After decades of holding its Top Ten Support Websites competition and months of concertation with judges, ASP just unveiled a new scoring system, which will be used starting with this year’s competition, opening on March 1st. The big innovation, ardently requested by judges including yours truly, is to move to a weighed system where some categories count much more than others, allowing the scoring to reflect more of the customer experience. Yay!
The new system is organized in 5 categories:
- User experience, the most important category by far with 40% of the total score. The criteria have not changed very much (entry points, navigation, layouts), although the scoring now acknowledges that most users start with an external search, but the importance of this category is now properly recognized in the score.
- Content, 20% of the score, which encourages multiple sources of contents, much beyond a simple knowledge base, and rewards multilingual sites and disability-inclusive sites.
- Content interaction, also 20% of the score, which captures how easy it is for users to interact with the content. It’s a great idea to separate the content from the user interaction.
- Site improvement process, 10% of the score, which includes the infamous essay (sorry, good writers, a great essay for a mediocre site won’t make you win; I think that’s a healthy change!)
- Metrics, also 10% of the score, covering both operational and strategic metrics, with a somewhat surprising emphasis on content management metrics, which constitute a full 40% of that section’s points.
What does it mean for you?
- User experience is key. We (FT Works) have been saying this forever and we are here to help you if you need an assist.
- Metrics have a renewed importance, and while you probably cannot redesign your site in time for this year’s competition, you can (and should!) revamp your website metrics if they are weak.
- Cross-platform engagement is worth 40 points! It’s wonderful recognition for those vendors that have invested in responsive design.
- Judges are now required to enter comments. Many of us had been doing that all along, and we know that the comments were very helpful to competitors, both winners and non-winners. You will now be guaranteed to get detailed suggestions for improvement, not just a numerical score.