It's no secret that the new design Gawker rolled out almost six months ago was quickly greeted with disapproving reviews and tons of criticism. Nick Denton chose to stick with the redesign, and soon after Quancast reported that Gawker's traffic plummeted; it was nearly cut in half. The natural question to ask is: which specific change caused the traffic to drop?
We love to test assumptions. We had a hunch that part of the reason the traffic plummeted was that people were failing to accomplish the most basic task on the redesigned site: find the latest posted story and click on it. We decided to run a simple Verify test asking people to click on the latest posted story on the old and new Gizmodo home page. You can try the Verify tests we ran below:
The results were astonishing! Of the 127 people who took the test only 10% of people found the latest posted story on the new Gizmodo site, while 59% of people were able to find the latest posted story on the old Gizmodo site. Below is the breakdown.
New Gizmodo Site Test Results
Old Gizmodo Site test Results
It's clear that the new redesign makes it much more difficult to accomplish the most common task any reader does: find the latest posted story. While this is not the only factor that is responsible for the traffic decrease, it certainly contributed to it. People want to read the latest articles on a blog, and if they get lost trying to find the latest story they might find another one of the 156 million blogs out there that features the latest published stories properly.
Curious if your own website visitors understand your website and click where you want them to? Test your website with Verify and find out!