One Idea that Will Totally Transform the Way You Build Your Website.
When I meet with clients for the first time, there’s generally a lot of excitement (for both of us), plenty of collaboration and lot’s of coffee on my part.
They share with me their business goals and where this website fits into the scheme of things and then we start talking strategy. But, I tend to hear the awkwardness of crickets around the same time I announce, “let’s bring this back to your user” or “would your user easily understand and be able to use this design?”
Then comes the reply, “I never thought about it like that”.
The concept of building a website with the “user” in mind.
It’s usually an after thought and one that leaves owners questioning what they’re doing wrong and why their efforts just aren’t working.
Obviously, there’s dozens of reasons why your website isn’t getting the results you want and with user needs often being ignored, it’s worth reassessing with this one question…
What’s the next logical action I can have a user take to lead them where they need to go?
“Logical” being the key word. For example, if you’re a service provider, you wouldn’t just put up a sales page and expect folks to buy it. There’s got to be some kind of lead up to that type of exchange. A process where the prospect warms up to you and has the time to get to know, like and trust you before they’re ready to financially commit to working with you. That’s really what “launching” is about but that’s a whole other topic.
So for this example the logical action could be to ask them to sign up to your list where you can share more about yourself, show case studies and testimonials to support your work and some insights into what working with you really looks like and then offer them your sales page.
It’s all too easy to go forth and stick an image here and some text there, forgetting that you’re not the person who will be using your site. And, what might make sense to you might be utterly confusing or a complete turn off to the user.
How to easily assess or reassess your website.
START BY STEPPING INTO THE SHOES OF A NEW USER. Why did they come to your site? What are they searching for? Usually they’re looking for an answer to something they’re struggling with, what is that? These are some of the things your homepage should address.
From here you can lay your cookie trail, just as Hansel and Gretel did in order to find their way home. “Home” in our case, would be the purpose for which we’ve built our website, (to inform, promote, interact or access) while always answering, “What’s the next logical action they should take?”
BE MINDFUL OF THE PROCESS YOU ASK YOUR USERS TO TAKE. It’s less than likely a new visitor will purchase or buy from you on their very first interaction with your website (unless of course they’ve been referred to you by someone they trust).
In fact, they might not even be aware they need your help just yet and in that case, the best thing you could do for them is to ask them to join your email list where you can help them by displaying your expertise through your email communications.
User design is just one of the many facets of creating a website that works. It’s not rocket science. It’s merely an exercise in empathy on your part.
Did you think about your users? Did you have to make any sacrifices in the process of building your website or were you able to marry what you wanted with what your users needed effortlessly? Let me know, I’d love to hear about your experience!
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