UX-ing the Disney World website

I chose to run my remote usability study on the Disney website. I’m a bit of a Disney freak at the moment. Since I’m living closer to Disney World than I probably ever will again, it made sense to get an annual pass. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time planning vacation-y things on the Disney website.

I know my way around the website but I’ve wondered how new users would find the experience.

I’ve had 6 participants so far, which is already above what some experts say is necessary to see reliable results. Here’s one of the final questions, after I had my participants run through a few tasks:

One participant explained, “I didn’t feel too comfortable with the website. It seems a little confusing. I am not confident I would successfully complete a reservation.”

Participants had trouble with finding information as basic as the evening fireworks show time. Maybe Disney designers would say, “Customers don’t need to know the fireworks show times until they get here,” and there is something to that. But in recent years so much Disney vacation planning requires you making restaurant and ride reservations 90–180 days out; you can’t just walk up like you could in the 90s. I would expect most people don’t want their dinner reservations to overlap with the rather-amazing fireworks show:

The 2 participants who could find the fireworks time rated the difficulty on a 4 & 5 on a 1–5 scale.

An after-the-fact disclaimer: I’m sharing the negative findings. The other two tasks were completed with 100% success rate. I’m looking forward to analyzing those further in the next week.

Note: This blog was written during Usability II week 2.

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