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Are You Building Bridges or Roadblocks? – SEO Thinking and User Experience Design, Part 4

We concluded yesterday’s post with the leading question, “Why are my customers coming to my website?” It’s a trick question because it fosters a whole other series of (false) assumptions. Chief among these is that customers are interested in your products or want to find out more about your company. But as social media guru Read more

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We concluded yesterday’s post with the leading question, “Why are my customers coming to my website?” It’s a trick question because it fosters a whole other series of (false) assumptions. Chief among these is that customers are interested in your products or want to find out more about your company. But as social media guru David Meerman Scott is fond of telling companies, the first rule of the new wave of digital marketing is “No one cares about your products but you.” No one goes to the Tide detergent site because they’re passionate about laundry detergent. They visit the site because they want to find out the best way to get their clothes clean.  Their goal isn’t to learn more about the product it’s to solve a problem they have. We’ve talked about how research and customer profiling can help you identify user goals for your site. So the real question isn’t why are they visiting, it’s “What do users hope to accomplish when visiting my site?”  Once that has been answered, design thinkers need to ask …

What problems do users face when trying to achieve their goals on your site?

Your users will have many different underlying motivations when visiting a web site. First time visitors are not only looking for and evaluating your product/service but they are also evaluating your company’s level of integrity, security and ease of use. Users reach your site with their own goals that may or may not align with your site business goals. The more divergent their goals are from your product or service offering the less likely your business goals will be met.

For a consumer to successfully buy a product or service, it must satisfy the elements that contribute to the end goal’s attainment. Any element that fails in the process of goal attainment will hinder a positive decision to purchase a product. The pie chart below shows the general categories and the percentage of the total problems identified in Jacob Nielsen’s 2001 study of User Experience in E-Commerce.
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There are literally hundreds of design details to consider that support the customer to make the critical decision and complete the purchase. In order to make sure customers are getting the result they are looking for, you need to consider all aspects of their engagement with your site.

What’s the best way to evaluate your customers’ interaction with your site? By asking even more questions (remember digital marketing is a dialogue).

Tomorrow, we’ll explore one of the most fundamental questions in the design process. What sort of experience is the end user seeking?

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