Our CEO, Helena Hill, recently gave a presentation to a large audience at Design Network North’s Rise & Design Event in Durham entitled, ‘UX Discovery: Your Secret Weapon’. Following its success we’ve been asked if we could share the slides and provide an overview of the UX Discovery Phase and how taking time to get it right really is your secret weapon to success!
Good Design really does mean good business.
Would you buy from an unhelpful salesperson? We certainly wouldn’t! Your website is no different. Make it difficult to navigate, get your tone of voice wrong or simply fail to get your brand and identity across to a potential buyer and you’ll lose them. End of.
In fact, people now expect the above as a matter of course.
As Dr. Eric Schaffer, CEO of Human Factors International points out,
People expect to be able to navigate, they expect to be able to understand. The next frontier is in persuasion. Today, that’s the big differentiator.
And that’s exactly where, as business owners, we need to focus our attention. Persuading rather than ticking design boxes.
So, how can we get our websites/applications/digital processes working better for us? That’s where the UX Discovery Phase: Your Secret Weapon comes in. It takes work, time and resources but it gives your business the competitive edge. Without further ado…
UX Discovery: Our Process
Here at 49digital, we use a proven 8-point discovery process and we’re very happy to share that with you.
1. Who are your customers anyway?
Unless you know who your market are; their pains, frustrations, loves and emotions, budget and resources then stop right there.
How can you possibly build a website, app or process if you don’t know who your customers are and what they want from you?
Here’s an example of a buyer persona we provided as part of the UX discovery process for a photography client. She’s semi-fictional in that we don’t actually know Katie but based on our user research and insights from website analytics we identified her as an ideal customer for our client. Notice that we’ve given her an image and occupation, a character set and even a ‘thought’. Katie is one of three personas that we presented to the client. (He now uses them in all his marketing efforts and boy is it working!)
2. Aligning business goals & user needs
What are your company goals?
A percentage increase in revenue, increased sales of a particular product, a more streamlined customer journey, a higher membership acquisition rate, increased market share?
What do your customers need from you?
To be guided to a particular product line on your website, a re-designed shopping experience, access to valuable, locked down content?
Starting to see areas where the two converge?
3. Who benefits from UX?
Who stands to benefit from implementing a user-centred approach to your customer journey? You’d be surprised just how many people do and it’s so important to get everyone involved from the get-go. Why? Because you need commitment from them. Not financially necessarily, but a behavioural and emotional commitment to improving and changing the way potential and present customers engage with the company both on and offline.
4. Are you frightened of your competitors?
Don’t be afraid to do some digging on your competitors. We’ve worked with businesses who really don’t want to know; they’re frightened of finding out that the competition is better. So what if they are! Become a customer, experience their website, product or service (without being too obvious!), their engagement, communication and customer service.
Take note of which areas of the buying experience they do better or you think you could improve on in your business.
This is a fantastic opportunity to identify obstacles in both buying process and also a great time to explore missed opportunities.
One of the books that we keep to hand in our office library is Ask by Ryan Levesque.
The premise is a simple one. Without asking your customers and prospective customers/clients what they want then how do you know that you’re really ticking all the boxes?
When we’re asked to audit a website, our process includes asking potential users what they think. We ask them to complete certain tasks such as buying a particular product (remember: this may be one of your company’s goals to increase revenue), completing a contact form or finding a certain piece of information. BUT, we also ask what they would expect to see on your website as compared to what they actually get. The results can be a real eye opener for the client.
6. Journey Mapping & Analytics
Before we suggest any improvements to a website, process or customer/client experience, we take measurements using both quantitative data such as web analytics and qualitative data through user focus groups. This gives our clients an overview of where they stand in terms of visitor flow, engagement, time on site, entry and exit pages as well as ease of use and customer feedback.
By taking regular measurements we can show our clients how the changes we have suggested have had a positive effect on their bottom line.
Journey maps illustrate not only the route that visitors take as they move through a website or process but also how they feel as they do so.
7. Report and Grow!
It might sound boring but this is the most exciting part of the process! When we present our clients with the results of our exploratory process it marks the start of the next phase; a journey towards business growth, customer acquisition and value through an increased understanding of their users’ frustrations, behaviour and needs.
If you’d like to learn more about how a UX Report can deliver triple digit growth then take a look at our blog post on how some of our biggest retail names increased revenue by up to 112%. UX discovery; it really is your secret weapon to business success!