The Simplest Way to Improve Your Site (Hint: Ask Your Users)

Design Strategy UX
Chuck Johnston

Customers visit your site to accomplish a task. They’re looking for the information that you provide so they can take action in the real world (such as find a doctor, look up mortgage rates, sign up for swimming lessons or pay a bill). How do you know if the visit to your website is successful? 

In truth, unless you ask them, you won’t know. That is why we recommend setting up a feedback poll for your website. It’s the simplest and most effective way to find out what is — and isn’t — working. 

We’ve also made this dead simple for Sitka Insights users because a basic poll asking “Was this page helpful?” is invaluable for determining what’s really happening on your site. Why is this? When a user answers the poll, you catch them “in situ,” which means as they’re in the act of engaging with the content. If you were to ask the same question in a survey, you would get a response that is more reflective and not “in the moment.”

Content Strategy Simplified

Polls do more than just collect feedback, they also quantify the helpfulness and usefulness of content. Scoring pages based on success rates e.g. “71% of users found this page helpful” provides an easy way to focus on content that needs to be improved. 

The next question is: Which type of poll to set up? 

There are two different types of polls we recommend depending on the context. 

  • In-page feedback poll
    What it is: An embedded poll that goes at the bottom of a webpage.
    The Pros: It’s unobtrusive and won’t annoy users like a popup.
    The Cons: If a user found their answer at the top of the page, they won’t click “yes” further down the page.
    When to use: Shorter pages with less content. This poll can be left up for long periods of time.
  • Pop-up poll
    What it is: A poll that pops up when a user lands on a webpage
    The Pros: It collects far more feedback than the in-page poll and collects more “yes” responses.
    The Cons: Users can get frustrated by the pop-up and simply close out of it without responding.
    When to use: Long pages with lots of content or when you need to, collecting feedback on a short timeline

Commonly Asked Questions About Polls and Feedback

A common question I hear when discussing the Feedback & Polls feature of Sitka Insights is, “Don’t people only click ‘No’ when they can’t find what they’re looking for?”

The answer: No. We know that people are biased towards the negative so the rate of “no” responses will be artificially inflated. In fact, we would expect the page to perform better in usability testing than what the polls reflect. 

Another common question: What question should we ask?

The answer: After collecting hundreds of thousands of responses, we recommend these two questions: Was this page helpful? Were you able to find what you were looking for? We chose these two questions because they capture both success rate and qualitative feedback. Additionally, we can compare pages head-to-head, sites before and after redesigns, as well as across sites and industries. 

You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Adding a feedback poll starts the process of measuring your site’s success. Done right, it empowers users by including them in the design process. 

Want to find out more about the effectiveness of your website? Let’s connect and see if feedback polls can help you.