With a new year quickly approaching, many organizations are getting ready for a website redesign. I’ve redeveloped my fair share of websites over the years. In my quest to make websites better, I’ve learned a lot of best practices for design and technology. I’ve also done a lot of learning about giving the User the best possible experience. This process is referred to as user experience design (UX, UXD, or UED). UX focuses on all aspects of a person’s interaction with website (or other IT system). Sounds like geeky fun, right? It all boils down to this:

Happy Customers = Happy Businesses.

Let’s say you asked, “What UX tips would you give a an organization considering a re-development of a corporate website?”
Thanks for your hypothetical question. Here are my top 4 tips for rebuilding your new website.

1. Find Out What Your Customers Really Want.
Most businesses that I talk to believe they know exactly what their customer wants. But, when we are honest with ourselves, do we really know what motivates our clients? What are their expectations of your website? What do they want to do when they arrive at your website?
Business often make assumptions, and we know what assumptions make.
So you might ask how do I find out what my customers want? (I hope you ask anyways).
Here are two quick answers to a much larger question.

  • Check your Analytics.
    Your website stats show what people are doing on your current website. This can be fairly good indicator of what people want to do on your website. Unless of course what they found isn’t what they wanted.
  • Ask Users.
    Ask Real customers or potential customers (not anyone that works at your company) the following questions; What would you want to see on a web site that offers X?, Why would you go to web site that offers X?, What would you expect to see at web site that offers X? As you might guess X would be your service/product. Be sure to listen and record to at least 8 Users.

2) Decide What You Really Want.
After you’ve learned what your customers want. It is time for you to want what they want. Remember, Happy Customers = Happy Businesses.?!

3) Give Them What They Want.
Knowledge is key, but you need to take make sure that you actually give them what they want. Creating a website that both you and your customers will love is not the most difficult thing on the planet to achieve, as long as you follow some simple guidelines and are prepared to devote the necessary time and resources to making it a success.

4) Test.
When your website is finished, it is really just the beginning. Sorry, but your Customers will thank you. ~:-) The best websites aren’t completed and left alone. The best websites are living documents. When they are completed the are continually tested, analyzed, and refined. UX designers use an iterative process that is a cycle of improvement.

I’d like to say that is it. My emphasis here is to learn what your customers want and go after it.