After analyzing the Trail Blazers’ website and the navigation menu, the Sq1 team concluded that there were multiple usability issues that impeded online ticket sales. The navigation was the team’s primary focus, as it was present on almost all of the website pages and hence had a wide reach.
This was the original menu design on the page.
From a usability point of view, the team identified 4 main reasons why they felt that the existing navigation menu design was not effective:
Given the high volume of traffic the Trail Blazers website enjoyed, the conversion team knew that even a relatively small lift would have a huge impact on revenue. Therefore, the conversion optimization team took the calculated risk of performing the A/B test right in the middle of the basketball season, when ticket buying was at its highest. They were willing to take the risk, because they believed that they had a robust hypothesis that would be proved by the A/B test.
They hypothesized that redesigning the navigation menu to address the above issues will reduce visitor confusion and, therefore, send more traffic to the Individual Tickets page and increase the average revenue per visitor.
The team redesigned the navigation menu and then tested it site-wide on the VWO platform. The redesigned vertical menu is shown below:
The new menu was easier to read and parse, and helped quickly bring user attention to the Individual Tickets option. As in the original navigation, the Individual Tickets option remained highlighted in red.
The redesigned vertical navigation menu emerged a clear winner over the horizontal design. It increased revenue (and not just click-throughs) by 62.9% vis-a-vis the original.
We feel that the new vertical menu layout performed better because it honed visitors’ focus more toward the Individual Tickets option. We knew that most site visitors were interested in single game tickets, and any change to make that process as easy as possible would improve overall performance.
The horizontal menu scattered visitors’ attention, taking their focus more easily away from the highlighted Individual Tickets option. In contrast, the vertical menu seemed more structured and kept the focus on the primary highlighted option. Of course, the solid white background of the new menu helped the option highlighted in red stand out more.
Almost 15% of the traffic to the Portland Trail Blazers website originated from tablet devices. The new menu clearly helped this segment.
Bottom line: Visitors were more easily able to find what they were looking for, which most likely increased conversions.
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