Exactly 10 years ago Christian & Jamie started the Baymard Institute.
The goal that has driven Baymard ever since is to help e-commerce sites make more well-informed decisions about their end user experience, based on an ever-growing catalog of UX research — which now includes the findings of 42,000+ hours of large-scale usability testing and benchmarking.
Normally our UX research is first and center in all of our articles. However, all that UX research wouldn’t exist without the 17 hard-working people behind Baymard, so in this anniversary article, we wanted to also highlight the people behind the research. We’ve therefore asked everyone on the team to pick their favorite Baymard article and shortly explain why that article is their favorite.
At the end you can also submit your favorite Baymard article if you have one, and be entered to win a complimentary $960 Baymard Premium research access.
We’re deeply grateful for all of the support and for the customers we’ve had for the past 10 years — we’re looking forward to providing you with another 10 years of UX research.
Product Pages: ‘Free Shipping’ Should Not Only Be in a Site-Wide Banner is my favorite because despite 55% of users having abandoned orders solely due to shipping costs, 32% of sites still only display “free shipping” in site-wide banners, which are prone to “banner blindness”. This illustrates just how far we still have to go.
Product Page Usability: Recommend Both Alternative & Supplementary Products remains one of my favorites: it’s the perfect example of something that’s widely misunderstood yet good for usability and great for business (when implemented correctly!).
The Average Checkout Flow Has 14.88 Form Fields – Twice as Many as Necessary is my favorite because it incorporates all our major research methods (user testing, eye tracking, surveys, benchmarking), highlights a core user issue (intimidation from overly complex checkouts), and has a direct impact on the abandonment rate.
Post-Process Vendor-Supplied Product Data highlights the many reasons why harmonized product data is important on sites. This task is not glamorous, easy, or fun work, but it impacts users in so many ways. Well-structured product data will improve the UX of search, products lists, the product pages, and cross-sells site-wide.
9 UX Requirements for Designing a User-Friendly Homepage Carousel is my favorite because this comprehensive article represents the definitive advice on carousels on e-commerce sites. It illustrates just how many details are required if carousels are to perform ok (along with showing a much easier alternative).
Deconstructing E-Commerce Search: The 12 Query Types is a favorite because it captures and defines the spectrum of user queries — from broad exploratory queries to the specificity of known-item queries. It highlights the importance of meeting users with relevant results no matter where they are on their product-finding journey.
The ‘Credit Card Number’ Field Must Allow and Auto-Format Spaces is one of my favorites because it shows how big a difference even the smallest details (4 spaces) can make. Plus it’s something that, surprisingly, not a lot of sites do.
Over-Categorization: Avoid Implementing Product Types as Categories is a favorite because implementing product types as categories instead of filters is an issue that has such a widespread negative effect on users’ overall product finding experience; and failing to attend to it is a beeline to (early) site abandonments.
Search UX: 6 Essential Elements for ‘No Results’ Pages gets my vote as it is often a page that is overlooked by sites yet can have a great impact on the user’s overall search experience. This is a site’s chance to save the user from possible abandonment and even inspire them to explore further.
PDP UX: Core Product Content Is Overlooked in ‘Horizontal Tabs’ Layouts is a favorite of mine because it highlights how easily the findability of information can be impacted by simple design changes. It’s also surprising just how many sites still use this type of layout!
E-Commerce Sites Need to Respond to Some or All Negative User Reviews, is my favorite, because it indicates how important reviews are for evaluating the product and the company. Negative reviews are more sought by users than the positive ones, so replying to them helps create trust towards the company. A simple reply can change so much, but still 87% of sites don’t do it at all.
I find UX Research: 7 Reasons B&H Photo’s Mobile site is Best-in-Class a very good piece of mobile usability. The article draws on a cool site to illustrate how you can optimize your mobile site in 7 steps. The text is readable, data-rich and full of visuals, which suggests the depth of our research, and at the same time, a way to leverage Baymard’s treasure in your competitive analysis.
How Users Perceive Security During the Checkout Flow is my favorite because it’s a good reminder that a secure technical implementation isn’t enough. UX in information security often focuses on promoting or enforcing compliance with secure practices. This article shows the other side of the coin: when users don’t feel secure, they may avoid something entirely.
8 Design Patterns for Autocomplete Suggestions is a favorite because autocomplete suggestions is probably the most useful tool in getting people from landing to conversion in the quickest way possible. Subtle changes and adherence to good patterns can turn your autocomplete suggestions from a confusing deterrent to a powerful ally in the chase for customer conversions.
3 Strategies for Handling Accidental ‘Taps’ on Touch Devices is a favorite of mine because it illustrates that designing for mobile devices takes more than simply trying to fit a website on a smaller screen. By overlooking the subtle differences of mouse versus touch navigation you could frustrate your largest customer base.
E-Commerce Checkouts Need to Mark Both Required and Optional Fields is a favourite of mine as it’s a topic that (as long as I have been a web designer) has been so widely scrutinized and debated and yet to this day only 24% of e-commerce sites get this right.
Format the ‘Expiration Date’ Fields Exactly the Same as the Physical Credit Card. I love this guideline for being so simple and seemingly obvious yet, strangely, so rare in the world of online checkout. It’s perfectly emblematic of the classic “Don’t Make Me Think” paradigm of UX: Make the process as simple and easy as possible.
If you have a favorite Baymard article, then let us know in the comments below. October 29 2019 we’ll randomly pick one winner among the unique submissions, and that person will win a 1 year $960 access to a Baymard Premium ‘Small’ plan (existing Premium customers can also participate and will instead win a $960 extension of their current plan). (Update Oct 29: winnier found, congrats to Elena Bazhan)
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Don’t see how it is possible to pick a ‘favorite” article. Yes, there are those where findings came as a complete surprise. Others where our developers have come up with a great piece of code to implement a particular guideline. And finally, the situations where clients get back to us with feedback that following a particular guideline made an immediate difference.
If there is one “favorite” I had to pick, it’s Baymard’s almost anthropological approach to research and the presentation of findings. It’s hard to argue with that!
Hi Robert, thanks for sharing and for the kind words. I’m glad to hear about your practical applications of our research, this is always something we try hard to incorporate in our research studies.
Most favorite, as far as its almost impossible to choose, but this one was pure knowledge and extremely informative: Checkout Optimization: From 16 Form Fields to 8 Fields (keynote presentation)
Hi Mo, glad you liked it. We experimented a bit with the format on this one, we might release more of our keynote presentations from Baymard Premium as “articles” in the future.
My congradulations with the anniversary! You are my favorite resource on ecommerce. My article choice is “Avoid These 5 Types of E-Commerce Graphics” https://baymard.com/blog/avoid-these-ecommerce-graphics
Hi Ivan, thanks, glad to be of service. That article is quite interesting because for the individual Econ site the “ad” issues can be far greater than what we can really detect in our testing (as we test across multiple sites and therefor dont fully factor in any negativ brand impact ).
My favourite has to be: The Average Checkout Flow Has 14.88 Form Fields – Twice as Many as Necessary. Pure unfiltered gold and the reason I am a Barnard Premium subscriber.
Thanks Ondrej, glad you liked it and thanks for being a customer.
There are so many great articles, but if I had to pick only one now, it would be: “Deconstructing E-Commerce Search: The 12 Query Types”. In-depth and actionable information! I made great progress after reading it. I go back to that article often.
(another favorite is “The Current State of E-Commerce Search”, by Christian. It’s pure gold, but since it’s been published in an external site, I guess it doesn’t count :P )
Happy 10th birthday, Baymard team!!
Hi Jime, thanks. The Search Query article is still our longest and one of the most important research prices we’ve published publicly outside of Premium.
Expect this article to get an update and re-release in the coming months, because we have a new search UX benchmark database and more mobile search findings to add to it.
My favourite article was “The Average Checkout Flow Has 14.88 Form Fields – Twice as Many as Necessary”. We saw a big boost in our conversation rate after implementing some of the suggestions from that article. Keep up the great work.
Hi Mike thanks for sharing the impact of improving your UX. That’s very motivational for the research team. It’s why we’re here.
My fave is “Offer ‘Delayed Account Creation’ at the Confirmation Step.” https://baymard.com/blog/delayed-account-creation – Excellent research, that often influences my UX research. Cheers.
Hi Jonah thanks for sharing.
My favorite article is “Never Use Inline Labels” because I always share this article in my presentations. https://baymard.com/blog/mobile-forms-avoid-inline-labels Happy 10th birthday!
Hi Nermin, yeah this is an interesting one. We first observed this all the way back in 2009 and revivified it in every test since. It took an interesting turn when the floating label pattern were then developed in a response to this.
I love the article "Offer “Delayed Account Creation’ at the Confirmation Step.”
This article turned my world upside down, in a good way. I’m working so hard to get this implemented on our website!
For me, one of the most remarkable articles was the “Deconstructing E-Commerce Search: The 12 Query Types”. When I read the first time, at that time I was a junior UX designer, and I remember I had to print out the article to understand well enough :) On the other hand, this is evergreen content, I use these days as well when I design for search interactions.
Thank you everything that you gave the UX community and happy 10th birthday!
Thanks. Yeah this is an evergreen. As mentioned in an earlier comment this article will receive an update in the coming months with more of our new research findings on search queries (currently only in Premium)
Hi Daniel thanks for sharing
This pattern is rare on desktop but a disaster when it happens. However the design pattern is surprisingly common on mobile. Our new Mobile specific findings on this one will soon be released in Premium
Thanks for sharing Andrew
My new favorite article – https://baymard.com/blog/baymard-10-years-of-ux-research. I wish you to celebrate 20th anniversary with thousands of new articles, hundreds of in-depth reports, books, and seminars!
Hi Elena, congratulations. We drew among the submitted comments at random, and you are the winner of a Baymard Premium ‘Small’ plan $960. I’ve reached out to you directly.
I really like the article and keynote on Checkout Optimization: From 16 Form Fields to 8 Fields. Cutting down on fields in checkout have increased our conversion rate quite significantly. https://baymard.com/blog/checkout-optimization-from-16-fields-to-8
And thank you so much, for all the other very usefull findings you share!
Hi Jesper thanks for sharing and for confirming your conversions increased significantly
I like https://baymard.com/blog/mobile-touch-keyboards – simple to implement, and adds smooth to the mobile checkout.
Hi Lasse, thanks for sharing. Yeah definitely a “quick win” solution (yet more than half of e-commerce sites get at lest 2of5 wrong)
Overall I find the site very helpful – too much of eComm is subjective data pitched by vendors with vested interest in certain practices. It’s nice to have an objective source for articles such as https://baymard.com/blog/respond-to-negative-user-reviews .
Thanks Greg. Good point. At Baymard we have a policy against doing bespoke research on request of tech vendors (we only a few times have licensed some of our already existing research findings and only in unaltered versions).
A huge amount of very informative articles to select from. However, my favourite is this one: https://baymard.com/blog/current-state-ecommerce-product-page-ux
A whole heap of useful insights in one article that can really help to drive a product page forward by avoiding a ton of common mistakes.
Congratulations on the anniversary and keep up the great work!
Thanks for sharing Matt
I found this article to be surprising for me: https://baymard.com/blog/homepage-carousel
Congratulations on the superb work you’re doing. Keep up the good work!
Hi Sven, thanks. Yeah that finding goes partly against the very “no never ever” approach most have to carousels. Where we found “can be done, but it’s quite difficult if it’s to perform ok with users, and there are better and cheaper alternatives”.
Congrats on 10 years! Baymard is an excellent resource for product managers, researchers, and designers among others working on an eCommerce site.
My favorite article (so far) this year is about synchronizing product data:
I’ve encountered these issues myself and have also seen them come up in my own studies. This quote sums it up: “Even though my colors are different the functionality should still be the same… it’s cumbersome going to each product [variation] to see how many reviews there are.”
Thanks for the great work!
Hi Brittany, thanks for sharing. Yeah this finding is very important, the topic and solution is not very “sexy” though, that’s probably why so few talk about data harmonization in e-commerce.
My favorite “article” is this cheatsheet: https://baymard.com/labs/touch-keyboard-types
Its easy to implement with this cheatsheet – and creates a smoother field input on mobile especially during checkout.
Thanks for many great articles!
My favorite article is the one about Cart Abandonment: https://baymard.com/lists/cart-abandonment-rate
It helped me to do my recruitment task and land a job in UX design! Plus, it’s really hard to argue with that kind of data. And it’s really insightful.
Hi Matylda, that’s great to hear, thanks for sharing
Long time reader, first time commenter.
My favorite is the Readability: the Optimal Line Length article because of how it speaks to something we always touch, yet rarely think about. Even the most nuanced details help us UX designers make an impact on the experience – no matter how big or small the win. Thanks!
Hi Vincent, thanks for sharing.This is actually one of our oldest articles but still the most high traffic Baymard article of all time.
Congrats on 10 years! Not an easy feat, it requires lots of hard work and determination.
My favourite is this one:
3 UX Implementation Details for Designing User-Friendly ‘Compare’ Tools S
It came at a time where I needed the info the most!
Hi Antonio, thanks for the support.
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