The tools that have helped American companies have a much sharper focus on the return on investment of their Web sites have arrived in Australia. Forrester Research (Nasdaq:FORR), a recognised leader in the US for evaluating Web site usability to drive profitability, islaunching its Web Site Review Program in Australia with one of Australia’s established web development agencies, HotHouse Interactive, the exclusive licensee in Australia and New Zealand.

Established in the US five years ago, the Web Site Review Program has been highly successful in the US, evaluating more than 500 Web sites for top corporations in the automotive, retail and travel industries among others.

Forrester has formed an alliance partnership with HotHouse, who will now be able to offer this service to Australian companies ¿ the first service of its kind to be brought to Australia.

Forrester’s research indicates that Web sites continue to fail the usability test and companies face continued pressure to determine their Web site’s return on investment. The program will be a useful tool in helping Australian companies address those issues by targeting and prioritising their redesign efforts quickly, costefficiently and objectively.

Forrester analysts, who are recognised experts on Web site usability in the US, have trained the HotHouse team to deliver the Web Site Review Program and assist clients with all usability issues. HotHouse will also have access to the Forrester research resources to support ebusiness work with clients.

“Before redesigning their company’s Web site, Web marketers, developers and eCommerce professionals are faced with the daunting task of identifying and fixing the site’s weaknesses. Usability testing is an expensive and time-consuming option in which design agencies lack the objectivity of independent,research-based analysis. Forrester’s Web Site Review Program delivers the best direction by helping companies target and prioritise their redesign efforts quickly, cost-efficiently and objectively,” comments Kathryn Dioth, Country Manager for Forrester in Australia.

“We have always focussed on delivering ROI online. It’s been part of our work since we began building Web sites nearly 10 years ago. Our relationship with Forrester gives us a more formal methodolology for the evaluation of corporate Web sites. We are looking forward to bringing more rigour to the web developmentprocess in Australia. For a company needing to focus stakeholders and develop an action plan for the future — this is the quickest, most effective tool we have seen,” states Simon van Wyk, Managing Director of HotHouse Interactive.

Forrester’s Web Site Review Program

Forrester’s Web Site Review evaluation methodology measures how well Web site visitors can accomplish their goals and how this affects a company’s business objectives. The program provides clients with targeted, action-oriented assessment of their B2C or B2B web site, extranet or intranet -¿ as well as the opportunity to review competitors’ sites.

Based on the business objectives and target audience of a company’s site, HotHouse analysts will conduct a comprehensive examination of the site to help clients understand what requires modification before the redesign -¿ and how; determine and defend real estate prioritisation; and apply a user-experience methodology to multiple users.

The Forrester Web Site Review Program is a quick, effective method of evaluating a site’s usability and offers many benefits to clients, including:

  • The program focuses on the site’s business and return on investment (ROI). It appliesresearch-based criteria to examine value, navigation, presentation and trust. The results of these are summarised into a detailed scorecard that grades the site according to 25 user-experience tests.
  • Following extensive qualitative and quantitative research, each Web Site Review provides an objective, user-based evaluation of the site and tangible recommendations focused onimproving the user experience.
  • For companies requiring detailed competitive insight, HotHouse conducts a complete Web SiteReview of as many competitors as required ¿- delivering competitive information to a degree that equals the company’s own Web Site Review.
  • The Web Site Review can be customised to cover industry-specific issues in addition to those that are common to all sites.
  • Expert reviews are the most efficient method and go beyond identifying problems to providingsolutions.

About HotHouse Interactive

HotHouse Interactive, Australia’s leading Internet development and online marketing company, has been building websites for some of Australia’s biggest brands since 1994. HotHouse is a leader in the development of customer focused e-business solutions and has transitioned more than 300 real world businesses to the online world. With more than a decade of experience in the online and IT sectors, HotHouse has created many Australian sites, including Telstra, Optus, Aventis, Toyota, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, HCF, Goodman Fielder, the Sydney Olympics Coordination Authority, Philips and Vodafone. Foradditional information, visit