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To determine where to focus to best improve performance I used Google Analytics to compare the site’s key metrics, average session duration, bounce rate, conversion, etc against industry benchmarks.

Some Key Findings
  • Users were spending a higher than average amount of time on the contact page. As a conversion page rather than a content driven page this was identified as potentially damaging as the longer a task takes the more users will abandon it.


  • Looking at contact form submission, users were converting much less on the renewable heating pages than they were on the boiler and plumbing service pages. This is potentially more motivated by the product type than the page design, but was highlighted as needing targeting.


  • Over 50% of users were landing on the home page, as well as it being the most visited page.

Mobile/ Desktop comparison

As the site showed a significant amount of mobile use I committed time to compare the mobile site with the desktop version directly, to try to gain insight into mobile behaviour. Through this I found that there was a meaningful difference between the pages most visited on mobile compared to desktop, suggesting different uses cases prioritisation on different devices.


With the mobile behaviour suggesting more reactionary visits with users visiting the Boiler repairs and Servicing page much more, and users visiting the more research orientated including the renewable heating page on desktop.


Mobile had lower session duration and pages per session than the average for desktop use. This corelated with the use cases shown to be prioritised on mobile, as it was indicative of mobile users trying to complete a task fast/on the go. However, a higher than average bounce rate could suggest a lack of mobile optimisation in places, with users getting frustrated.

Cognitive Walkthrough and Heuristics

I completed a cognitive walkthrough and heuristic assessment on the site using Weinschenk and Barker’s 20 Usability Heuristics.

Key Findings
  • The sites main difficulties came from failing to balance/prioritise competing use cases, and therefore the design was not always suited to the context the users were approaching it from.

  • There was a lack of clarity at some points of conversion e.g.: some contact forms for specific services seemed to set up booking a meeting (with date/time fields) but did not indicate why, or what this appointment would be for.


  • The text was not formatted well for a website, making it difficult to identify the content of each piece of text without reading it all, which most users won’t do preferring scanning.


  • In some places elements were left without clear leads to further action (such as calls to action or links), making these sections dead ends.


  • Style was placed over convention/usability in places, over engineering certain elements and adding unnecessary complexity.

Identifying the Problem

The process started by gaining information on the general heating and plumbing industry and the different services the site offered.


General secondary research was conduction on the attitudes of users seeking heating and plumbing services, with a particular interest in people’s interest in renewable options as this was the aspect the company had less information on (no user profile). Looking at pre-existing source gave me the opportunity to identify, areas of concern/interest at a high level, and although being mindful of the source is important, it offers access to broad information that would not be possible through the scope of a small business.

The Top Recommendations


Streamline contact page and give clear options for varied use case conversion points.

As there were so many services offered and therefore a diverse user base, users were coming to the contact page with multiple varied objectives. This was not helped by the initial design of the page that did not give much direction and that’s intro text and image obscured the pages use. This was shown in the unusually long time users spent on the contact page, lack of direction leading to stalling.  


In response to this it was recommended to alter the design to give a list of common options for different top use cases along with a more open contact form, so users could easily determine the best cause for them and feel sure of their options. It was also suggested that accompanying text clearly address the user about the best options for their aim and let them know the expected outcome of their action e.g.: response time, how they would be contacted etc…


Make the site more mobile accessible, particularly for use cases primarily accessed through mobile.

The key mobile use cases were: booking boiler repair, boiler servicing and plumbing servicing. Research also indicated that mobile users were usually entering the site with limited time and a more immediate enquiry, looking for a fast solution or an answer to a question.


The text on a lot of the pages was not suited to this need of mobile formatting, in large paragraphs with no clear hierarchy or headings to signpost subjects. Reducing the amount of text to what was most useful, using headings and highlighting/bold text to prioritise necessary decision relevant information was advised; as well as separating pages into clear sections according to use case with logical calls to action/next step options spread throughout the page.

Rework the individual contact forms for each use case


Suggested actions:

  • Ensure that the text setting up contact forms was not ambiguous and clearly said what was going to happen next.

  • Ensure contact forms conformed to best practice e.g.: only asking for necessary information, vertically aligned fields, etc.

  • Prioritise the most used or useful conversion option for the product/service.

  • Give direct instructions for conversion, if necessary, to help the user choose which option is best for their circumstance.

  • Make alternate conversion option clear as alternatives where they're most useful (e.g.: live chat, FAQ).

The site offered multiple conversion options for different services; however this was not clearly communicated, and the presentation of specific contact forms was misleading with some forms having fields and led in text that made it unclear what the conversion entailed e.g.: a meeting.


 Ensure that key use cases have clear user journeys appropriate for their context of use.

The use case most neglected by the design was booking a boiler repair, as it shared a page with boiler servicing, that prioritised servicing over repairs to the point that repair had no CTA on the page. Therefore separating the boiler repair and boiler servicing into two pages was proposed.

The renewable heating pages also suffered from a lack of focus on the context of use. As the conversion options and information presentation approached the renewable options more as concepts than as products they were offering, with limited information on the practicalities of hiring the business or what the customer would get. Although this information was not worthless and could help someone choose to convert to renewables it did not help users coming to the site later on in their research journey asking ‘Why should I use this company?’


The first recommendation was to remove the content carousel/animated banner at the top of the home page, as this was highlighted as underperforming. And was not suited to users with such diverse needs, as the banner could only prioritise 1 use case at a time and studies showed it was unlikely users would see more than one. So instead, a design prioritising the main navigation and giving users a unified if less specific introduction to the site and company.

Research shows that hearing from other customers was highly valued for heating and plumbing services, placing the already collected customer testimonials as the focus of the home page was suggested, with the different service options (representing different use cases) clearly shown below this to support main navigation.

Optimise the home page as a suitable landing page for the multiple use cases

Project Context:

To produce a review of the site's user experience, identifying key pain points and give actionable recommendations for improvements through a report and summary.

Heating and Plumbing Site

The client, a B2C service provider in the plumbing and heating sector, was updating their brand and wished to review their websites. They also had added a renewables heating line to their offering, but had only patched this aspect onto the site and wished for it to be optimised. 

To create a site that caters to multiple diverse use cases related to different services (buy a boiler, service a boiler, get solar thermal panels, get plumbing repaired etc…), without compromising the performance of each unique section.


Identify key use cases and understand their context of use. Use this information to separate services clearly in the site architecture, with the home page as a clear hub, allowing user needs to be prioritised independently

Some key findings:
  • Effective Media Solution, identified the top priority for users seeking Heating and ventilation services as convenience, meaning it being easy to book online or mobile, and that they get a fast reply and response. Trust was also seen as key, as customers are inviting the service provider in to their home.

  • Good customer service is held as a high user motivator by Risen in 2021 noting that homeowners look for rapid response, clear response and pleasant reliable service.

  • 84% of users seeking a HVAC repair and 76% of user seeking plumbing services don’t have a company in mind when researching options. (Invoca, 2022)

  • When contemplating moving to renewable product/heating it was found that perceived risk was the strongest barrier for users, ‘the capability of accessing information was found to be low, with the perceived difficulty of the buying, installation, and maintenance process also a strong motivational barrier.’ (GOV.UK, 2021)

Comparative Analysis

The site was compared against competing sites, with a focus on other local businesses as users were shown to be generally seeking local companies and therefore these options would likely be directly compared by potential customers.

Overall, the client's site was more advanced than its competitors, with a more professional and pleasing design. However this comparison highlighted the relative complexity of the client's site, as the site offered more services than other websites, and therefore had to try and balance the priorities of diverse use cases.

Research Analysis and Synthesis
User Profile/Summary

As there were many user cases correlated to the diverse services offered, there were many different users with different priorities and aims.

User aims/needs:

- User researching renewable heating systems

- User needing new plumbing installed

- User buying a new boiler

- User needing a new boiler installed  

- User wanting boiler serviced

- User wanting renewable heating system serviced

- User needing plumbing repaired

- User wanting heating repaired (boiler or renewable)

Some of these needs are very immediate and could come from a sudden need or change that would make the user stressed and time dependent. Others can cover complex information and revolve around long term decision making, involving larger financial commitments.

These are very different situations, and seem to partly motivate the divide in page priority between mobile and desktop use. Although there are overlapping needs it became useful to split the users into these two broad groups when evaluating research and moving into actionable insights. If we split the needs into these groups we can more easily approach users general needs from the site.

1. Immediate need (Repair/Service boiler or heating system, plumbing repair etc…)

User Behaviours:

  • Majority mobile user

  • Trying to complete the task fast, fewer pages visited

  • More ready to convert, they have an immediate need to convert if you match their requirements.


Pain Points:

  • Not being able to easily and quickly contact the company, not getting a clear and immediate response about next steps

  • Not being able to quickly find and understand key relevant information.

2. Long term decision (Researching renewable heating, buying new heating system, new plumbing work etc…)


User Behaviours:

  • Majority desktop users

  • First visit primarily for research purposes

  • Comparing multiple suppliers and information sources, interested in long term information on the product.

Pain Points:

  • Not being able to find the information they want (not knowing if the site even provides what they’re interested in).

  • Not understanding their next steps along the research path, as they move towards committing. Mid commitment interactions e.g.: speak to the company about options, a site/feasibility visit, get a quote etc.

Although, there were other variables, such as the user being a landlord or home owner, these two broad categories helped give structure to the research and consistent design aims for each section/service.

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