TMT Q2 2018 - Intermine Pty Ltd

22 TMT MAGAZINE / Q2 2018 , Matt Oxley is co-founder and Director of award winning UX& digital design agency DotLabel, which specialises in generating user-focused and results-driven digital experiences www. Online User Journeys: How to achieve user -centric website design When businesses ask me how they can increase customer engagement with their brand, I explain that it’s only by knowing your users and deeply understanding their needs, frustrations and expectations, that can you can identify the barriers in their online journey and take steps to overcome them. If you are failing to meet your users expectations, then your website or software is underperforming. Obstacles on a website, such as a lengthy booking process or a complex form, can affect dropout rate and reduce conversion. Similarly, if a bespoke software product has a difficult-to-use interface, it will result in low usage, poor engagement rates and inefficient manual workarounds. Understanding and optimising certain processes that users undertake on your website or software can be the first step in transforming the performance of your product. Improving an online user journey isn’t complicated, but it does require time as well as an unbiased approach. It is for this reason that many companies employ an experienced User Experience (UX) professional or appoint a specialist UX digital agency to manage their project. The main principles of UX are about investing in research and insights to inform a user-centric design that is as effortless as possible. There are 5 steps that can help you offer your customers a personalised online experience. 1. Identify the journeys with the highest potential gain It is best to start with reviewing a specific process that will have the most impact on the organisation, such as an online booking or purchase process, a registration or a sales enquiry form. If you are reviewing web application software, be sure to understand the processes that are most important to your users. Whilst there may not be a sales conversion to improve like on a commercial website, instead it might be addressing issues such as ease of inputting relevant new client details, uploading documents or reviewing performance statistics. To find out which processes to prioritise you need to ask your users – either directly or by reviewing customer feedback on your website or across social media – to see which are the elements resulting in them feeling frustrated. If you can’t gain direct access to users, speak with frontline employees who will undoubtedly have heard the gripes of your customers. 2. Identify your user types As part of your initial feedback research, you should also aim to profile the different types of users engaging with your digital product. This is important because users may behave differently, choose different tasks or undertake different journeys. This is a necessary step as it will help determine your diverse customer base and cater for its requirements and expectations. Users types should be defined by whichever attributes are most relevant to their use of the site. Age and location might be irrelevant but segmenting users by engagement or purchasing behaviour – such as new customers, second time customers and loyal customers – could yield more actionable insight. For software products, you might identify the tech savvy users, the technophobe frequent users and light product users, for example. 3. Identify the key user goals for the specific process The next stage is to identify the reason for which users undertake a certain process when they visit your website. What are they looking for and how can they go about finding the information they need? For example, a customer might want to obtain online quotes for pet insurance, whilst another might be looking to purchase pet insurance. As