I know what our customers need…
Web Strategy Consultant
No exaggeration, with each company I talk to, I hear: “people who come to our site want…,” or something similar.
There are a couple of interesting points here. First, typically I’m invited because the company’s website doesn’t work – poor traffic, low enquiries, no sales, etc. And second, this certainty in the customers’ needs and wants often follows my Blue Glider blurb. i.e. the bit about customer centricity, user tests, user feedback, right from the horses mouth so not to get it wrong.
Heads nod, then: “people who come to our site want….”
User testing – no gotchas
Time and again user testing proves how much we don’t know about customers when armed with a mouse:
- How they understand a website task
- How they read a website
- How they understand a piece of text on a web page
These directly affect a website’s performance, not to mention loyalty. A frustrated web visitor is a lost customer. Simple user testing sessions bear out problems early on, before campaigns have finished, before sales are lost to a competitor.
What makes perfect sense to an employee (brainwashed by company jargon, and ‘it’s just the way it’s done’) is often wide of the mark for the site’s intended users. Interestingly, it usually takes only a few testers to reveal the show stoppers.
State of the art not mandatory
It’s not uncommon to hear that, sure testing is a good idea, but it wasn’t put into the budget. Then I say forget the expensive camera set up and impressive testing rooms. A simple, quiet meeting room and relaxing cuppa will also do the trick.
Ask the right questions. Here are a few tasks for you to complete. Do you mind if I make some notes. Most testers will help for a nominal fee (often chuffed to be asked). Some will even help for free.
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