Whether staring a web project or any other digital marketing project, it is important to understand your users’ needs and desires. Gather data that will help make an informed decision about how to create your digital design. 6 methods on how to do this are:
1. User Interviews
Go straight to the source. If you can have a one-on-one conversation with participants of your target market, then you find out directly what they want and need. While it is best to do this in person, this can also be done via virtual meeting or phone call. Pay attention to their attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and experiences. Start will simple questions, then based on their answer go deep into the subject. If needed, have a list of pre-planned question ready, but make sure you are not too focused those questions that you don’t listen to the client.
Sometimes you only need info on a specific topic, or you need reactions after the purchase and use of your product or service. This is when you send out a survey to a large amount of your customers’ email. Make sure your email subject is clean simple and avoid all caps, you don’t want clients making the mistake of thinking your survey is a scam or spam. Keep the survey short, users are less likely to complete a long survey. If you want to provide an extra incentive by offering a discount to your store if they complete the survey.
3. Focus Groups
Gather a small sample group of your target market to discuss your product, service, or experience. Let them share their perspectives amongst themselves in a guided setting. This allows you to gain insights into the nuances and different types of views as individuals. This is especially useful when tailoring products, services, and experiences for individual clients, not just a whole demographic. Include a moderator so that they stay on topic and that they don’t influence each other too much.
4. A/B Testing
If you have 2 designs for your project, you can test them against each other. You can use live users or use A/B testing tools that can analyze your design and determine which your target market will gravitate to more. This is useful for designs that are similar but have a minor difference or the information is presented in a different order. If results come back overwhelming to 1 version, you can scrap the other. If your results are nearly even, you can chalk it up to personal preference and merge the two or provide personalized settings for the end user to allow them more control.
5. Card Sorting
This method can help determine items like website architecture. You break your products or services into categories. Using virtual or physical cards, assign each card an individual product or service. Provide them to the user and ask them to sort the cards into groups. The groups can be based on criteria based on user preference for example color, size, etc. This helps you identify patterns in what user views, which indicates what a user will like search when looking for a product or service like yours. You can then organize your website based on the results leading to the exact user experience your target market wants.
6. Tree Test
Findability and usability of website content can be tested with the tree test method. This can be used as a follow up from the card sorting method or it can be used when you have large amounts of content, have multiple navigation options, or are updating your existing website. The tree test method involves asking participants to find specific items starting from the home page to the contact page. You give no indication of what the internal navigation or call-to-action buttons are but are allowed a few hints. This helps understand how users find and interact with your web content.
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