2 min.
The 5 levels of website optimization (part 1 of 3)
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The 5 levels of website optimization (part 1 of 3)

Business Strategy Client experience & UX

This weekend, I took advantage of the rain to help my wife book an opera ticket for her next trip to Australia. This experience reminded me of the difficulty some companies and associations encounter in allocating their resources (internal and/or external) and in prioritizing their optimization strategy. So that you can relive my user experience, I therefore propose two small user tests (5 to 10 min maximum in all and for all). This will then allow me to introduce the optimization pyramid with the description of the "functional" and "accessible" levels in part 2 and the "ergonomics", "intuition" and "persuasion" levels in the last part.


Context:  You are going to Australia at the end of June for conferences and you want to take this opportunity to go see an opera at the Opera House in Sydney. You arrive on June 27 with a one-day time difference (departing from Montreal) and you leave Sydney for Cairns on July 1 around 5 p.m. Doing a Google search, you find the Sydney Opera House website .

Goal:  Buy an opera ticket online at the Sydney Opera House between June 27, or June 28 to avoid too much jet lag, and July 1, 2009.

Task Accomplishment: Reach the page in the purchase process that asks for your credit card number with an opera ticket in your shopping cart on the corresponding dates.

How do you consider your user experience on this site? Are you reaching your goal?


Context:  After not having reached your goal on this site, you try to do a new search on Google with the keywords you have been able to obtain: "Opera Australia", which is the name of the company residing there. Sydney Opera House. You find the company 's website and try again the experience of buying an opera ticket directly from them, always for a date between June 27, or the 28 with less time difference, and July 1, before 5 p.m. .  

Same goal as before and same way to complete its task.

How do you consider your user experience? Do you feel safe putting your credit card information on this site?

For those who have not carried out the 2 small tests, and to have the same examples for part 2 of this article, here are some of my feelings as a user:


  • When searching by date to find an event on the Opera House website, we obtain results that do not correspond to the range of dates sought and this for the majority of the results returned.
  • When we have finally found the opera that will play on a date that corresponds to our search and we click on the result, we arrive on an error page… (until yesterday)
  • Now that the site is functional and that I can reach the descriptive page of the opera, where is the button to buy???
  • Also, wouldn't it have been possible to better display this long column that unbalances this page?


  • The site is very (very) slow to load
  • I have trouble clicking the buttons at the bottom of the homepage carousel when I finally see them.
  • I believed that the thumbnail photos at the top of a show page are the event photos. (This is the navigation menu between the different operas)
  • I didn't like the display and the vertical scrolling system of the block containing the information of an opera.
  • The page where we must enter our credit card information and all our personal information is not secure! (The page is not even in http s  !)

In the second part of this article, I will take up these feelings and I will prioritize the corrections and improvements that these sites should make in order to optimize the use of their resources.