Fictive Kin

Solving Problems

Once you’ve diagnosed the problem, how do you fix it?

Unfortunately, this is where the game becomes a lot more art than science.

Each problem is highly situational to the specific module on the specific page of the specific site used through a specific device using a specific browser on a specific screen size.

It can be tough to figure out how to fix a given problem.

There are, however, a few high-level rules of thumb.

For Content Problems:

  • If you’re not sure whether it is a content problem, try doing some paid user testing with a service like: or just ask your friends, family, or partner to read the content in front of you and tell you what they’re getting from it.

  • If you know that it is a content problem, but aren’t sure what the new content should be, try A/B testing to gain more insight. User testing is also helpful here.

For Navigation Problems

  • Make sure the destination you want people to find is clearly marked in either the primary nav or the footer.

  • Try simplifying the primary navigation. You can do this by checking the data on which links are clicked the most. Move the least clicked links to the footer and see what impact that has on people getting to where you want them to go. Moving things out of the primary nav can be difficult internally so just remember (and remind your coworkers) that you can always change it back.

For Design Problems

  • The first stop for trying to solve a design problem is some sort of user testing, whether in person or using a paid tool like we mentioned above.

  • Fixing these problems will come down to the quality of your design team. The metrics and the feedback from any user testing should help them gain an understanding of the issue. From there, there are infinite ways to solve the problem with design. You need to hope that they will pick the best one.

For Device-Specific Problems

  • Your first clue that there may be some issues with a given device type is if the metrics for the same page are significantly different depending on which device is being used. For example, if the bounce rate for a given page is twice as high on mobile.

  • Once you’ve identified any pages that have a device disparity, you’ll need to look closely at the page on both devices. First look at the better performing version to get a sense for the core messaging. Then look at the least performing version and try to notice where it is coming up short. Are pieces of content being cut off? Is an important CTA being covered by a pop window? Is the page not responsively designed / built? That kind of thing.

For Engineering Quality Problems

  • Run the pages of your site through Google’s Pagespeed Insights:

  • It will give you information on how you can improve performance, accessibility, and SEO for both Desktop and Mobile. Make the fixes and see if that solves the problem.

  • One note: don’t feel the need to push for perfection with Pagespeed Insights. It is extremely difficult to get a score of 100 on each dimension and the amount of work required usually is not worth it. If you can get your site into the 90s or even the high 80s that should be plenty.