LiveOutdoors is a website tailored for the adventure enthusiasts out there. Visitors will read everything from venues to hike to a DIY tutorial of the perfect knott for your sailling trip! So tent and kife reviews and all kind of outdoor gadgets are welcome!
In the second quarter of 2015, a site redesign order was in the way to redesign the product team. According to marketing Team Bounce Rate was high in our inner pages and singles, Exit Rate was acceptable but in the other hand Count of Session was high.
So, besides the look and feel revamp... how do we keep our users browsing for more? how can we extend each session?
Redesgin: Look & Feel
First, let's make readability more friendly, Product Design Lead Xavier Fajardo made this kickass style tile for LOD that kept the best design elements of the old website
Off The Grid
A grid was desperately needed for this site so off i went to provide a perfect one that would fit into mobile: translation for style tile was beautiful!
My Task: Burger Menu, Hover Actions
Inner pages, landing page and single pages needed individual special treatment. Here's a sneakpeek in how the menu and searches were intended to work:
Session Extention: Invite Users to set their tents.
Ok, so enough from look for a moment and focus to our original issue here: Users are not browsing more within liveoutdoors. For me, it was interesting how The Washington Post used a Read Full Article Button and a gradient that was followed by a 'More News' Module (very similar as Around The Web module we had) and thought it was genious, it was a good strategy to let adventurers know we had all sorts of information and news. Most of our traffic comes through article pages so here's this functionality on mobile:
Are we within Web best Practices Territory?
Found back in the day on this UX StackExchange post, below these lines, user tohster responded to my concerns about what i thought using this tool might be usefull:
"...Robot defense. Content sites (e.g. news sites) sometimes use these buttons to provide a rudimentary defense against content scrapers. By showing only part of the content they prevent scrapers from loading the page and parsing the article. This is obviously very crude, but it is still effective
Affirmation of user intent. Having a user click Read more provides a valuable confirmation of user's intent. For a site (e.g. news site) with a lot of links in sidebars or below the main article, it can be hard to figure out whether the user is reading the main article or scrolling down the page scanning the links or sidebars. The click isn't the best user experience but for a site providing you with free content, it provides valuable behavioral data for better analytics, ad targeting, etc.
Provide faster access to below-the-article content. There is always a chance that the content isn't relevant to the user and -- for one-page or news sites -- the user will want to scroll below the article to move on. The Read More button allows designers to hide bulk content to provide users with faster access to below-article content (and hopefully less reason to abandon the site before they find relevant content).
Faster page loads. For multimedia-rich content, whole page loads can be very slow. By loading only the top half of the article, the page loads faster. Sites can of course always lazy-load the content below the fold to achieve a similar effect, but designers may still elect not to do this because of the deferred rendering load or for #1 or #2 above."
For our dissapointment, the feature never went live, so there's no way to know if Around the Web or Previous Article and Next Articles were boosted up, but hey! it was a good research though.