Have You Placed Yourself In Your User’s Shoes Lately?
Information architecture, user experience and user centred design – that’s what they’re calling it nowadays and if you have a lot of money to spend, you can get a specialist to put together a lengthy document outlining the pathways within your site using a lot of text and black and white diagrams to demonstrate what your site should really look like. I’m passionate about UX and UCD and those documents take too much time to put together, lack flexibility, by the time things get implemented in a company, you’re only reaping the remaining percentage of the users who have yet to visit your site, and lastly, it looks absolutely confusing to a seasoned marketer. Why? The process is just not human enough.
Note: I'm using the word “users” rather than “customers” simply because sometimes the user who is looking at your website may not be your target audience or customer. A B2B website might attract the end buyers to the website and not its customers.
User experience and your website design should be built on an agile design methodology. Things change, and they change often. Users today may want your site to be picture heavy, next, they want your whole site to be full of videos. User experience, design, architecture is all subjective because it relates to the way a person feels about using a product, system or service. It is simply a person’s perception about the practical aspects of your website such as utility, ease of use and efficiency of the system.
Businesses should evaluate their analytics on a quarterly basis to understand their users more and then make required changes to cater to their user’s interests. It is important to remember that your users are just like you and me. Put yourself in their shoes and empathise with what they’re seeing, what they’re feeling, what are they trying to look for, why are they not visiting certain areas of your site or why they are even on your site in the first place. Then, define your site goals – who are the users, what are you intending to achieve when a user lands on your website or what brand messaging are you trying to get out there. After this, align your site goals to scenarios you’ve created about your users and then focus on a site design that suits these needs.
If you just put a little more human experience into your website instead of building it based on what a “tech” website should be like, you’ll create a brilliant website that’s easy to navigate, easy to understand and most importantly, emotionally connects with your audience.