Website Usability and Benchmarking Research 

The aim of this research was to understand how CCWater can best serve the needs of water customers through our corporate website.

We wanted to find out how useful and accessible household and business customers found our website, what areas they thought we could improve, and how we could continue to make the content relevant to them.

In particular, we were keen to find out the information needs of business customers in the run up to the introduction of retail competition in the water industry in England from April 2017.

The key findings of this research, undertaken by Marketing Sciences Unlimited, were:


  • CCWater’s website is performing adequately on the whole
  • The layout, look and feel of the site is ‘clean and uncluttered’
  • The website is well optimised and works well on mobile devices

Labelling and navigation:

Respondents found:-

  • Some content pages are too long and contain too much detail
  • There are too many answers in the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section and some visitors feel ‘overwhelmed’
  • The FAQ section contains long blocks of text which is too small to read
  • Some of the FAQ answers are too long and repetitive and lack clear ‘next steps’ for customers
  • Information for business customers is ‘buried in site’
  • Some of the headings on home page are not logical
  • Some visitors leave the site quickly when they can’t find what they are looking for

Information presentation and tone:

Respondents found:-

The ‘About us’ section should include more information about CCWater’s role and how the organisation is run and funded

  • Language used on the site feels “too official” or governmental’
  • The amount of text on some pages makes it hard to absorb
  • Some of the content is not directly relevant to customers

Content specific to retail competition:

Responses illustrated:-

  • Awareness of retail competition is low among business customers
  • Information on the website is written from a policy perspective
  • Some information is “confusing” for customers or is out of date
  • Business customers are unclear about what the changes will mean for them in real terms

Recommendations and action:

CCWater accepts the findings of the research and the recommendations made by Marketing Sciences Unlimited on improving the website.

We have produced a website development plan and visitors to the site should expect to see some improvements over the next few months.

Download the research findings below: