Introducing The 2014 Radio Station Website Usability Challenge
September 17, 2014
Radio stations run a lot of tests on the content they put in front of listeners. They run call-out and auditorium research on the music they play. They run perceptual studies on their on-air personalities and their slogans. In fact, research is often a sizeable line item in a radio station's budget. And yet, even though radio stations conduct so many tests on their on-air product, they often conduct little if any research on in the other place listeners interact with their station: the internet.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about website usability tests. If you missed it -- and shame on you if you did! -- a website usability test does exactly what it sounds like: test how easy or hard it is for people to use your website. The process is simple: one by one, sit a few people down in front of a computer and ask them to perform simple tasks (Here's a list of questions), and see what they do.
- Can they find the address to go pick up tickets?
- Can they figure out when Taylor Swift is coming to town?
- Can they figure out what radio station your city is in?
Usability tests are incredibly simple, quick, and inexpensive to perform. So naturally, I figured all of my devoted readers would have conducted one by now.
Alas, they have not.
Sometimes, the best way to teach people is not to tell them, but to show them. And so, I hereby announce the commencement of (drumroll, please) The 2014 Radio Station Website Usability Test Challenge.
Here's how it works: You're going to pick three major market radio stations -- one Pop, one Country, and one Rock -- and I will perform a usability test on the website of each. Best of all, I will post a screenshot video recording of the test so that you can see results. Not only will you see how a website usability test works, but you'll be able to see exactly what radio stations can learn by conducting them.
And then you'll want to conduct one of your own.