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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

What is benchmarking?

Usability testing can form a part of what is termed ‘benchmarking’. This is the process of setting a standard of performance based on either external sources, such as a competitor’s website, or by assessing a current website, for instance, using task times as a measure.


Before any benchmarking takes place, there are two key prerequisites.

  • Clarity around purpose: There must be clarity around the purpose of the website, that is to say, the business objectives of the site.
  • Clarity around experience: There must be a clear understanding of what experience factors or measures contribute towards those objectives.

Without knowing what a website should be doing, it becomes very difficult to assess its effectiveness.

Hypothesis-driven design

On that second point, finding exactly what makes a website deliver on the objective set for it can be tested using a series of hypotheses. This technique is derived from Ling Methodology, and can be termed hypothesis driven design.

Using this approach, we clearly state what we believe will happen as a result of a change to a design or feature. This should be structured where cause and effect are unambiguously stated. For example, “We believe this feature will achieve this outcome based on this metric.” So a design change or a new feature leads to an outcome signified by a particular metric. This also bears a resemblance to what is known as the Scientific Method, demonstrating cause and effect.

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Rick Monro

Rick Monro is UX Director at Fathom. He has extensive experience in user research, interaction design, user-centered design, and design strategy with private and public sector organisations throughout the UK and Ireland.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

If you are interested in learning about the principles of UX and the tools or techniques that you can use to develop and refine your user's experience, DMI has produced a short course on the subject for all of our students. You can access this content here:

DMI Short Course: UX Essentials

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

You will not be assessed on this content in your final exam.


    UX Research
    Rick Monro
    Skills Expert

    The UX Research module module will enable you to develop the knowledge and skills to build highly effective user experiences. You will learn how to think like a user in order to understand their priorities and needs, and you will recognize the role of various research and analytics techniques such as tree-testing, card-sorting, user-testing, user-surveys, Google Analytics and specialized tools such as Click-tale. 

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