Stop & Think About Marketing Efforts … Trade Shows Association Meetings Magazines Direct Mail Distributor Shows Newspapers Portal & Destination Sites Email Marketing Search Engines Catalogs Banner Advertisements Blogs & Community Sites The Web
Introduction to Web Site Usability What is Usability? How does it affect your web site, your brand, your sales? Common Myths of Usability –I know my customer better than anyone –Surveys are Usability Studies and Suffice –Success vs. Satisfaction Example
Minimum standard, best practices and learned conventions… Minimum Standards: Very few justifiable reasons not to comply. Best Practices: Tested practices that have proven to have a positive effect on the user experience Not hard fast rules Learned Conventions: May not be more intuitive, BUT users already know how to use; therefore, is easier to use. Preconceived expectations Complying with minimum standards, best practices and learned conventions allow you to focus on the bigger picture challenges rather than wasting time on what is known.
Opposing Objectives Business Objectives –We want to get users to visit my site on a regular basis –We need to offer multiple content types and features to sell to clients (white papers, news, ask the expert, etc) –We want users to register so we can leverage their information for sales –We want to display content to show to everyone regardless if it is relevant or not. (News on home page) –We want to be viewed as the source for standards in our industry Visitor Objectives –I don’t want my decisions manipulated (now or later) –I want control over my experience –I don’t want to be distracted with cluttered pages or too many like options –I only want to see content that apply to my industry or my needs –I want to reach information in as few steps as possible –I want to be able to easily find the same information another day (mental model) –I want to know what exactly I can and can not do on this site right away without having to waste time exploring or being distracted by marketing ploys. Design to meet the visitors objectives first!
How customers view your site On a single track mission Find what they want, THEN peruse or browse No Patience (remember college … long road trip) Scan not Read Let’s look at some research…
Design: Understand how users read the page A common misperception is that people read a web page the same way they read a paper, from left to right Extensive eye- tracking research has shown that users read the page: Center-Left-Right
Purpose Driven Design Keys to Success: Action links identifying visitor’s purpose Create a mental model of the site so visitors can find what they are looking for and quickly orient themselves within the site’s structure Benefits: Increases the Scent (trail to destination) Eliminates visitor guesswork Helps visitor rapidly determine what the site has to offer Helps visitor quickly find what he is looking for Assumptions: Visitors go to websites for a reason (they have a purpose) The quicker visitors reach their goal, the happier they will be The happier visitors are, the more likely it is that they will return
Think Usability Sooner Than Later Design Flexibility Low High Time Maintenance Requirements Definition Competitive Analysis User Centered Analysis Persona Development Site Launch Discovery Elaboration System Flow Information Architecture Card Sorting Construction Design Coding Documentation Beta Test
Segment Personas Primary Persona Business Objectives Secondary Persona
Build Online Persona Try to understand –Motivations –Goals –Needs –Decision Making factors –People / influencers –Expectations –Preferences –Demographics information –Brand Attitudes
Sample Persona Diane Age: 22 Job: College Student working towards degree in Marketing Technical Expertise: 4/5 Hours Spent on Internet / week: 8- 10 Background with site: Diane has visited the site a few times but only when her friends send her links to their slideshows. When she is on the site, she is more of a general consumer with little to no emotional investment in her need for expressing herself freely. She looks at other people’s slideshows and bounces from one slideshow to the next. She is an observer who browses, searches, comments (gives feedback), and fuels her friends’ desires in providing more creative content such as the slideshows. Analysis: A typical bouncer would have the personality of a moviegoer in which the consumption of a “good” movie is more important than the movie theatre she frequents to accomplish the task of movie watching, which is probably why she has no real brand loyalty to any particular product or application. Needs: Wants to know what is popular / “cool” Easy to view slideshows / movies Gives opinions / comments Likes being heard Business Opportunity: Since Diane is already on the site, we want to keep her on there longer. Maybe creating a rating system consisting of 10 stars so that she can rate the individual slideshows. Then based on how she rates the types of slideshows, we can present newest slideshows that would be relevant to her the next time she logs onto the site.
Tip 2: Build Strong Navigation / Thru Information Architecture Labels OrganizationNavigation Information Architecture
The Bridge between Usability & Website (not design) Organization is based on users’ previous experience / expectation of how it should be organized. IA strives to bridge this gap Best practices and learned conventions come from this User with ExpectationsDisplay that info How do we display the information so that it satisfies the user’s expectations?
Display information so that it makes sense How do you ensure that the user understands the information? Universal Set of Behaviors Audience Specific Behaviors
Bottom Line..even small increases in conversion can generate substantial revenue SAME 4% submit RFQ (400 RFQs per year) 30% close rate Average sale price of $10,000 Improve Usability (1% gain in RFQs) Revenue = $1,200,000 1.0% gain in RFQ = $300K in additional revenue 10,000 users per year 3% submit RFQ (300 RFQs per year) 30% close rate Average sale price of $10,000 Current Business Revenue = $900,000
Summary Usability is Ease of Use Why Usability? –Competitive advantage –Site created only with business objectives in mind –Increase Conversions & ROI Foundation: Follow learned conventions & best practices Refine Personas Don’t need Designer, Need an Information Architecture Users first, Monetize second
Cannot forget Social Media Customers DO NOT WANT experiences managed; want to manage themselves … now call CRM to CMR
Who is the Social Customer Active & Passive Loyal vs. Advocate Consumer or Contributor
Who’s The Social Customer What do they Say? I want to have a say I want to know when something is wrong I want to help shape things I find useful Don’t want to talk to salesperson Want to buy things on my schedule I want to tell you when you are screwing up I want to do business with Transparent Companies * Chris Carfi Blog
Breakdown of Social Customers Monthly Actions Gen Y 18 - 26 Gen X 27 -40 Boomer 41 - 50 Boomer + 51 - 61 CreatorsBlog Publish Web Page 15% 22% 4% 12% 2% 7% 1% 6% CriticsVisit Boards/Chat Visit Rating sites 32% 17% 21% 16% 14% 12% 10% CollectorsUse RSS Use Social Sites Use Photo Sharing 4% 37% 29% 3% 12% 22% 2% 6% 13% 1% 4% 12% Coach Potatoes Read Blogs Watch Video Listen to Podcast 27% 32% 9% 14% 25% 6% 9% 18% 5% 7% 12% 4% * Source: Forrester Benchmark Survey
Ultimate Manifestation of Usability For the User by the user Telegraph to Telephone (full duplex) Success already (LinkedIn, ItToolbox) Try it and see…
Why Now? The Perfect Storm Web 2.0 Technologies Broadband Proliferation Online Adoption
Why does it Matter? The conversation is happening; either you are a part of it or not (raising children) 30% who read blog/post more likely to purchase 80% who contribute more likely to purchase* CoreMetrics, Web 2.0 Study
Take Away … Further Your Education 1.www.OnlineMarketingSummit.comwww.OnlineMarketingSummit.com 1.www.OMICertified.comwww.OMICertified.com Want PPT or Top 10 Site Usability Assessment Facebook or LinkedIn “Aaron Kahlow” Old School Aaron@OnlineMarketingConnect.comAaron@OnlineMarketingConnect.com