Sunday, July 6, 2014

UX actions to do BEFORE you redesign your website - part 2

Here's the second part of my thoughts on the UX actions to consider before redesigning your website. Part 1 is available here.

4. Benchmark
So who in your competitive market is doing a better job of things than you online and who isn't? What does great look like for your digital customers and why? If you cannot answer these two questions, then you clearly haven't assessed the competition and understood what makes other sites better.
Review at least a handful of competitors websites to understand how they solve the same problems you have. Assess the features that make them easy to use (you might even want to look further afield at organisations that aren't necessarily in competition with you, but just have similar goals).
Note: For a small cost you can even point your usability tool at these competitive sites and give users the same tasks you give your own site.

5. Map out the customer journeys
Not all goals are the same on each site. Whether your aim is to generate leads or to directly convert users to buy a good or service, the path to acquisition can be difficult and dependant upon a huge number of factors. Action:
Map out the journey through your site for each of your key personas, ideally from initial awareness and acquisition through to them converting and beyond (e.g. into being a brand advocate). These functional flows will explain to you, your stakeholders, your developers and your testers what is happening to your users.
Note: Remember to include the situations when things don't go exactly according to plan.

6. Build your sitemap
It's not all about functionality, you also need to map out your content and the site's information architecture.
Draw up the hierarchy of your primary content pages and understand how each of your topics is delivered (if necessary for each device).

7. Wireframe the key templates
Producing a schematic or blueprint of every key page will create a visual guide of what your online users will experience. Wireframes will explain: the kinds of information displayed, the functions available, the priority of the information & functions, any display rules and effects of personalisation & other scenarios.
Create your wireframes based upon your customer journeys and the sitemap. But remember to test your creation before going into design.

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