Website evaluation

Case study: California Tourism German Website Usability Research

California Tourism

SMARInsights sureyed consumers in Germany to determine their reactions to the Visit California website, evaluate usefulness of the site and reactions to limited German language information on the site, and to assess the site’s visual appeal. Our research further compared the California site to other competing sites, and provided recommendations on improvements.


Using a translation service, company president David Seiferth conducted a series of one-on-one focus groups we call “web-labs.” Consumers were linked electronically so that the facilitator could direct them on the website and watch them navigate the site.


Our research revealed that value played an important role in these international visitors’ decision process, and that they preferred to utilize a destination’s “official” website, as this site provides a measure of credibility that consumers are seeking. Further data revealed that a German language option was friendlier and was the preferred option. Simply presenting a fraction of the information in German was viewed negatively. SMARInsights recommended a fully fleshed out German language version of the site in order to position California as welcoming to German visitors.

Other projects

Kentucky Tourism
South Carolina Dept of Parks, Recreation & Tourism
Cheyenne CVB
Hamilton County Tourism
Wyoming Travel & Tourism
Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation
Texas Tourism

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