Before launching a new website, it’s essential to gather your needs and wants. This leads to a list of functionalities that you’d like to get developed. It may be tempting to start building this list of needed functionalities based on your KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). After all, that’s the direction you’re headed! But is launching a platform or application without doing any user research the smartest approach?
You are not your visitor
We think using your business goals and gut feeling as a basis to create functionalities is a major trap. You obviously know a lot about your business and the services you’re providing. You’re probably a subject matter expert and quite likely, you’re very passionate about your field of expertise, too. Your target audience often looks at your business in a completely different way from what you can imagine! Their online goals may differ a lot from yours. That is why creating an online environment based on your own passion and expertise can lead to a poorly converting website.
Quantitative vs qualitative: uncover the “why”
Let’s assume for a moment that you’re aiming to increase your conversion rate. And that you’re using Google Analytics to uncover and track your conversion rates. You may or may not have figured out what to do to improve your conversion rates yet. Maybe your audience isn’t all that much into the content you’re publishing. Or maybe your users have trouble finding that essential Call To Action button. Both are valid reasons for disappointing conversion rates. This information is difficult to extract from quantitative data, such as data analysis.
Qualitative user research, on the other hand, will help you uncover the true needs and desires of your target audience. And it will show you the obstacles your users run into when using your current website.
The best way to decide what action to take for improving your conversion rates is by finding the needs and pain points of your target market. Together, we’ll create solutions that really suits your users. And that also fits into your online business goals. The result: a website that converts the way it’s supposed to!
User research helps you understand your audience
But where to start? You call or mail us, of course! ?
We gladly help you set up user research. That way, you’ll have a fact-based understanding of your audience. Let us explain a bit more about our approach and our deliverables.
We usually plan an interactive kick-off session to give the project a head start. Together we determine which target audiences are important to your website first. Next, we will describe your target audience (s) as well as possible, from demographic data to needs and frustrations. This session is important so that we can ask the right questions to the target audience (s) later in the process. Then, we’ll come up with a research question. If needed, we’ll also develop sub-questions to further guide the user research we’ll perform.
quantitative data to get started
While quantitative data doesn’t tell it all, it’s a great foundation to build your user research upon. When you have decided upon certain KPI’s, it’s important to track your performance as well. That’s why we’ll always check if it’s possible to use analytics to get relevant data, such as statistics. For instance, the data can give us insight into possible moments when your users drop out. We’ll then use that as a starting point for our interviews. And bring possible friction to the light during our conversations. If you’re not tracking web analytics yet, we can arrange that for you as well. We’ll jointly decide what tooling suits your needs and your business best.
Interviews: five is the magic number
By conducting interviews, we get a clear picture of the needs and desires of your target audience. It also allows us to uncover the obstacles your target audience runs into. We’ll conduct semi-structured interviews. And, where possible, we use methods like a card sort when possible. This method could help us figure out a site structure and navigation that feels logical for your website.
We prefer to interview five people for one target audience. You may have more than one target audience, though. In that case, we’d like to have conversations with five representatives of each audience. Why five? Renowned UX research and consultancy agency Nielsen Norman Group researched this broadly. They concluded that five interviews will uncover some 85% of all insights and issues. So what if you’d like to reveal every single issue with your product? According to Nielson Norman Group, you’d need to interview 15 people. Interviewing 15 people versus 5 people takes much more time and therefore money. While you only get minimal extra insights for this. For us, therefore, 5 is the magic number!
So, what will you get out of all this?
A persona with substance
After the kick-off and performing the interviews, we gathered enough input to create a buyer persona. A persona is a characteristic description of your target group. Now, of course, the person we describe here isn’t a real person, but we can really “feel” it. Partly due to the data obtained from the interviews. A buyer persona includes the needs, desires and possibly frustrations of your target market. Are you serving a variety of target audiences? Then, we’ll create a persona for each of those. That way, every target audience will start to feel real for you. It will paint a crystal clear picture.
Customer Journey Mapping
To make your buyer persona to come life even more, will visualize the customer journey through Customer Journey Mapping. In a Customer Journey we can describe where your target group has a digital contact with your product or service. It also may uncover where they get stuck or experience frustration. Mapping out this process, helps you to define potential opportunities. That way, you can capitalize on them. And those insights, in turn, help us come up with a concept that really fits into the needs of your audience.
Next, we translate the wishes and desires of your target audience into user stories. User stories are one-liners that describe what a user wants to accomplish on your website. This will lead to a list of needs that will form the basis for a backlog of all needed functionalities and pages (templates). These functionalities and templates can then be developed in a follow-up phase.
A suitable advice
We’ll turn all insights that we gained from the steps mentioned above into relevant opportunities for your website. Based on our expertise, we’ll also indicate which opportunities are most likely to render a major impact on your target audience and/or your online goals. This will likely answer the research question we have defined during the kick-off session. We’re well aware of the fact that it’s vital to engage the entire organization in the process of changing a website. You’ll receive our findings in a compact visual report as well. This way, it’s easy to share the results with your colleagues. And also convince them that your website needs work urgently!
Okay! Then what?
We’d be thrilled to turn these opportunities into reality for you. The results of this user research will form the basis for a follow-up stage. In that stage, in which we translate our findings into a new look & feel for your website. We’ll also add the functionality your website really needs. Of course, we gladly develop, host and maintain this for you as well; the complete Level Level package!
Curious about what your target audience really thinks?
We’d love to uncover that for you. Why not reach out and schedule an appointment right away. That way, we can start planning soon.
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