Your website is your number one "sales rep" and with the recent death of cold calling, it's that much more important in the buying process.
Today's buyers are searching for infromation and education around solving their unqiue probelms and challenges.
They are going to find it somewhere so why not be the place they go for it.
We want to put the customer at the center of this process so ensure we are designing a website to fulfill the customer's experience.
Starting with outlining your overall goals and buyer personas. Then we want to make some fundamental assumptions about our audience. After that, outline a journey map to give you a sense of how users move through your pipeline. Finally perform user research to better understand your current base.
Define you goals first
Goals drive your strategy.
Any website redesign starts with a strategy but we want to focus on user research. Start by defining the goal of your redesign. Think on an annual scale using a SMART goal setting frame work as well as settle stretch goals.
Define your buyer persona
Any good website - or brick and morter stores - begin with thier customers in mind. Take amazon and starbucks for two examples. Each company has clearly thought through and design a specific way for you to feel when in their "store".
They know who is coming in so they know how to please them.
Not all assumptions are created equal.
The goal of making some fundamental assumptions is to strip your website and buyer persona down to the most essesntial elements.
You are looking to identify the riskiest assumptions so you can begin to iterate on them the quickest.
Validating your riskest assumptions is going to be your top priority because, they are the riskiest.
The riskiest assumptions you can make are usually around your overall persona. Making sure you generally know you market is critical to fitting a website into their daily workflow.
The core problems they have and the solutions to those problems. As you can see, getting these wrong can be a devestating factor to furture growth.
User Journey Map
The backbone to your customer experience.
The goal of creating a user journey in your strategy is to develop a complete picture of your persona's feelings before, during and after contact with your business.
As a user on your website moves from stranger, to subscriber, to lead to qualified lead and further down the pipeline to sales, you want to make sure you have thought through every touch point so you can further test down the road.
To research is to think with empathy
Conducting user research is done to gain a deep understanding of your users and customers to develop new concepts and ideas.
Start by determining the questions you want to ask. Construct these questions to validate your most risky assumptions.
Then determine which research method you are going to us. Choose from any of the following:
- Qualitative research - directly from the user's point of view
- Observational - how users behave
- Quantitative - tracking specific actions
Then finally conduct your research.
One thing to remeber is that when you are entering into a website redesign, never skip the strategy phase.
Knowing exactly how every small and large adjustment or change is going to impact the overall objective is a critical part of the process.
That goes for any redesign, whether you are taking a tradional approach or a grwoth-driven approach to your website redesign, you can't put it off.