This article was written by Justin Cohen & Bruce Shields of ForeSee’s Usability team.
Many retail sites use a feature called Quick View (also known as Quick Look) to let customers preview products right from their website’s listing page. After clicking the Quick View button, customers are presented with a pop up layer that provides more information on the product to help customers decide if they would like to make a purchase.
Quick View was once thought of as a ‘must have’ on retail sites, but in recent years the thinking has changed, and the UX community is now moving towards recommending companies remove it from their sites. Why? Well, it’s because UX researchers have some findings worth considering, such as:
- Quick View introduces “friction” to browsing by adding an extra step
- Quick View relegates product information to a layer
- Customers open Quick View by accident
- Customers mistake Quick View for a page
At the same time, Quick View offers a fast preview of products that can make online browsing more efficient for customers. The feature can quickly access information about a product and add it to a customer’s cart or return to the product listing page. This can be accomplished without having to use the back button, creating a smoother UX.
So, ForeSee decided to find out exactly how Quick View was being used by real customers. To do so, we designed a study using over 100 Replays of users across eight sites interacting with websites that had Quick View functionality. ForeSee’s cxReplay is a tool that allows us to capture and visually recreate the user experience on a client’s website. We can draw upon thousands of hours of these replays to help our clients identify critical usability problems that often go unnoticed.
What we found was surprising and added crucial nuance to the Quick View conversation. As in all usability problems, implementation really matters. Some sites use a persistent button, while others use a button that only appears when customers hover over the item.
Customers are much more likely to successfully use Quick View if it is appears as a persistent button. While in total only 18.5 percent of customers I observed interacted with Quick View, 44.8 percent used it when it was presented as a persistent button compared to 8.1 percent when the button only appears on hover.
This means that websites that decide to use Quick View to help customers browse product information must make sure they use a persistent button on their product listing page. Otherwise, customers will be much less likely to use the functionality. It also helps prevent customers from accidentally clicking the button when they are trying to view the product details.
Overall, Quick View can be a helpful tool for information-seeking customers, but it needs to be strategically implemented to ensure proper use. The lesson from our data is clear: implement Quick View with a persistent button, or take it off your site.