2012_12_bol_featured Case Studies

Bol.com Validates Design Decisions Over Night With Usabilla Survey

  • Usabilla Survey is an easy and stable tool that helps design teams gather information and gain insights into the user experience of a design. It’s a great way to gather feedback from our customers based on early stage design versions, such as wireframes and mockups.

– Michiel Besseling, Senior Interaction Designer, bol.com

The company bol.com

Industry: eCommerce
Using Usabilla Survey since: September 2012

Bol.com is market leader for books, entertainment, electrical devices, and games in the Netherlands and Belgium — It is their ambition to keep and further grow this premium market position. Bol.com wants to achieve this by offering a unique and positive shopping experience that allows all their customers to find and discover anything they are looking for. The focus lies on a store that is easily accessible for everyone and where the customers are central in every way. Usabilla Survey helps the design team at bol.com to keep their customers in sight during the entire design process.

Design is key to a good user experience

Besides a large assortment and low prices, bol.com believes that the ease of use, good customer service, and trust are key elements to the user experience of their website and as that central to its success. That’s why they focus on a user centered design process from the beginning to end.

The design team at bol.com first came across Usabilla, when they were looking for a solution that would help them to make informed design decisions. Sometimes multiple design versions were created within the team and there was no consensus about which one would work best. Usabilla Survey allows the design team at bol.com to test different design versions and ask their customers which one they prefer. The results help them to make valid design decisions in early stages of the design process.

A real use case

The survey


The design team at bol.com gathered customer feedback on different designs for a “favorite” button with Usabilla Survey.

In their latest Usabilla survey, the design team at bol.com tested different design versions of a “favorite” button on one of their product pages. By clicking the button, customers can show their enthusiasm about a product. The test was promoted on Facebook and within only a few hours, over 80 people had participated in the visual survey.

The feedback was presented in the Usabilla dashboard in a visual and very clear way, which allowed the design team to draw conclusions quickly. They gathered sufficient feedback overnight, allowing them to make informed design decisions right the next morning. The design team was surprised by the quick, yet valuable feedback they received with Usabilla Survey. Michiel Besseling, Senior Interaction Designer at bol.com explains that “the whole process of setting up the test, recruiting participants, and analyzing the results was much easier than expected. The feedback was very detailed and convincing”.

The results


Usabilla Survey test results were gathered over night and helped to make an informed design decision.

The test results that were gathered with Usabilla Survey were very insightful. For example, they delivered proof that the function of the “favorite” button was clear to customers. This was an essential piece of information since the the button only makes sense if people know how to use it. Also, it became clear that most customers preferred the button design that was (1) most characteristic for the brand bol.com and (2) showed a clear difference to other buttons like those for Facebook and Google.


Heatmaps that show the results of five different design versions of the “favorite” button.

Michiel describes Usabilla Survey as “an easy and stable tool that helps design teams gather information and gain insights into the user experience of a design. It’s a great way to gather feedback from our customers based on early stage design versions, such as wireframes and mockups”. That’s also why Usabilla Survey has become a handy addition to their daily UX tool box: “As designers, we tend to make a lot of decision based on our guts. Usabilla allows us to validate design choices early in the design process, without costing much time or money. This way, we can avoid putting time in designs that get misunderstood by our customers.”

The results gathered with Usabilla Survey help the design team at bol.com to validate different designs and make quick, yet informed design decisions. No need for endless discussions and guesswork. Even though the designs are not yet live and their final performance has not yet been determined, the design team has now reason to be confident about their decisions.

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