Untitled-6.jpg

User Research Case Study: dell.com

Team: Jess Testa, Sophia Hitsky, and Jason Fortman

Client: dell.com

Duration: 3 months

My role: Researcher

Purpose: Exploration into dell.com user interactions with purchasing and comparing computer models at the University of Washington.

Exploring dell.com

Exploring dell.com

After extensive heuristic analysis of dell.com and the efficiency of buying a computer through the website, myself and a team of researchers explored the scenario of a typical user: college-aged woman, making $1000 per month on a student worker pay, and in need of a computer who can run specialized softwares.

Exploring Context

Exploring Context

After establishing a typical user, we identified three major pain points and three persona goals:

Persona Pain Points
Not a lot of money to spend on a computer.
Busy schedule (our persona played on two intramural sports teams and went to classes)
Needs specialized software for her computer because her major (Engineering) requires it


Persona Goals
Find a computer that will satisfy classwork and personal needs
Find a computer that will perform well
Find a computer that is within budget


The subjects that we researched were all students. They were 6 females, 4 males, 5 of those users required specialized softwares, and all were familiar with using PC computers.

Site Suggestions

Site Suggestions

After running through various user surveys of dell.com and their computer purchasing and comparison methods, we found the following suggestions to be the most critical for improving the user experience:

1. Creating a less cluttered, more progressive site.

2. Using value-centered language to give users a “feel” for features
Use language that is easier for a basic user to understand
More informative descriptions of high-tech products

3. Filtration features to help users narrow down their searches
(e.g.) software needs, price, storage space

4. Personalization Quiz
Help users identify the "best fit” computer based on anecdotal information.

Clear Differentiation of Similar Products

Clear Differentiation of Similar Products

Many dell.com computers are variations of base models presented as different computers.

This is confusing for users because it forces them to determine what is different about the products.
The baseline model should be the anchor from which variations are presented.
Useful and easily understood nomenclature for variations should be used.

User Research 5.jpg
Put Jargon into Context

Put Jargon into Context

Dell.com should provide explanations between items like video cards for users who may not be tech savvy.

Condense and Simplify Data

Condense and Simplify Data

A solution we suggested was to condense information about each computer until the user wants to learn more. Bringing filtration features into the forefront of product exploration can help to minimize confusion and frustration when a user isn’t sure what they’re seeking.