Putting the supporter’sonline experience firstWhy Planning, Testing & Focusing on the User ExperienceCreates Great Nonprofit Websites
Online, if you put yourcustomer’s needs first, you will achieve your business goals as well.
Being customer focused online means• Really knowing who your customers are Did you know that your online audience may be different to your traditional audience?• Understanding what your customers needs and expectations are WHY did they join/ visit your website, mobile app or Facebook page?• Planning & building your online content to meet your customers needs Make it easy for your visitors to achieve their goal.
User experience (UX) is the way a person feels about using a product, system or service and how easy it is to use. User experience is subjective because it is measuring an individual’s feelings and thoughts about the system.User experience is dynamic, because technologyand thus our human behaviour, changes over time.
Why you should put the supporter first?• Because • It will help you understand them better • they expect it and deserve it • it will make your organisation more profitable • it will ensure a superior online experience • it will differentiate you from your competitors & keep your supporters loyal • they will drive actions & innovation • it will streamline business operations & the supply chain • it will promote transparency and accountability • you will be able to better predict and forecast • you can’t succeed without them
How to implement a goodUser Experience?Planning your digital strategy aroundgiving your user the best possibleuser experience.
A good supporter experience is• Giving the user options to support, donate, engage • Allow the user to choose how they want to support and make it easy for them• Creating multiple online touch-points • And each of those touch-points being consistent in their tone, look & feel and functionality• Providing expert information and guidance in your field • Be that sustainability, human rights or aged care• Make the supporter feel good about their contribution • Help them share their thoughts, feelings and good deeds.
A useful process - audience personasBy going through the process of identifying your primarytarget audience and then understanding if they are in-factthe same people online (because they might be different),your organisation will learn how your supporters think, feeland behave online.This puts you in a better position to provide a superioronline experience as well as excellent supporter programsand services.And you now have a documented target audience for yourknowledge bank.
A supporter’s goal online is called a user scenarioCreating a user scenario from yourwebsite personas means that yourorganisation understands thegeneral thought process andconsideration cycle that a supporterwill follow online.User scenarios can be incrediblycomplex, or very simple. It dependson your audience and your productor service.
How user scenarios help guide usYour supporter user scenarios will help guide the websiterequirements, functionality spec & technology choices.Once your audience user scenarios are mapped out intheory, you are able to then test & refine them in practice.Documented user scenarios are incredibly important forbench-marketing our assumptions of user behaviour & howthey change over time.
What are they looking for?What do your supporters want to doonline?
Your business determines their needsOnline users are finding your organisation through search orsocial media or because they know and trust your brand.When they arrive on your website, mobile site or applicationor social networking profile, they already have an idea ofwhat they want to do because they understand what yourorganisation is about.Your job is to meet and exceed their expectations.
Content created to aid the user’s goalsYou can understand your audience and their needs betterthan any of your competitors, but if you don’t deliver thecontent, products or actions that they are looking for ….
UX, Content & website navigationContent needs to be user focused & it should be in a formatthat works online.A website’s content should not assume too muchknowledge of the user and it should not be structured,based on internal organisational structure.
e.g. A user’s expectations of online content People behave differently online than offline. Digital is about research, engagement & transaction. •Shorter sentences, less formal language, shorter copy in general •Keyword rich content for search engines – say exactly what you mean, no puns or metaphors •Engagement objects like games, video, infographics, polls & images help tell the story at a glance •Real time transactions & automated responses – users expect their receipt immediately.
How easy it is for your supporters tofind what they’re looking for/do what they came to do?
Usability – how easy is it to use? • It should just make sense • The user’s goals should be quick & easy to achieve • The design & user experience must match the channel & device • It is more important for your website, mobile site/ application or social media profile to be user-friendly, than beautiful.
What kind of things do yoursupporters want to do online?When a supporter visits your brand online, they have a goalin mind.Some supporter goals might be • Sign a petition • Make an enquiry • Find information • Make a donation • Use a calculator • Watch a video • Subscribe to a newsletter • Buy a goatA well designed site will make it quick & easy for the user tocomplete their task.
Does your website meet thesupporter’s needs?Is the design and functionality intuitive?
User experience designA User Experience Architect takes the website personas &user scenarios developed and combines this yourorganisation’s product & service and their knowledge of howusers behave online to design a website that;•Can predict the user journey and workflow•Is intuitive and easy of use•Is accessible to all people•Maximises the technology•Compliments the content•And doesn’t hinder the aesthetic design.
The online user journey predicts thesupporter’s needs
Integrating the user needs with thebackend functionality & designA user experiencewebsite designer willmake sure they fullyunderstand theaudience and thewebsitefunctionalityrequirements beforethey start to thinkabout design.
Wire-framing marries the user’s needs with functionalityA wire-frame is a userexperience website ormobile design layout.A wire-frame mapsout both the userbehaviour andwebsite functionality,so as to ensure theuser’s needs are metbefore the websitelook and feel (design)is applied.
User experience wire-framesWire-frames are the practical interpretation of yourorganisations mission aligned to the website personas, userscenarios and functionality.Wire-frames provide an excellent tool to reflect againstwhen your website has been designed and then built. Yourwire-frames form the blueprint of your website.Wire-frames are not always literally translated into designand then built. Like all things, sometimes functionalityplanned in theory doesn’t work in practice. However, theystill act as an excellent guide.
Now you have to put theory into practiceand bring it to life.
From design to prototype or html buildIn an ideal situationBuild prototype test w/ audience amend & refine Build website.But if the time and budget is not available for this, your planning will nowbe put into practice and your website will be built from the wire-frames.
Now we must test to make sure itworksOnce your website is finished, you must test your theory in thereal world.Typically usability testing would: • Recruit test subjects to match website personas • Test subjects follow user scenarios and complete tasks to determine if website behaves as expected • Any usability issues can be amended before going live • The usability tests create a bench-mark for the future.
What is usability testing?Remember, usability tests measure how easy is it for youraudience to achieve their intended goal.Usability looks at 3 primary areas of a website:1.Accessibility 1. Page load times 2. Colour contrast, font size 3. Optimised for disabilities & screen readers2.Functionality Usability is not as 1. How intuitive is the process successful if it is an 2. Does the website behave as expected after thought.3.Navigation & Content When planning your 1. Clear & concise labels website, put the donor 2. Adequate linking first. 3. SEO – how easily users can find you 4. Design
Your website is now live and operationaland your supporters are happy.But has anything changed over time?
Usability testing lets you know ifyour supporters are having agood online user experience.
Usability testing & bench-marketingBecause user experience (UX) is about how people think,feel and behave with online products and services –naturally these things can change over time, as technology,the marketplace and our expectations shift.Regular (annual) usability testing should be undertaken toensure that your website continues to meet your user’sneeds.It is not unheard of to see a carefully UX planned websitefail to meet their use’s needs soon after launch, because thecustomer has not been kept top of mind during business asusual operations.If you’re thinking about a new website or online touch-point,Usability testing is a great place to start, .
Usability bench-marketingForrester’s is the world’s leading authority on website userexperience and usability testing.There are of course other agencies and suppliers whospecialise in user experience planning and offer usabilitytesting also.
Recap.Why put the customer first andHow to plan your digital strategyaround the best possibleuser experience
Online, if you put yourcustomer’s needs first, you will achieve your business goals as well.
Why you should put the customer first• Because • It will help you understand them better • they expect it and deserve it • it will make your organisation more profitable • it will ensure a superior online experience • it will differentiate you from your competitors & keep your supporters loyal • they will drive actions & innovation • it will streamline business operations & the supply chain • it will promote transparency and accountability • you will be able to better predict and forecast • you can’t succeed without them
How - User Experience Workflow Who is your audience? How do they think and feel? What information/ content do they want? What are their expectations? Look & feel to match Touch