’t bought from M&S used the inpage links on the home page instead of the main menu. Eye tracking confirmed that they had all looked at the navigation early on, but unfamiliar users failed to realise that most areas of the shop were accessed through the drop down menu. One user needed help to find this menu. We would recommend making the ‘Shop all Departments, Your M&S, My Account’ items look more like navigation devices, since much of the site seems dependent on users realising this.

Once into the different clothing sections of the site, the left hand navigation was heavily relied upon and took much reading. We can see that, for this task, there is scope for making it more efficient. The categorisation in the male suits section failed to include an in-page link to eveningwear, which forced one user to exhaustively scan the page and still not find what he needed, even though eveningwear was listed in the left hand navigation. Section home pages should ideally give people multiple routes into content, either in-page links and through secondary navigation.

Overall, users showed a high level of confidence in the site, using photography as the main reference for making decisions, supported by the descriptive labels and then occasionally price. Users did notice the promotional flashes for offers and were sometimes distracted by the ‘perfect’ range labelling.

SimpleUsability have been providing expert eye tracking advice for the readers of  Internet Retailing Magazine since 2009.