How to Have a Good Busines Website with a Good User Experience


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95% of Local Business Websites fail to generate any sales or leads. No matter how much money is spend driving traffic with SEO, or Pay Per Click marketing, if the destination website is not customer friendly, the website conversion rate will be poor.

This presentation, by usability consultant, Colette Mason shows businesses in a jargon free way how to have a good website for their business by improving the user experience using some fundamental user-centered design techniques.

The presentation is available for order in DVD format. Contact Colette for details.

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  • My Name is Colette Mason. Today I am going to show you my fast, fun customer-friendly way to boost your business online Before I start, I’d like to begin with a question to see how your website strategy is shaping up. Please raise your hand if you already have a company website? And who hasn't got a company website? Who's not put their hand up yet? There's always a few. And… by a show of hands again, who's come along to today to learn how to improve the results they get from their website? Yes/No
  • Great, that means we're all in the right place because today I want to share with you my step-by-step, jargon-free system for setting up a truly effective website that's going to delight your customers. I've had some great results for my clients, in essence, by making sure they really understand what their customers want to do when they come to their site and how customers want to do those things. Then my clients use that information to come up with a winning website strategy for their business. Let's have a look at how I've used this approach to transform the outcomes for 3 very different organisations. Way Out 3
  • Here's an example for the Home Office. I was working on a particular section of their website. And the figures for that section were not good. There were just 16,000 visits a year, that's about 43 visits a day. The site was so bad, so boring and so out of date, visitors had given up with it completely and they only seemed to be going there if they clicked on a link and visited the site by mistake. So I did a little bit of research, looking at why their website was unappealing to visitors. I studied why was it difficult for visitors to find good quality reliable information on the site. I'll share that process with you later on in this presentation. Once I had identified where the customers wanted to change the site for the better, I started working out how to fix the problems. The team I was leading on this had no additional budget available. We just had our time at our disposal. A quick, free fix was the only option. The changes I recommended made the website much more customer friendly, Visitors trusted and valued the information once more. I know this because page views shot up from a meagre 16,000 to massive 8,000,000 a year. There were around 4700 pages on that website, and it took only us just 4 months to turn that site around entirely. I was pretty pleased with that increase - after all Government related information is not known for being a scintillating read, is it? So what does this mean for your business owners? Well, when you publish, clear, relevant, up to date information, many more people visiting your site, your online shop window, will stay and have a good around look at what you're offering. When you're website's poor, customers give your site a casual glance, instantly write you off and click away. But when you encourage visitors to stay on your site and spend some time interacting with it, just like I did with this organisation, there is more opportunity for you to clearly communicate the value of doing business with you. Having these strategies means you'll take your business from strength to strength. Would you like to achieve a success like that? Yes or No? Thank you                    4u
  • Now my second example is going to interest the people who don't relish the prospect of working on their website. Are there a few of those people in the room? Raise your hands and say "Aye". I totally understand that for a lot of people updating your website doesn't appear in your top 100 list of fun things to do in life. Think about this though. A big benefit of focusing on how people want to use your website means you spend a lot less time working on your website. You're not scratching your head, wondering what to do for the best. You're only putting together website content that customers really want to access. You're not wasting time and money creating information no one will ever want to use. You're avoiding building in weaknesses and problems that you have to fix later. You're saving time money and effort by getting it right the first time round. Simply by sketching out my website ideas on paper, and reviewing them with the target audience, I saved Fujitsu £300,000 and shaved three months off the development time. Creating these paper prototypes is a bit like doing some DIY. Have you ever painted a small patch of test colour on a wall to see if you like the result? You do the test patch because you don't want to spend a lot of time and effort painting the whole room with a new colour if you're not absolutely sure you're going to be delighted with the end result beforehand. There's a much lower risk if you check the expected outcome with the test patch first before doing the whole room, isn't there. Do you agree, yes or no? Well it's the same with websites too. Here’s something you might not be aware of. How many of you knew that academic studies in computing have proven it is 100 times cheaper to fix a problem whilst it's still an idea on paper rather than when the live system has been fully coded up. Apply this information to your business and you'll be able to get huge results. Think how much further your website budget will stretch when you're not spending money on features that your customers simply don't want. You're only paying for things that will enhance your website. Can you imagine how great will it be to avoid all the hassle, frustration and annoyance of having to rework your lacklustre website. Imagine how much more confidence you will have when you have tested the outcome beforehand and you are 100% certain that the changes you make will improve your site for you and your visitors. Does that make sound good? Yes or No? Well that's precisely what we're focusing on today - and the great news is this system works in all industries, whatever your website or company size happens to be. You too, like Fujitsu, can have save time and money if you allow me to help you. 100
  • Now, just because these last two examples relate to when I've been working on multi-million pound projects, I don't want you to think that you have to be a household name online to benefit from the steps I'm sharing with you today. Here's an example of a small business, a start up in fact. This is the story of someone who has built her entire offline business purely by getting revenue through her website. Her name is Jane Akshar and she has grown her business by 420% though online sales alone. Let me ask you a question - what would it be worth to you if you could increase your business by 420%, just by creating a great website for your customers? Now before I share Jane's story with you, I think it's important to tell you that Jane cannot make any changes to her website herself at all. She hates computers with a passion. If she was here right now, she'd tell you her IT skills broadly stretch to managing facebook updates and keep on top of reading emails and the occasional blog post and that's about it. Are you interested in learning the how Jane achieved these results? Do you want to achieve this outcome for your business? Raise your hand and say "AYE". Achieve I
  • Jane's story really starts when she decided it was time for a major change in her life. Unfortunately, Jane was widowed in her early fifties, and she decided at this point she wanted to follow her dream, which was living in Egypt. When she was in the process of setting up her holiday rental business, Jane asked me to help her with her website - as I explained before she is a real technophobe and she knew I would be able to help her launch her new business onto the global marketplace via the internet. Whilst we researched what potential customers wanted from Jane's website, she quit her job and sold her house you can see here in Swyncombe Avenue, Ealing. When she left for Egypt, she had a website that really appealed to her target market - namely people who want to visit Egypt independently, and find an alternative staying in a chain hotel and doing the usual touristy things.
  • To create a strong rapport with this sort of traveller, on her website, Jane explained about her long-term interest and in-depth knowledge about Egypt, it's culture and its history. She wrote in detail about excursions she would lead to well known and lesser known archaeological sites in the Luxor area. Jane gave floor plans of the 4 new flats she had built. She provided a comprehensive list of facilities for each one. She published plenty of photos of the inside and the outside of the flats. The flats looked spacious and well presented, without looking like the Luxor Hilton. You can see some of Jane's photos here. Also, you can see her here accompanying a big group of guests at her favourite roof-top restaurant in Luxor. She clearly explained the guests arrival would be hassle-free - they just need to let Jane know when their flight lands and they will be picked up from Luxor airport and brought directly to their flat, with a welcome basket filled with local Egyptian style goodies waiting for them. She made it easy for customers to see when the flats had vacancies by providing an easy-to-browse month by month calendar showing when each flats was free. After picking a flat and choosing some dates, guests could make a booking online there and then. So you can see, Jane ensured her website was highly customer-focused. Everything was done to build rapport and make sure guests had all the information they needed to make a confident booking with her for the type of holiday they were interested in. All she had to do then was to promote the website, which she did by getting it listed in publications like the Lonely Planet and other online travel directories where her customers would be looking for an off the beaten track holiday. After taking such a big risk to change almost every aspect of her life, Jane was rewarded with a steadily increasing stream of guests - all of whom discovered her through her website.
  • Because Jane paid attention to what her customers really wanted to know before staying, her bookings have gone from strength to strength enabling her to build another 17 properties in Luxor. Jane has achieved this success by committing herself to make sure that the strengths, qualities and ethics of her real-world business successfully transferred across to her website clearly and effectively. I have shared Jane's story with you specifically to show you that you don't need to be a computer whiz to have these sort of results with your website. You don’t need a massive budget. You don’t need an army of programmers and developers constantly beavering away on your site. What you do need is the ability to commit to doing some research into what your customers really want from you online, then giving it to them. Does that make sense? Yes or No Team. Let's see what Jane says about what it felt like to follow my approach as a technophobic website owner.
  • The advice Colette gave me about making our website customer-friendly has been invaluable. If you are passionate about how great your business is and you're passionate about creating a strong relationship with your online customers, follow everything Colette tells you to do in her Website Success System. It works! Jane Akshar, Director, Flats in Luxor.                  
  • By now you're probably wondering what the website Success system is all about and how it’s going to help you - so let's have a look.
  • Quite simply, it changes your thinking and that's critical because for a staggering 95% of businesses, their websites are a black hole, eating up time, money and enthusiasm - there is just no return on investment whatsoever, however you look at it. Do you find it frustrating that no matter how much effort you put in, your website doesn’t bring in the rewards you hoped for? Yes or no? In my experience, most website owners get bogged down thinking about the technology side of website, or they think about what they want to publish, rather than discovering precisely what people want to access on their website. One of the big problems with only publishing information from your perspective is that your website becomes the equivalent of the "crashing bore" at the party. That irritating person who rambles on and on and on about themselves and doesn't attempt to engage in conversation with the other party goers. If you've been with someone like that, have you ever finished up your drink really quickly and made an excuse about getting a refill just so you can get away from them? Yes or no? The same thing happens online, if your website comes across as "Stop what you’re doing and listen to me!", visitors make a hasty retreat back to the search results looking for something more enjoyable to visit. By now, it should be becoming clear you need to make sure you focus on what customers if you're going to succeed online and join the 5% of businesses with effective websites.
  • When I meet businesses at the Chamber of Commerce networking events for example, I am very impressed with what attendees tell me about themselves and their business. We'll swap business cards. But sadly when I get back to the office and check out their website, it's like a Jekyll and Hyde situation - the way the business is presented online bares next to no resemblance to the offline business. The level of professionalism and integrity they shared with me face to face, just didn't get communicated via their website. Countless times I have thought, if I had seen the website first and not spoken the person, there is no way I would buy or recommend any of their products and services. Ever! For these people, their website is more of a liability than an asset to their business. Who else feels like that? That your website doesn't do your company "justice". That your website is a more like a liability? Could I have a show of hands please. It's not surprising many people struggle with their website strategy because no one gives them any training in how to communicate and conduct their business online. It's not like a CV where you get shown a basic blueprint as school kid, that you can use for inspiration in later life. You've probably never been given and impartial advice and guidance on what to do online. Until today. Like your CV, I see your website is another critical piece of information that influences you future, your destiny, yet most people are left in the dark about how to get the most from it. There's no wonder a lot of people feel daunted. CV
  • So what are you aiming for when you want to improve your website? How do you know it's customer friendly. What's the litmus test you apply? Well, in essence, customer friendly websites have the following characteristics. They are clear, relevant, interesting, useful and easy to use. Think about good quality websites like the BBC, visiting a site like that is so easy and intuitive. It's so straight-forward, you can just focus on the information and news that the site shares with you. You can navigate with ease. There are no big animations you have to sit through before you can read the news story. You're not bombarded with popup windows you have to close. There's nothing in the way to stop you doing what you want to do when you visit. Did you know the BBC values being customer friendly so much that it has a dedicated group of people within their website team and all they do all day long is make ensure visitors find their website easy and rewarding to use.
  • If it's OK with you I'd like tell you a bit about myself and my background and how I learned to develop this new strategy, this new mindset to solve website problems, and how I ended up being an advisor on these big website projects.
  • This was my first PC and this was where it all began. Who remembers one of these early home computers? A few of you. This is a ZX81, and I got one of these for my 12 th Birthday. I was pretty lucky, because this was a great opportunity for me to get into computers from an early age. I realised recently that next week, I will have I've been using computers almost every day for 29 years now. For me, this little black box was amazing. Most of all, being a kid, I liked that I could entertain myself playing computer games. I could learn new skills and knowledge - and have fun in the process. I could learn about using a computer to come up with answers to questions, like calculating the square root of a number - for some reason I got a kick out of that - I'm not into working out square roots so much these days you'll probably be relieved to hear. There was only one thing I disliked about this computer. Just one thing that was wrong with it as a customer. The connection between the computer and this extra memory pack was a bit temperamental, and if you knocked your knee against the table leg by mistake, the computer would wobble, the connection would break for a split second, and I'd see all my work vanish in an instant. Who here has had something like that happen when you've been using a computer and you end up losing some important work and getting pretty cheesed off about wasting your time? Raise your hand and say "Aye"? Yes. It's really frustrating, isn't it! So I had to come up with a fix. I didn't want to get part way through doing something on my computer and then have to start over, through no fault of my own. So what I did was I got some blu-tack and used it to stop the wobbling..I just added a small strip of it between the computer and this rampack to keep everything in place. Hey presto, problem solved! So let's think about at this - did I improve my enjoyment of my ZX81 by making sure I didn't sporadically lose hours of work any more? Yes or no team? And was that bit of blu-tack a simple, cheap, quick low-tech solution to my problem? Yes or no? And, would you agree that in 29 years I have probably developed more skills and experience, and found many more quick, easy and creative ways to make doing things with computers more enjoyable. Yes or no? You bet. OK, back to my story. As I was having so much fun learning about computers, in 1984, my parents got another PC - a Commodore 64 - which a staggering 4 times more powerful that the ZX81 - it even had the luxury of a colour display and real push-button keys! 29
  • When the commodore 64 came along, software houses had just started to create applications for the home and small business markets, like spreadsheets and word-processors. At that time, when I around 14/15 years old, I was doing some packing work for a local business at weekends to make a bit of extra money. When I went to the warehouse I could see they were doing lots of repetitive work on paper, so I asked if I could computerise their records and luckily for me, they thought that was a good idea. And so that's what I did for them. I managed their customer lists with the word-processer and their on-hand stock in a spreadsheet. I learned a valuable lesson when I had that job. That lesson was that good quality information and easy to follow processes can bring about big benefits for businesses. I left for university in 1987 and I continued to use computers on a daily basis. I spent far too much time playing an early text based version of a game similar to World of Warcraft called MUDD. I had a lot of fun sending emails to students on the other side of the world, using something called JANET, the Joint Academic Network, which was a precursor to the Internet we have today. Sometimes I even used a word-processor to do some course work for my economics degree  After leaving University, I decided go into computing and 1996 I set up my own freelance IT support business. And of course, I needed a website to promote that business. To be honest with you, I put that first site together mainly because people might have "Guessed" my company url from my email address and I didn't want a blank page coming up if they did that because I figured that would look bad. Who here's built a website purely for that reason, in case someone guessed your web address? Hands up, be honest! Knowing what I know now, there is no wonder that first site was an utter failure!
  • This is a representation of my first site. Can you believe I had dancing tomatoes and a dog running across the screen on my business website? Well it's true I did! How I thought adding a dancing tomato could ever be a clincher for a business deal, I still don't know to this day. Looking back, it's clear I added that image purely because I wanted to see if I could add animated images to a website, not because it added any value to my website content. I'm curious. Hands up if you've ever thought "I don’t know about you, but right now I really want to go to a website contact us page to look at some animated envelopes going into a post box" Not many hands there….right Hands up if you think that prominent textured background on this slide is making the text more difficult for visitors to read? Yes or no. Yes, clearly, it's making it awkward than the plain white background I was using before. And again, the only reason why I added that textured background to my first website was because I could. I think everyone has a bad website at some point in their online history - this is because there's so much to learn up front, with technology, picking up some hosting, dwelling on domain names, worrying about what you need to tell people on your site, and lots of other unknowns. There's no wonder that you end up taking your eye off the ball - those all important needs of your customers. The point I am making is it's OK if you've got a bad website. You won't always have a bad website. You've made a start, and you can improve it by following the steps am going to share with you today. And if you haven't got a website - well the good news is, well, you've got fewer problems to fix  Just so highlight this, let me show you the BBCs website back in 1997, that had a similar problem
  • Compared with how the BBC website is put together now, you can see here that the BBC clearly wasn't designing their for their customers in the same way they do today. There's some rather cryptic navigation, and the only content in the main part of the home page is the BBC logo. I think the BBC went online around 1995/1996 , but unfortunately they didn't keep a record of their very first website - I would have really liked to have seen that - how about you? 1996
  • Between 1996 and 1998, I spent 2 whole years of working through a massive pile of website books I got from Amazon. I think I must have been Amazon's best customer for those years Fortunately, for me and arguably the rest of cyberspace too, my efforts paid off and my website skills improved. For the next 6 years I secure a series of contracts working on big websites - some of which you might have heard of - the baldness treatment product Regaine was one and Number 10's website was another. During that time, I learned some more things about websites that weren't immediately obvious to me before that. Firstly, quite often I was asked to build things visitors just didn’t want to use. Usually, this happened because managers thought something was a good idea and needed to be added to the site, without checking that customers really wanted it adding. Secondly, as soon as another website revamp was completed, the managers often proposed a another raft of major changes and enhancements that needed making to patch the site up and make it more effective - All the expensive reworking, hiccups and delays were really frustrating for the business and the developers alike. What's more. visitors had had to keep familiarising themselves with the constant stream of changes and restructures. That's really annoying for customers - you've probably experienced something similar to this when you've been to your favourite supermarket and they have decided to have a bit of a reshuffle, and something you regularly buy isn't shelved where it used to be in the past and you have to waste time hunting around for it. Do these type of things that cause frustration sound familiar? Yes or no. Personally, for me, this stage in my IT career wasn't always fun. I got quite drained constantly trying to patch up websites based on poor quality information and poor long-term decision-making. I felt there just had to be a better way to put a good quality website together - working like this was pretty soul-destroying for all concerned! 10
  • Fortunately 2004 was when I first discovered the benefits of designing websites around the needs of the visitors. I was lucky enough to work with someone who had worked on the BBC website for several years and she shared the success strategies the BBC used with me. Stacey introduced me to a fantastic book about "usability". By the way, "usability" is the official name for what we're talking about here today, in case that's a new term for you. This book, Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think was so good, I read in a single session. It taught me how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of company websites, and not as a programmer, but rather as a regular person applying some "common sense" to websites and how customers wanted to use them. It’s on Amazon if you want to invest in a copy. I felt the potential of this "common sense" approach was amazing - and what was really exciting for me was that I instantly saw that by applying what this book had taught me would dramatically increase website quality and better still, I would avoided all that tedious reworking and pointless iterations trying to get a poor site to work a marginally better. Websites updates would be guaranteed to work much more effectively for the business right from the start. Another thing that surprised me about this book was that this idea of building websites the customers find easy and rewarding to use never appeared in any of those programming textbooks I'd read. None of my programmer friends had been exposed to this idea either - and to this day, quite a lot of techies simply don't see things this way. This is because computer geeks have very different values and beliefs when it comes to IT because they find computers easy. If they do meet a technical challenge, they enjoy being tested and are curious, enthusiastic and driven, even, to find solutions to any IT problems in their way. Of course customers have a radically different viewpoint to geeks they and haven't got any patience when IT hassles stop them doing what they want to do. More often or not, they will just give up and go to another website and try their luck there instead. As soon I had this "light bulb" moment that it's critical to have genuine empathy with website visitors, I started applying these principles to that part of the Home Office website I was working on, to see if I really could make a website more appealing. And guess, as I alluded to at the start - page views went up from 16,000 to 8 million.
  • To be honest, after I got those results, the potential of this new idea had me utterly hooked! I decided to find out more about this idea of putting the customer first in the design process. I read over 40 books on the psychology of computing, website design, human factors, human-computer interaction, technical authoring and communication, information architecture, interaction design, and more. All these new skills, techniques, opportunities. Well I'd never heard of until then. Now I was hungry to learn them all. Speaking personally, I found this information utterly fascinating. It solved a lot of the major problems poor websites were causing for the business that owned them at a stroke. As a result of picking up lots more knowledge and skills in this area, I worked my way right to the top of my industry, mentoring companies like Fujitsu, the Post Office and ITV, specifically to advise them on how to have a customer-friendly websites strategy. Two of the biggest projects ran into hundreds of millions of pounds and were some of the biggest, most high-profile IT projects in Europe. Even the slightest mistake with projects of this scale would have caused severe, long term, expensive consequences. So if these big companies trusted me and my system with their projects, do you think it's ok for you to see if my system makes a difference to your website strategy too? Yes or no team? Thanks for that vote of confidence. Who would like a copy of this book right this minute - now's the time show me you really want to improve your website. I always reward the people who take action. Get up out of your seats, wave, jump about - whatever it takes to make me see you. OK , here you go, it's yours. What's your name. Give X a hand there. And congratulations for taking a step towards a brighter future one.
  • After doing all that work with several big players, I've now decided to help more businesses with their website because it's clear the traditional, commonplace 2 step system most of small business follow doesn't serve them well. Here's how the 2 step system works. I wonder if anyone in this room is going to admit to following the 2 step system? Let's see.
  • In the two step system, step 1 is a lively meeting, where it's decided that something needs to be done about the website. This is either because the site doesn't exist yet or the current one is floundering and isn't bringing in enough business. The managers worry that potential business is being lost to competitors, particularly online competitors. At the end of the meeting, the group volunteers someone to accept the ominous action point to "take the website forward". After a couple of days investigating all the things that need doing, the person with the action point usually looks something like this….
  • Unfortunately, because very few people have been trained in how to put together a good quality website, it's very easy to feel very overwhelmed. I think when you haven't got the blueprint to follow, like you have with a CV for example, it's difficult to know where to start. It's easy to get blinkered and bewildered about the IT side of things, the heavy realisation of the amount of effort you assume needs to go into creating quality website content, plus the eye-watering cost of getting in expert help if feel you cant do some things on your own. When someone's in this mindset, you can see how easy it is for the customers needs to entirely get squeezed out of the plan just because there's so much going on in their minds already . This is the biggest reason why I think most business websites strategies fall at the first fence. In this situation, the person who got the action point will be sorely tempted to find a low-price external website company to deal with everything for them as quickly as possible. When you're in this situation, it's becomes irresistible to dump all the work on that external company instead and hope they fix-up a great site for you. Can I just have a show of hands - does this situation seem familiar for any of you? Thank you for your honesty. Now let's have a look at the outcome of this approach - what tends to happen next.
  • Your low-price external website company is only really being paid enough to come up with a generic solution for you, and this is what fundamentally undermines your chance of success. Let's imagine you pay £500 for your website. By the time the website company pays its overheads, maybe 40% of your fee is eaten up even before any website work gets done. That only leaves say £300 to come up with the design, to put in the words, add some product images and add some basic functionality to create a good quality website - quite a tall order, I think you'll agree when you take into account how much skilled people cost per hour. Another crucial thing to bear in mind that affects your level of success is that generally, the website company is not paid on results. As long as they fulfil the contractual minimum, then they get paid. Great for them, but you'll be left left with a dull, formulaic, lacklustre website that might look passable at first glance, but fails to create the right rapport with customers, so it doesn't generate any new business. The right chemistry you need to being about more online sales and leads is missing. Imagine how different Jane's story would be if she took this approach. All her knowledge and passion about Egypt probably wouldn't have made it into the final cut of the website. I am not saying don't get expert help where you need it, by all means get help with the technical side of things if you need it. What I am saying is be careful you're paying for a website your customers will find rewarding to visit and will encourage them to do business with you - not a "one size fits all" site. Otherwise your wasting your time and money. It's never going to work. I think of this scenario as a nightmarish game of Chinese whispers. You need to connect with your customers online, to share you unique knowledge of your market and your products and services, but all that great information you have at you disposal, is either getting watered down or filtered out by website companies building bland, run of the mill websites customers loathe.
  • What you need to do is apply an easy to follow system that helps you gather that unique knowledge about you business and organise it it in a usable format that can get put to good use for your customers. You need to take responsibility for your online future. Let's think back to Jane's story about her Egyptian flats - if you remember, Jane is unable to make any website changes, but she's learned how to explain what her wsite needs to do for her customers and her business to her website company. If you rely on an external business to take control of your website it is highly unlikely they will spend sufficient time thinking about your typical customers and how the website needs to work - for them. Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not knocking website companies here. They are in an awkward position. Because of the low-margins when it comes to websites these days, website companies have tended not to invest in any usability training or offer any usability services to their clients because, truthfully, a lot of smaller companies don't believe their website will bring in a good return on investment, so they want to do their website on the cheap. They certainly don't want to pay for any research into customers needs, because most businesses don't know the benefits of that yet and how it boosts your bottom line. But now you're starting to think differently, right? Yes or no. The good thing is that all the research steps to make your site customer friendly using my system are not expensive. In fact it's better than that. They are totally free and easy to follow - they just take up a little bit of your time to complete - that's all. The beauty of applying my system, then committing to take responsibility, explaining what you want to happen online like Jane did, you can keep tight control of your costs, put together a clear, effective plan for your site, then get some help with the technical side of things at the end. This way, you end up with a customer-focused website without paying a fortune and the website company gets a better quality site to showcase in their portfolio. It's a win-win situation for both of you. Research
  • So far we've spent some time there looking at some of the problems that can sneak up behind you when you're putting your website together, placing you in the 95% group of businesses with an ineffective website. Now we're all up to speed with what can go wrong and why, I'm going to go through my Website Success System steps with you, so you can see the approach I take for my clients. My clients have found this system invaluable. Because of the time and money saved, they are happy to pay me well over £10,000 every single time I have run though this system with them an applied it to their website projects. Now spending £10,000 might seem a lot, but from my clients perspective, if I can save them £300,000 like I did with Fujitsu, then it becomes a no-brainer to invest in my help because it provides a great return on investment. Let's have a quick show of hands, if I could show you my way to improve your website for the better, for free, would it make a small or big difference? Who thinks small? Who things big? Now I'm not telling you about these big project successes to impress you, but to rather to impress upon you what you are capable of when you put your mind to it. So, the great news is you're getting my system today for absolutely nothing - completely free - you just need to commit to giving it a try in your business. I am going to fill you with a furious curiosity today and show you how to transform working on your website from being mundane to becoming an adventure - all you need to do is commit. What do you need to do, gang? Yes That's right, you have to commit.
  • Now I know I have said a lot so far about how important it is to meet your customer's needs with your website - but that doesn't mean you should entirely forget your business goals as you go through this process either. You need to have a happy medium. You're not building your website for the good of your health, right? You're building it to boost your business. In my view, the key to having a good quality website from your perspective is to have a clear idea about what your online goals really are. Here's a quote for you, "In life, as in football, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are…" Does that make sense team, Yes or No? Great Now, you don't have to meet all your website goals in a big-bang approach. You can change things over time too - as long as you have clear goals in mind. Usually, because I'm often brought in when things are going very wrong for a business, I tend to prefer a big bang change the first time round - with the obvious benefit being that I can fix a lot of the big problems quickly and minimise the disruption and inconvenience to visitors. You remember that story I mentioned about how annoying it is when supermarkets change their products around and put them on different aisles, well I'm always seeking to minimise that feeling for online customers too, so really I only want to do big changes once. Then It's OK to apply smaller fixes and enhancements over time, that's not a problem. Now let's have a look at how I keep track of the business goals to make sure nothing's accidentally omitted from the website strategy.
  • Next, I want you to fill in these words in your grid. In a moment, I am going to share with you some website goals and you can add write them in vertically in your goals row. And if you could look up again once you've added these labels so I know when to move on to the goals list, I'd appreciate it. Thanks Is Everyone ready? Great.
  • I'll apologise now for this slide being a bit wordy. Please don't shoot me! This is really important information that will help you, and I had to share it with you. You're welcome to take a photo of this slide with your mobile phone if you like, if it makes it easier for you to make a note of these. So this is a list of some common website goals that businesses tend to have - In your goals row on your grid, please jot down up to 5 of these goals. The ones you think are most important for your business. You can always add in more columns later, there's no set limit to the number of goals you want to work on, I've just picked 5 today to save time. Again, if you would be kind enough to look up so I know when you're ready for the next bit. Thanks.
  • Next we want to assess how well you're meeting those goals of yours. For each goal you can shade in one of the status boxes depending on how well you're meeting the goal. Shade in yes, if your happy with how your website is performing in that area. Shade in partially if you've made a start at meeting that goal but it needs refining to reach your target. Choose no if you've attempted that goal, but there you're not meeting it at all Finally, fill in never added if you've not attempted or considered that goal yet but it looked really cool in my list you just had to write it down. Now, this isn't an exact science. Occasionally, you have to use your judgement and instinct to choose the right status. Sometimes you'll have detailed information to act on, for example you'll know if you have or haven't received your target of 200 email enquires from the site during a particular month. Other times, if you're assessing subjective goals like strategies to build credibility, that will have to be based more on gut-feel, rather than anything specific you can easily measure statistically. I have got some techniques to measure subjective goals within your customers, but we'll have to leave that for another day. The main thing is, with this goals grid you have something to keep track of your website's performance - you're not taking your eye off the ball and missing the bigger pictures covering profitability and effectiveness. The good thing is that you just need to maintain this information in a basic spreadsheet and keep monitoring your progress. I'm just wondering, hands up, if you feel comfortable using Excel to keep track of a simple diagram like this. Great that's quite a few of you. 200
  • Now. Remember, if we spend a lot of our time focusing on our website goals like this, it could be easy to end up back at square one and accidentally lose sight of what your customers preferences are. Here's an exercise I've specifically designed to help keep things in perspective, to keep that balance. These web research exercises help you understand more about your online customers and how to make your website appeal to them. So what I'd like you to do is to spend some time, maybe 10-15 minutes a day, looking at websites that are most definitely not customer-friendly and there's an easy and fun way to do this. Visit There are plenty of examples of websites that have been nominated as being exceptionally bad. There's often a "lively" discussion to accompany the each website listed, focusing on what website owner got wrong, and you can learn a lot from those comments. You can clearly discover how certain parts of a website can have an adverse effect on the visitor and what they think and feel about that site and ultimately, the organisation behind it. On this site, there's also a checklist of covering over 100 things you shouldn't have on your website - so you can give your site a free informal health check with that list if you want to. I really recommend you run through that list. It’s a very valuable exercise. Now I think it's often easier to learn good design by looking bad design. And why is that? Well if there was a way to build a "good website" that worked in all situations for all businesses, someone would have written about it by now and it would be a number 1 best seller on Amazon. Sadly there's no such thing as the perfect website, so we need to spend some time looking at why certain website strategies, content and features just don't work and make sure we don't follow those. To help you develop your insight into what works online and what doesn't, when you're doing your search, I'd like you to think aloud as you explore and interact with the websites. Pay attention to how you explain the decisions, assumptions and choices your making as you explore each site. Here's some examples of 2 sites featured on I think you'll find them interesting -- brace yourself for this first one - it's something very special!
  • This site has to be seen to be believed! My first out loud thought might be "wooah, what is going on here. What can you possibly do here? Have they ever visited another website on the internet? Is this for real or a joke?" If you do visit this site the "stripy deckchair" background is actually animated and continuously scrolls to the right. There are some delightful flapping birds that fly over the text and obscure the words, and for added sizzle, a small black cat paces around these 3D arches. This is a pretty extreme example. But it does provide some interesting learning points for us right away. Firstly, don't add animations and other sizzley stuff just because you can - only add animation if it helps the visitor understand something. For example a website for a garden centre might have an animation showing how a underwater pond pump works and how it's installed - that would make sense. It would help someone decide if that product was right for their needs. But on this website, these animations don't clarify the ideas in the content and they create what I shall politely call a poor "user experience". Secondly, here's another example where a distracting background makes the site difficult to use and the text awkward to read - just like my stunning textured background for my first website. Have a quick think…Does your website use a textured or a plain background? Is your choice of background making it difficult or easy for customers to read your information. Remember, every time you include something that makes your website difficult to use, the more attractive your competitors websites become to your customers….. After you've seen this example, have I fired up you curiosity to see what else is on and what to explore you can learn from the nominees? Yes or no? Who doesn’t feel so bad about their website after they've seen this one? Let's have a show of hands.
  • Here's another example. This time the website looks more professional at face value. Unfortunately, it's slow, clunky and confusing to use. This is a website that's supposed to help people find pizza delivery outlets and see what all the different types of pizza that are available for order. Unfortunately, the quirkiness of the site design is working against it. As a visitor, you have to spend some time and effort just working out how to use the site, before you can make critical buying decisions about your favourite pizza topping and is there a local store who can deliver to your house. You should never expect a customer to want to "learn" how to use your site - because guess what - they won't bother, they'll just go back to the search engine again. So be aware, just because a website might look professional at first glance, it can still miss the point in the eyes of the customer and still end up annoying them. When you visit some of the sites on, why not try to do some things customers typically want to do online…. like find the contact form, or review some product details and price information for one of the goods and services they're hoping to sell. Pay attention to how you feel when you explore these bad sites. Do you get frustrated, confused or bored at any point - when you feel these emotions, it's a sign the website owner has made a mistake - so make a mental note of that. Are you starting to become more aware about why these website owners have created problems for their visitors? Yes or no. Great Who thinks looking round could be good fun? Yes or no. Are you finding this useful information you can apply to your circumstances? Yes or no. Thank you.
  • So when we've spent some time hanging out at websites that have problems, and learning from their mistakes, it's a good idea to visit some good quality websites too. This gives you the opportunity to compare and contrast your experiences between sites that boost business and sites that don't. I'd like you to visit 5 of your favourite websites and think about what it is you like about them. When you're there, ask yourself what you're doing and why? How do you go about achieving what you want to do on the website? How do you know how to use the site effectively? What is about how the website is organised and how you can use it that makes your visit rewarding? The good news is, when you've done these exercises, you'll be in a much stronger position to judge how customer-friendly your current website is. Before we move on to step 2, true or false - nothing we've done so far involves specialised website skills like bring an HTML guru, a graphic design genius or being a great writer? True or false? That's right, what I am doing for you here is to take the computing skills you already, like typing things into spreadsheets and browsing the internet, and show you how to apply them in a new, creative way to enable you to plan your website effectively.. bad good 5
  • Now we’ve completed step 1, we've got the foundations in place. We've started to rethink how to put together a good business website. As we progress to step 2 it's time to concentrate more on the specifics of how we determine what your website needs to do for your customers, and how we do that with confidence, clarity and certainty. A quick and easy way to do this is to spend just a few hours doing a little bit of detective work to help you make some good decisions about improving your website.
  • If you're going to make your website truly customer-friendly, you need to identify the type or types of person who are visiting your site and how they want to interact with your business online. I'd like to share a bit of advice with you on the subject of customer profiling. Depending on your market there might be than one type of customer visiting your site - for example I did some work for a fireplace company and their customers fell into 3 core types - home owners, interior designers and property developers, so make sure you've not left out any of your key customers types as you do your research. Remember, the more accurately you understand your customers, the easier it is to build a website they want to visit - Promise me you won't skimp on this stage! Do you promise? Great.
  • So we've got another important step in the system here. Please write this down. Schedule some informal interviews with 3-5 people - either existing customers or people within your target market. The interviews don't need to be very long - 30-60 minutes is usually plenty. Now what do I mean by an informal interview? Let me show you a video of one of my interviews.
  • So what do you need to ask to get the most out of the interview sessions. How do you need to word your questions? Well. The key things we want to know are *why* do our participants want to visit your website? What information are they looking for. What activities do they want to achieve? How do they want to interact with your website once they get there? How should it be laid out or organised? How do they want it to work to make it easy to do things? So, simply ask your interviewee "What do you want to do or achieve when you visit our website" and then pay close attention to what they say. Typically they will want to buy something, research something about your business or your products and services, or they might want to contact you. I like to follow that up with a more open question - how do you find doing that on our website. Does our site make it relatively easy or difficult for you to do that? The answers you get to this question reveal detailed frustrations customers have about your website. It also makes it clear that you're evaluating your website. Never run your interviews like you're putting your participant on the spot to check how good their IT skills are. Remember when we do the interviews, we're are always testing the system, not our participants. What are we testing, guys? That's right the system. I want you to take accurate notes of everything you're told by your participants, better still keep an audio recording or a video recording of the session so you can refer to it later. I always use video for my clients.
  • Another thing you can do during your session is to ask the person to use your website to do something and watch them as they do it, to see how they get on. We're looking to see if they get confused at any point? Do they make mistakes? If they do make an error is it a simple mistake they can recover from or a showstopper? Do they struggle at any point in the scenario for some reason? It's a good idea to ask the person to think aloud as they have a go at the scenarios you've asked them to attempt - you can find out a lot about the person's thoughts and feelings about your website by prompting your participant to do this, just like you learned a lot from yourself thinking aloud in step 1. Also pay attention to things like your participant's facial expressions. You can spot how hard someone is having to concentrate to complete something by looking at their body language. Sometimes people want to cover up they struggled, either because they want to save face and not look "stupid" or they want to avoid hurting your feelings about bad bits of the website. So here are some sample scenarios you could use: " Use this site to …" make an enquiry about a product print out our address and our map book an appointment find out how many different types of XYZ we stock Again you can follow that up with two very effective questions. Start with "On a scale of 1-10, how did you think that scenario went?" Then for example follow up with "You gave the site a 6 for that scenario. If you were to give the website a 10 for that scenario, what would it need to do differently" - This is a very effective way to reveal bits you got wrong on your website and how to fix them for customers. In the past when I've been running a scenario I've had participants look like they've been to hell and back to complete it. A real white knuckle-ride. When I ask them to rate the scenario where "1 is going to mean dreadful and 10 is delightful " and they smile at me and say "10/10, I loved doing that" just because they don't want to hurt my feelings, but from their body language I can tell they didn’t like it. If that happens, I might carefully remind them of some problems I saw during the scenario, and explain that the goal of the interview is to identify how to make the website work really well for all visitors in future, and then ask them if they want to re-assess the score they gave. Would you agree these questions are going to give you some good quality information that you need to make good quality decisions about the future direction of your website? Yes or no team? Are you still learning valuable information? Yes or no? Thanks
  • Another thing you can do during your session is to ask the person to use your website to do something and watch them as they do it, to see how they get on. We're looking to see if they get confused at any point? Do they make mistakes? If they do make an error is it a simple mistake they can recover from or a showstopper? Do they struggle at any point in the scenario for some reason? It's a good idea to ask the person to think aloud as they have a go at the scenarios you've asked them to attempt - you can find out a lot about the person's thoughts and feelings about your website by prompting your participant to do this, just like you learned a lot from yourself thinking aloud in step 1. Also pay attention to things like your participant's facial expressions. You can spot how hard someone is having to concentrate to complete something by looking at their body language. Sometimes people want to cover up they struggled, either because they want to save face and not look "stupid" or they want to avoid hurting your feelings about bad bits of the website. So here are some sample scenarios you could use: " Use this site to …" make an enquiry about a product print out our address and our map book an appointment find out how many different types of XYZ we stock Again you can follow that up with two very effective questions. Start with "On a scale of 1-10, how did you think that scenario went?" Then for example follow up with "You gave the site a 6 for that scenario. If you were to give the website a 10 for that scenario, what would it need to do differently" - This is a very effective way to reveal bits you got wrong on your website and how to fix them for customers. In the past when I've been running a scenario I've had participants look like they've been to hell and back to complete it. A real white knuckle-ride. When I ask them to rate the scenario where "1 is going to mean dreadful and 10 is delightful " and they smile at me and say "10/10, I loved doing that" just because they don't want to hurt my feelings, but from their body language I can tell they didn’t like it. If that happens, I might carefully remind them of some problems I saw during the scenario, and explain that the goal of the interview is to identify how to make the website work really well for all visitors in future, and then ask them if they want to re-assess the score they gave. Would you agree these questions are going to give you some good quality information that you need to make good quality decisions about the future direction of your website? Yes or no team? Are you still learning valuable information? Yes or no? Thanks
  • Here's some more great questions. I'd like to cover a few general questions I ask at the end of an interview, when the participant is feeling relaxed and has had plenty of time to explore the website. I call these the gold dust questions, because they have been 3 of the most effective questions I have ever asked for my clients. I've used these on every usability study I've ever done. Let's look at them: Ask them to tell you 3 things they like about your website (i.e you're identifying what works) so they might say they found the checkout process was quick and easy for example Ask them to tell you 3 things they dislike about your website (…so you find out what's not working) - here they might mention they thought the homepage was cluttered and felt busy. Finally Would they add, remove or change anything to improve your website to make it better and making visiting it more worthwhile? Let's stop and think for a minute. When you've seen 5 participants, and they all give you 3 good bits of feedback about your site that's 15 things you can congratulate yourself about. 15 things you've got right. This helps keep you motivated. It boosts your confidence and enthusiasm. It also helps if you need to secure an internal budget for any website changes. You've got some positive comments from real customers to show the budget holder there are some good aspects to your website you want to build on, and it's not all doom and gloom. Also, you'll have 15 things that customers dislike - so you can commit to removing or resolving these weaknesses, again boosting your website effectiveness with absolute confidence. Say goodbye to guesswork. Another benefit to this is it's sometimes easier to motivate yourself to do something because it improves the experience for someone else - like when you feel motivated to put some effort into a cooking a special menu for dinner party rather than knocking up beans on toast. You're motivated because you want your friends to feel valued. You want them to have a fun, memorable evening. You might find it helpful to think about your website enhancements in this light too. Here's a question for you. Hands up if you've been on a well known website, an a survey form pops up asking for feedback on how your visit went. Now you know why they do that. They want to know where customers think the site is succeeding or failing so they can make it better. Can you see, gathering this information is exactly what you need to be able to improve your website with real confidence? Yes or no Team? I've got one more suggestion for you, something you can ask before you end your interview.
  • If you've got some time left, I recommend you ask some questions about the participant and their background. Perhaps their job? How they feel about computers? Do they surf the internet at home or at work? What do they do with their leisure time. This helps put their comments in context and helps you see them as rounded people, and not just a one dimensional person who gave some feedback on your website. Remember the more accurately you can model your customers and their thoughts, feelings and preferences, the easier it is to gather all the information you need to plan a great website for your business. Before you close the session, it's helpful to ask the person if they'd like to help you in future too, because sometimes you'll want to double-check you've reached the right conclusions once you've done all your research. For example, it's not uncommon to get a flash of inspiration in step 3 to include somethin the customers might not have mentioned it, but you suspect they may like. Here’s another tip. Depending on the budget available I'll give the person a small gift to say thanks for taking part - it encourages them to help me in future when you want to do more studies for one thing. I'll also give each interviewee a thank you card so they have something to take back with them to the office or their home, in case it encourages their friends, family or colleagues to participate in one of my future sessions. In my opinion, people genuinely enjoy taking part in these studies because for most people it's a completely new experience for them. What’s more, people enjoy being asked their opinion and really like seeing someone else truly value those opinions. To make this process easy for me, I've got a set of around 50 tried and tested survey questions I can pick and chose from, so I can set up tailored interview questions in as little as an hour. So remember to keep a copy of your interview plans so you can tweak them in future rather have to start again each time. A lot of businesses want to squirm out of this step, but I consider it to be the most critical aspect of the whole process. If you’re a bit nervous and not too sure this is for you, practice running a session with a friend first, and you'll find you'll quickly relax once you get started. Why not ask the person sat next to you if you'd like to role-play a practice session so you can both have a go at being interviewer and interviewee?
  • Here's another one of my template forms I want to share with you. Please sketch out this grid as it is a key part of steps 2 and 3 of the website success system. This grid is used to store the information we gather from our interviewees. It's called a persona or user profiling form and it helps us record an overview of what we have learned from that participant. This is a similar technique to one used by writers - They refer back to a profile like this to remind themselves about the characters in their plot as it evolves. This means before they put a lot of effort in to create a particular scene or chapter in the plot, the author can quickly refresh their memories about the character they're describing to ensure what they're doing it's in keeping with the rest of the book. Your persona forms perform the same job for you as you work on improving your website - it keeps you on track and makes sure you not tempted to include things over time that you think would be great, but your customers would disagree. You need one completed persona form for each type of customer that visits your website - You remember the example about the fireplace company, they would need 3, one for the homeowners, the interior designers and the property developers. You can decide how much detail to include in this form. Just bear in mind you need to add sufficient information to enable you to mentally create an accurate picture of your online customers and their needs and preferences. To put this in form context, let's have a look at what information we might put in there as website owners. I've assumed this persona has been created by a museum, and we're modelling a parent who wants to arrange a family day out with there.
  • Here's the completed form. I've called this person "Michael" so he's easy to refer to and he seems more real than "Customer Type 1" let's look at the left column first. We have a brief overview about Michael and his day to day life, his job and his interests. We have recorded how he feels about the internet and how confident he is with computers. The Website views section is a general overview of his thoughts about the museum website In the right hand column, we have a generic photo of the type of person we're describing to help us visualise them effectively. Then we list that person's specific website goals, the ones they told us in the interview, so we have a permanent reminder of what they want to achieve when they visit. You can print these forms out and put them on the wall in your office, so you can easily refer to them, or you can set them as your computer wallpaper, so you are constantly reminded about what your website visitors want from you when you're working on your website. Again, this is a great way to keep motivated. What does it keep you? That's right. Does this customer-profiling process sound a bit more fun, enjoyable and achievable than struggling through HTML for Dummies highlighting sentences of geek-speak in your spare time. Yes or no Team? And based on what I'm sharing with you today, can you see that even if you did read that HTML for Dummies book, it wouldn't really teach you what you really need to know about implementing a great website for your customers? Yes or No? It's not about the code, right? That's right it's most definitely not all about the code. Thank you! You know, Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Why does that matter. Well it means you don't need to know the answer, you need to be able to think about finding the answer. Let's finish off step 2.
  • Once you've learned everything you can from your target audience, you need to see what you can learn from competitor websites and how well they are meeting the needs of your customers - or not! You can benefit a lot from spotting the successes and failures of your competitors in just a couple of hours of online research - it's a great way of avoiding costly mistakes they might have made and strengthening your own website strategy in the process.
  • I think the best way to illustrate what I mean is to share a case study with you. ITV asked me to look at a website they had created specifically for journalists - it was a site that let journalists find out about the new season's drama programmes and the storylines for ongoing programmes like Coronation Street and Emmerdale. ITV wanted to make it easy for journalists to write about their programmes in their magazines and newspapers so potential viewers could find out about forthcoming shows and decide to make time to watch them. ITVs goal was to maximise their number of viewers so they could maximise their advertising revenue. I started by checking over the existing ITV journalist website, with my customer hat on, and looked for some strengths and weaknesses in how that site worked.
  • Then I started looking at competitor websites, like BBC, Channel Four, Five, Sky and another website, and a complementary site, IMDB the internet movie database which publishes really detailed information about the storylines and actors for films and television series which is a great research tool for journalists. I was doing this research to see if the competitor websites had come up with some good ways to help journalists. Does that make sense why I was doing that? Yes or no? Great I made a detailed list of all the good and bad things I had uncovered as I went thought each site. Even for a big expensive project like this, it only took me a couple of hours to do that, and it's worth the effort to get good quality answers quickly.
  • Then I arranged some informal interviews with some journalists - I picked different types of people, remember I said you might have more than 1 type of visitor. So I arranged interviews with the editor of the TV Times, the TV editor for Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror, plus local newspaper editors and press agencies like associated press, so I would get a balanced view of what different types of people wanted from ITV's site for journalists. Once I'd done all that research, I could put my new plan together. Of course I couldn't do everything the journalists wanted. You'll find that happens from time to time. For example, journalists wanted more details on precise scheduling times and how many episodes were in a series. But because of things like ratings wars between the broadcasters, ITV couldn't meet all of the journalists requirements about pre-publishing the schedules in case it got leaked to their competition. If it did get leaked, the other channels would schedule their flagship programmes in the same time slots to undermine ITV's viewing figures. In my experience there will always be one or two features the website visitors want that you just can't add for some reason, but they will always be far, far outweighed by content and features you can add. It's just something to be aware of. It's leave out one or two things if you have to.
  • So to finish off Step 2, Here's another action point for you. I'd like you to visit to up to 5 competitor websites and study what they are doing, just like I did with the television company websites. Are your competitors trying to do the same thing as you online? Does their version look like it's working better? What can you learn from them? Thinking back to what your customers told you about their preferences, have a click about and see if your competitors are doing something your customers are going to like. For example, if your customers said they wanted a click and reserve service before they come to your store to pick something up so they don't have a lengthy wasted journey - I'd recommend you have a look how other website owners have done that, and I'd send you to research for example which uses that exact same ordering feature. As you go through the competitor websites, take screenshots or print out useful information so you've got a swipe file to go back to. I have kept a library of these things that I use when I'm working with my clients. It's easy to pick some examples out of the library, and have a play around with some ideas that will improve their website quickly. If you use this technique, it often just takes a few minutes to identify something that will make a big difference, to have one of those light bulb moments. Does that sound like an easy way you will get some answers to the questions that cropped up when you completed your customer interviews - Yes or No. Great. Ok, let's move onto the last step. It's time for step 3.
  • After we've done all that research, we move onto prototyping an implementing - this is where we see how to come up with a blueprint for your customer-friendly website.
  • Let's have a quick recap of what information we've gathered so far when we apply the website success system. In step 1, we sort out your website goals. In terms of research and developing your insight, I I recommended you spend a bit of time on the internet concentrating on what it feels like to be a visitor on some of the bad websites we found on I also asked you to spend some time on enjoyable websites, to see how they roll out the red carpet for visitors and make everything as easy and intuitive to use as they possibly can. That gives us lots of information about where you're heading and some good and bad ways to go about achieving that. In step 2 you get valuable information from interviewing some of your customers and asking them what they like and dislike about your website. You'll also learn by watching them as they click round your site, and spotting if they have any problems. Remember, this gives you some critical parts of the puzzle that show you how to make the changes you need to and be sure your customers are going to love those changes once they're made. I've also suggested you do a competitive review looking for how the approach your competitors take will help you improve your website strategy. Typically that research phase will take about 10-12 hours work to complete - I think that's reasonable, given the quality of the information you're getting as well as learning some new lifelong skills along the way. Some people might think that's a long time, but I think it would be just as easy to eat up 10-12 hours using up the old two step system - the only trouble is with that old system you end up with that ineffective website as the reward for your efforts - which is a bad thing, right? yes Imagine what it will be like to know that what you're publishing is going to appeal to present and future customers, rather than relying on guesswork and hoping any updates have the desired effect. Does that sound good? Yes or no? Ok let's learn how to do that right now.
  • Here's my final grid - it's a slight variation of the first one we drew, the goals matrix. There's 5 narrow rows at the top this time, then the 6 th one which is a quite bit wider again. Sketch that out, and then if I could ask you to look up when you've finished jotting it down so I know when you're ready for the next bit - thanks.
  • Here we're gathering all our valuable research information into one sheet, to provide us with an overview of how the site is progressing. Don't forget you can use your Excel skills to keep a record of this. I've used my museum website example again just so you can see how this grid works for you. I took these customer website goals directly from Michael's persona we studied in step 2 What we're doing here with this grid is we're making sure that your business goals, noted here by the dark grey row, are met by the goals your website visitors have. So if one of the museum's goals is to increase visitor numbers, the customers have told us to encourage them to visit, we need to let them know the museum opening times, let them know about the facilities there, and let them know about the events that are running. Can you see how the site owner and the customer goals are working in harmony there? Yes or no? Great . And do you see, by giving the customers what they want, you automatically meet your goals too. Yes or no? Brilliant. We're really getting somewhere now, aren’t we! Yes. I've added an additional customer goal here in that light green column, just to make you aware of something. When you do the review of the competitor websites, you might spot something that the customers will want, but they might not necessarily have mentioned it during the interviews - so I've added an example here for our museum scenario. This new goal I've added says that parents can download and print out a kids quiz sheet so the children can have fun searching for particular things on show at the museum . Sometimes that can happen, something that could be really good gets overlooked during the customer interviews, and if it's cheap to implement like this example of the creating a 1 page PDF quiz sheet, then it makes sense to add it to your plan. You can create PDFs from word documents and spreadsheets for free using a tool you can get from If it looks like the thing you want to add might be expensive, I recommend you double-check with your interviewees and see if they would like it or not - and if they do like it, how critical is it? Will the benefits of adding it to your site the outweigh the costs  Does that sound a sensible way to deal with these afterthoughts? Yes or no? Thanks. Just like we did in step 1 for your business goals, you can rate how well your site is performing for you and your customers by shading in the status boxes for yes, partially, no, and never added, depending on your circumstances.
  • Once that's done comes the fun bit. Personally, I really enjoy this part. I think this step is a blast because it's a bit like creating things with Lego. It gives you an chance to have some fun and let your creative side loose. Let's have a show of hands who liked playing with Lego making all kinds of models as a kid? Who still does? Now when you played with the Lego, did you do the same thing as me? You imagine creating a house, a car or a spaceship, whatever it happens to be as a picture in your mind first. And then you tip all your bricks out of the bucket, that one that was supposed to keep everything neat and tidy and then you select the bricks you needed to make that thing be as good as you imagined? We'll the good news is we're going to dust off those skills and apply them to your website this time. We're going to imagine what we need to build online for your business, then we'll choose from all those bricks of information we've been gathering in steps 1 and 2, to create that profitable site we've been working towards all along. So what we're going to do is imagine your home page, and we add pieces of information that will meet your goals and the customers goals. We're just doing a rough sketch at this stage, the detail comes next. If you remember from earlier, it costs 100x less to fix something on paper - so it makes sense to spend some time on this getting it right at this stage, and what could be quicker and cheaper than trying out some ideas on a sheet of A4. 100x
  • The exciting thig here is just like when you played with the Lego, moving pieces around, trying out new ideas, you can play around with lots of website ideas very quickly too. You're in the fortunate position of being able to test a number of alternatives cheaply and easily, without looking to anyone else for help, because all you're doing is drawing a few boxes and lines on paper. If you make a mistake, or you can see a better way of displaying your information to customers, just amend your sketch. Remember to check out those swipe file of ideas you printed out to give you inspiration too. It's a great reason to raid the stationery cupboard and have lots of fun playing around with different options.
  • Once your homepage is designed, you can start working on sketches for the other page types needed. A lot of your features on the home page will appear on your sublevel pages. You want to keep the wireframes broadly similar with no drastic layout changes so visitors don't get confused and wonder if they are still on your site. For example you'll need a sketch for you product or service description pages, your about us page and contact us page and so on. These are going to be your template layouts that you're going to use to guide how you put your final website content together - and they are particularly good for things like product descriptions where you will have a lot of similar looking pages that you want to have a consistent, easy to understand layout for all of them.
  • Once you're happy with the sketches, you can draw a more accurate layout, called a wireframe. You can do this on paper again, but I recommend you use Powerpoint if you feel comfortable with that or at a push Excel to draw some simple shapes and create a basic presentation of what's going to appear on your web pages. This wireframe has placeholders for where all your website information is going to live, like your logo, your navigation, featured items, and the main content - made up of the words and images. When I do this, I have a library of commonly used website features like login boxes, images, video players, form fields, store locators, photo galleries etc in a master presentation, and I can just cut and paste in any shapes I need in seconds. I can put a finished version together in about half an hour this way. You don't have to have all the final images and wording together for this, you just need to allow an accurate amount of room for the information you need to include at this stage. The real benefit of being able to create these wireframes is it gives you a detailed analysis of what you need to gather together to complete your site. You know what size images you need and how many of them. You can estimate the word count you need for any text to accompany your images and so on. You can have a quick reality check how much work is involved and how many bits might be missing from what you've got to hand at the moment. If the prototype is suggesting that it's going to be difficult to achieve your goal - for example you only got a 2 of photos for 10 things you want to include on the site and getting those photos might prove difficult, you might want to rethink your design, or start gathering those images now and not leave it til the last minute and having a last minute panic job. Who hates the stress of those last minute crises!. Hands up. I'm with you in that for sure.
  • When you've finished sketching out your new website, you can use a usability technique called storytelling to make sure your customers will be able to use your site they way they said they wanted to. Like a lot of things in life, you sometimes don't spot your own mistakes if you work on something for a long time - so it helps to have a short break and look with a fresh pair of eyes. The way I deal this, I re-read my persona sheets - that helps me put my customer hat on as I check the prototype is heading in the right direction for that person
  • Once I've done that, I'll create a test scenario using the customers goals. If we think about the museum example, our customer told us they wanted to know about the museum's facilities like the opening times, the café, and parking. I want to check it's easy to walk through the scenario by telling a story about how Michael is coming to visit the museum site to check if he needs to bring food with him on the day. The whole point of this storytelling exercise is to make sure the scenario is quick and easy and intuitive for our customers, so we need to check that… It's easy to begin doing the scenario - will customers know what to click on to get started if the information isn't important enough to be placed in a key position on the homepage? I'll want to make sure the scenario is straight-forward to achieve, that customers don't have to go around the houses to get something done, and to make sure the sequence makes sense - it needs to match the order customers think it should be done in. For example, Michael said he wanted to pre-book his event tickets. Instinctively he will want to chose an event to book, reserve his tickets then pay for them so we need to make sure he can do that in that specific order. The scenarios need to be quick to do, if the prototype suggests there are too many steps, too many things in the way to getting something done, then you're going to frustrate visitors, and you need to make some revisions to your prototype to simplify it. Finally, I want to make sure the visitor can do all the steps to complete the scenario using the prototype and that nothing critical has been missed out by mistake. It sounds daft, but it's a bit like those tales you hear where builders provide what seems to be a really competitive quote for an extension, only to realise they made a daft mistake and they forgot to add the cost of the roof to the customer estimate! Always make sure you've not overlooked or omitted something that's critical by mistake.
  • If you want to you can run though the prototype with your customers - either in a group setting like this - or perhaps email them your ideas and have a quick chat over the phone. You can see how a group session would run in this photo. I've had some fantastic results and some good fun running group sessions like this. Remember the mantra, it's 100 times cheaper to fix your paper versions than the finished website, so do test your prototype works the way you and your customers need it to.. Because everyone wants to avoid expensive and frustrating rework? Yes or no Team? Yes. Great. It all boils down to this. It's all about the quality of questions you ask - the better quality questions you ask, the better quality website you'll have in the end - it's that simple when you look at it. Do you agree, if you can ask yourself and your customers some good questions you'll find it much easier to improve your website? Yes or no. Yes. Thank you, 100x
  • The last little bit of the prototyping is to create an overview of the site, your sitemap. This helps you keep track of the size and structure of your site, now and in the future. I used the organisation chart tool in powerpoint to do this. Remember, I wholeheartedly encourage you to be creative with the website success system - use the tools and skills you have readily available to explain what you want for your website. Using the sitemap, I'll want to make sure I have got all the wireframes I need for each part of the site - then I know I've got everything I need to start implementing in earnest. The wireframes and the sitemap become the blueprint that you will use to guide you as you get your site created or revamped. Nothing gets missed out if you follow this system. I truly believe that you'll find creating this blueprint is a great, stress-free way to totally bypass IT skills worries that tend to hold businesses back and make them lose sight of the customers needs
  • Let's look at that blueprint and what we should have produced at the end of all your research. Usually my blueprint will run to just 20-30 pages that's all, even for a really big website. You'll find you gather a lot of information in the research phase, and that's great, revisiting that information can be really beneficial in the future, but our blueprint needs to be really focused, really lean and mean. You're aiming for a blueprint that’s clear, concise and easy to understand by anyone working on your website project.
  • As annotated wireframes might be new concept for some of you, I'm going to give you a generic example to help explain how we get the maximum value from our blueprint. Here I've created a wireframe of a snakes and ladders board. You can see it's a diagram, there's no styling, it's just accurately suggesting how things need to be laid out. Now, all I need to do is explain the special things that happen when a counter lands on a particular square during the gameplay. So all the counters start on square 1. I've annotated that with a 1 in a circle. Something special happens on square 3 because it’s the bottom of a ladder, so I add an annotation and explain that the players counter needs to move directly up the ladder to square 12. If a counter lands on square 14, the snakes head again something special happens, so I add another annotation saying the counter needs to slide down to square 8. I've added an annotation for square 16 saying the player with the first counter here, wins. So you can see there are quite a lot of complicated interactions and rules that could be going all at once, but we've explained it clearly and concisely in under 100 words - all on 1 sheet of A4. So even if you're not a programmer, you can use this annotated wireframes technique to accurately and effectively describe what you want to happen when a customer clicks on something in your website. You can be absolutely certain the changes your paying for are going to work the way they need to for you and your business. Are you beginning to see how powerful this prototype can be? Yes or no? Yes. Thanks.
  • So let's apply those new skills to a real website wireframe. All we do is add the instructions that explain to the programmer or other stakeholders in your website project, what happens when the customer clicks on the different parts of the web page. It works just the same way as the instructions for the snakes and ladders if you landed on particular squares. As an example, you can see here on the top left, there's an annotation on the logo saying if someone clicks on the logo they are taken to the home page. There's some explanation of what the navigation does and where the customer goes if they click on any of those options. Here's a little tip. I just annotate the effect of the main navigation and common features on the home page, to keep the sublevel pages simple. I only every highlight new features on the lower level pages, so you can see the wood from the trees. If you didn't do this you'd end up adding annotations all over the place, most of which would be describing something that happens consistently across all pages. Doing this would be a load of extra work for no real additional value - so keep it simple. Don't get too gung-ho with your annotating. If you're going to have a face to face meeting with the people who are working on your website, you can print out your annotated wireframes and take along with you and demonstrate how your site needs to work - this significantly reduces the possibility of people misunderstanding what needs to happen - you can clearly walk the developers through what you have in mind. True or false. Do you think this type of diagram based requirements document will work better as a communication tool than a 100 page wordy report with no drawings? True.
  • One final tip about planning your website. If you want to take control over how your site looks as well as what it does, you can borrow a tip from interior designers and create a mood board. It's just a simple collage of images that suggest the mood and the colour scheme you're interested in achieving for your site. If you've ever been in one of those situations where your graphic design company goes away and comes back with something unexpected and didn't follow the worded brief you gave them, you can regain much more control and confidence over the situation using a mood board like this, because designers can see exactly the sort of thing you have in mind. There's no room for misinterpretation You can choose individual swatches of colours you select from your collage of images and put them in a series of boxes at the bottom, to act as a colour palette, like I've done here, to show which ones are OK to use on your site. And of course as always with my system, why not get some customer feedback on the colours you're intending to use too - it's just one side of A4 to share with them and a 2 minute chat to check you're heading in the right direction. You know it's funny, but when I help clients, one of the first questions they ask me is "What colour will the site be, everything's just different shades grey on the wireframes". I just cryptically reply "Ohh, it's far too early to be talking about colour" and then smile. It's a bit of tough love because I want them to think about what the site needs to do for customers, not eat up time having unproductive, low value discussions about whether they personally prefer a light or a medium blue site Does anyone remember the company Freeserve. You won't believe this but they spent 9 months deciding exactly how much curve should be added to the top bar of the F in freeserve. Make sure you don't get delayed by minor details like that. You've got to take action. What have you got to do guys? Yes Take action.
  • Now once you have your blueprint ready, you'll probably need some help putting your site together, so here's some links to some cost-effective websites some of my entrepreneurial clients have used There's odesk and which are where you can find freelancers - writers, coders, graphics designers, video editors - you name it. The beauty of using freelancers is they have much lower overheads than traditional website companies, so more of your budget ends up getting spent on actually improving your website. Both these websites have project management tools so you can easily set milestones, deliverables and confidently make secure payments as the job progresses and so on. These sites make it really straight-forward to work with freelancers. You can also save a lot of money by adapting website templates and customising them to suit your business. There are lots of free and low-cost templates out there - check out, for example, for a gallery of lots of examples. If you ask a freelancer to tailor one of these templates for your business, it can be a very quick, easy and cheap way to get a great site up and running without costing you a fortune. You don't need to start with a blank canvas, it's perfectly acceptable to customise one of these pre-existing themes to meet your customers needs - just pick one that's quite close already. Simples. Another site that's good is - you can get things like logos designed, or brief articles written for your website for just $5, around £3.60
  • Finally, here's some more useful websites that can help with website content. It can get quite soul-sapping coming up with all the textual content for your website, especially when it comes to all the proofreading you have to do on top of all that. Who's ever got over a bad case of writers block only to get buried under a big stack of tedious proofreading straight after? Yep me too. I have used all these companies in the past and had a great service from them. is useful for writing. There are thousands of American writers ready to come up with some words for your website, you just provide a short brief describing your requirement and one of their writers will help you for a very modest fee, something like $25 gets you started. offers a proofreading service where you upload your text in a word document and they check it over for you, fixing any typos and send it back to you in as little as 8 hours.. is a website run by an experienced UK editor, so if you're working on things like case studies, special reports, or ebooks, and you need some help editing your information down into a clear and concise format, check out Elizabeth. I've used to apply consistent formatting to my longer documents - it's just £20 per document then £1 a page to have your information professionally and flawlessly formatted, which is a real help if you're pushed for time. Who else gives document formatting a low score in the fun stakes? Also, if you're not into being chained to your keyboard for days on end writing down what you want to share online, you can dictate what you want written and the professional transcribers at will turn your audio file into a word document for about 80p per minute of voice recording. You can do voice recording with most mobiles which means you can create content on the move, which is pretty handy. So there's some useful resources there you can turn to if you need help with particular skills with programming and creating website content.
  • So, that brings me to the end of my website success system. This system has worked very well for me and my clients - if you remember back to my examples of the Home office, Fujitsu and Jane Akshar with her start-up business, they are still enjoying some great benefits from learning how to apply my system. We've covered a lot today, so let's have a quick final recap of the steps and why it's important to follow them to make sure you've got everything noted down..
  • We started off asking "Why do we want to bother having a customer focused website." Well we know that if our website causes any problems for customers, it means we are missing opportunities which translates into lost sales, fewer enquiries and a failure to build loyalty with customers. We now understand that this problem is serious. Falling into the trap of focusing on your needs as a website owner at the expense of the needs of your customers means 95% of company websites fail to generate any sales or leads. Can I have a quick show of hands - who can see they fell into that trap? OK quite a few of you. Thanks for being honest. Who's going to avoid that mistake in future - quick show of hands again please? That's great. Thanks So here's what we need to do to fix that mistake by applying the website success system
  • In step 1 we covered setting your website goals for your business and we filled out the website goals matrix, to make sure your website is going to work in tandem with your business plan. I also said you need to research some good and bad websites to help you develop your insight so it's easier to view your website through your customers eyes - which means in future, you can easily avoid any common mistakes that often crop up online. These website research exercises help you become more aware of things customers might find frustrating, confusing or boring about your website.
  • In step 2 we looked at how we interview customers to find out how we get them to describe the type of website they want to use. I also said it's worth spending a couple of hours to take a sneak peek round competitor websites to see what they're doing right and wrong for your customers, and what you can learn from that. So, using this information you can accurately highlight the strengths and weaknesses of your website, and use customer feedback and competitor research to find out how to resolve those weaknesses to make your website strategy much more effective when you move onto step 3
  • In step 3, we poured all that research information into the big prototyping melting pot, to make sure we meet our goals and the customers goals using our usable content matrix. Then we start playing around with some ideas using some basic hand-drawn sketches. Once the sketches are done, we can create the tidied up versions, the wireframes for each type of page on your website, and make sure the sitemap lists all the website sections, so it's easy to get an overview of what's going on. Finally, we annotate the wireframes with some callouts explaining what each part of the page does, so we can clearly explain what our website needs to do to the people who are building and designing it for us. Who thinks they would have avoided a lot of frustration and disappointment if you had' known about the importance of building a customer-friendly website when they first went online? Before we finish, I really want to make sure you use this advice, I don't want you to put your notebook on the shelf and forget about it this stuff. Let me ask you. Could you put a value on the time and money you would have saved if you knew then what you know now? Could you put a value on the business you've lost to date because your website was creating that all important rapport with your customers? I'd like you to write those figures down here and now, so that if you're tempted to lose sight of your customers preferences about your website in future, or skip one of the steps you'll instantly see how much more money you'll start wasting again. I don't want you too lose momentum when you get back. I really want you to join me in being committed to making the internet a more enjoyable place for customers and more profitable for website owners! Will you do that, Yes or no!
  • Colette’s system has opened my eyes - IT & websites are actually EASY! The course has given me lots of quick fix solutions to areas that in the past would take me hours and quite frankly I was not good at as I was not playing to my strengths…. Before connecting with Colette, I didn’t have the confidence because I thought I needed a technical background to do this…. Colette makes it easy for anyone from any background or profession to have a customer focused website that gives customers what they want and helps me make profits online. Jo Ward, London, So Here's how I want to help you.
  • Colette’s system has opened my eyes - IT & websites are actually EASY! The course has given me lots of quick fix solutions to areas that in the past would take me hours and quite frankly I was not good at as I was not playing to my strengths…. Before connecting with Colette, I didn’t have the confidence because I thought I needed a technical background to do this…. Colette makes it easy for anyone from any background or profession to have a customer focused website that gives customers what they want and helps me make profits online. Jo Ward, London, So Here's how I want to help you.
  • How to Have a Good Busines Website with a Good User Experience

    1. 1. Boost Your Business Online The Fast, Fun, Customer-Friendly Way
    2. 2. What Happens When You Make Your Website More Customer Friendly? Website Success System Results
    3. 3. Website Success System Results Page Views: 50,000% Increase From 16,000 a year to 8,000,000 …. in just 4 months
    4. 4. Website Success System Results Time & Cost-Savings: £300,000 Creating cheap prototypes reduced development time by 3 months
    5. 5. Website Success System Results Business Growth: 420% Online bookings funded Jane Akshar's business expansion
    6. 6. Website Success System Results A New Start Jane quits job, sells home and emigrates to Egypt
    7. 7. Website Success System Results Builds 4 New Holiday Flats in Luxor Follows lifelong interest in Egyptology
    8. 8. Website Success System Results Worldwide Orders Grow and Grow Holiday bookings fund 17 new properties
    9. 9. Website Success System Results <ul><li>What Jane Says… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The advice Colette gave me about making our website customer-friendly has been invaluable . If you are passionate about how great your business is and you're passionate about creating a strong relationship with your online customers, follow everything Colette tells you to do in her Website Success System. It works ! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jane Akshar, Director, www. </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. How Does This System Work?
    11. 11. It Changes Your Thinking 95% OF WEBSITES FAIL TO GENERATE ANY SALES or LEADS!!! l * Source: *
    12. 12. Mr Hyde… Would You Say Our Website is an Asset…? …or a Liability?
    13. 13. Why Do Customer-Friendly Websites Boost Sales? <ul><li>Good content and features </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clear </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Relevant </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interesting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Useful </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Easy </li></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Who is Colette Mason
    15. 15. 1981 Colette's first PC About Colette Mason
    16. 16. 1984 Colette's First IT Job About Colette Mason
    17. 17. 1996 About Colette Mason W e l c o m e to My New Website. Please click on the menu links on the left to navigate round the site Email Me!
    18. 18. 1997 Homepage - WWW.BBC.CO.UK
    19. 19. 1998 Skills Improved! Fulltime Developer About Colette Mason
    20. 20. There IS a Better Way!
    21. 21. There IS a Better Way!
    22. 22. Why Does The Website Success System Have 3 Steps?
    23. 23. 1. Website Meeting
    24. 24. 2. Panic and Delegate All Responsibility I'M SORRY!!! I HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE!!!
    25. 25. Of Course We'll Build You a Great Website
    26. 26. YOU Need To Take RESPONSIBILITY for YOUR Online Business Success!
    27. 27. Step 1: Website Goals and Awareness
    28. 28. Why have goals In life, as in football, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are… Arnold H. Glasgow
    29. 29. Practical - Website Goals Matrix No Goal Partially Never Added Yes
    30. 30. What are Your Website's Goals? <ul><li>To attract competitors' customers? </li></ul><ul><li>To entertain/educate? </li></ul><ul><li>To brand your company/yourself? </li></ul><ul><li>To reduce paperwork? </li></ul><ul><li>To reduce printing and mailing costs? </li></ul><ul><li>To reduce support/customer service costs? </li></ul><ul><li>To recruit new employees/partners? </li></ul><ul><li>Build credibility and trust? </li></ul><ul><li>Generate (pre-qualified) leads? </li></ul><ul><li>Build your mailing list? </li></ul><ul><li>Sell directly? </li></ul><ul><li>Inform? </li></ul><ul><li>Build a community? </li></ul><ul><li>Gain valuable market research? </li></ul><ul><li>Reach a broad/global audience? </li></ul><ul><li>Attract customers to visit your premises? </li></ul>
    31. 31. Are You Meeting Your Website Goals? Credibility and trust Generate leads Build mailing list To sell directly Build a community No Goal Partially Never Added Yes
    32. 32. Practical - Develop Your Insight <ul><li>Look at some BAD websites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look out for frustrating, confusing, boring features </li></ul></ul>
    33. 33. Practical - Develop Your Insight
    34. 34. Practical - Develop Your Insight
    35. 35. Practical - Develop Your Insight <ul><li>Look at some GOOD websites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit your top 5 favourite websites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Think aloud as you click around </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are you doing and why? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How do you achieve what you want to do? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why do you find visiting worthwhile? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    36. 36. Step 2: Research Customer and Competitor Profiling
    37. 37. Who's Visiting What are they like? What do they want (to do)?
    38. 38. Practical - Customer (User) Profiling <ul><li>Schedule informal interviews with 3-5 existing customers or people in your target market </li></ul><ul><ul><li>30-60 minutes each </li></ul></ul>
    39. 39. Practical - Customer (User) Profiling <ul><li>What do they want to achieve when they visit your site…and how? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>&quot; I want to… &quot; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>buy something… </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>research something… </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>connect with you/others… </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>learn something… </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    40. 40. Practical - Customer (User) Profiling <ul><li>Ask them to do a scenario that meets one of your business goals </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>&quot; Use this site to …&quot; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>make an enquiry about a product </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>print out our address and our map </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>book an appointment </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>find out how many different types of XYZ we stock </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    41. 41. Practical - Customer (User) Profiling <ul><li>Ask them to do a scenario that meets one of your business goals </li></ul>
    42. 42. Practical - Customer (User) Profiling <ul><li>Ask The Gold Dust Questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3 things they like about your website (…what works) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 things they dislike about your website (…what doesn't!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Would they add, remove or change anything to improve your website to make it better? </li></ul></ul>
    43. 43. Practical - Customer (User) Profiling <ul><li>Find out about them as a person </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Job? Roles and responsibilities? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Love or hate computers? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Surf at home or at work? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hobbies and leisure? </li></ul></ul>
    44. 44. Practical - Create Customer Profiles Try this… Website Views Website Goals Computers and the Internet About &quot;Fred&quot; Sample Persona Role
    45. 45. Practical - Create Customer Profiles Try this… <ul><li>Website Views </li></ul><ul><li>Prefers to plan and pre-book events </li></ul><ul><li>Wants to plan days out </li></ul><ul><li>Interested in children's events mainly </li></ul><ul><li>Wants to site to be quick and easy </li></ul><ul><li>Likes printing out confirmations </li></ul><ul><li>Website Goals </li></ul><ul><li>Check opening times, location </li></ul><ul><li>Check details like travel, parking, refreshments… </li></ul><ul><li>Check events for children </li></ul><ul><li>Book places in advance </li></ul><ul><li>Computers and the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Using computers since 1988 </li></ul><ul><li>Feels competent </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoys surfing </li></ul><ul><li>Likes Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>About Michael </li></ul><ul><li>Is busy at work so does research at home </li></ul><ul><li>Trained accountant </li></ul><ul><li>Supports West Ham </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoys socialising with other single dads </li></ul>Sample Persona - Michael The Single Parent Visitor
    46. 46. Phase 2: What are competitor websites doing that your customers will like
    47. 47. Case Study: ITV's Website for Journalists <ul><li>Create a good source of information about programmes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reviewed ITV's existing website </li></ul></ul>
    48. 48. Case Study: ITV's Website for Journalists <ul><li>Create a good source of information about programmes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reviewed ITV's existing website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reviewed competitor sites </li></ul></ul>
    49. 49. Case Study: ITV's Website for Journalists <ul><ul><li>Interviewed journalists about goals and preferences for </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ITV Site </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Competitor Websites </li></ul></ul></ul>
    50. 50. Practical - Analyse Competitor Websites <ul><li>Analyse up to 5 competitor websites for customer-friendliness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How competitors achieve your business goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Features your customers would like/dislike </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competitor successes/failures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>TIP: Take screenshots/print out features/information your customers will like - &quot;s wipe file &quot; </li></ul></ul></ul>
    51. 51. Step 3: Prototyping and Implementing
    52. 52. Bringing the Research Threads Together Step2: Personas Step2: Competitors Step1: Site Goals and Best Practice
    53. 53. Planning Usable Website Content Our Goal Customer Goals Partially Never Added No Yes
    54. 54. Planning Usable Website Content Opening times, location, travel Facilities like café picnic area, gift shop etc Checking events for aimed at children Children's activity quiz PDF Booking places in advance Cashflow Increase Visitor Numbers Our Goal Customer Goals Partially Never Added No Yes
    55. 55. How to Prototype - Sketches
    56. 56. How to Prototype - Sketches
    57. 57. How to Prototype - Sketches
    58. 58. How to Prototype - Wireframes
    59. 59. Use &quot;Storytelling&quot; to Doublecheck Prototype <ul><li>Review your persona sheets </li></ul>
    60. 60. Use &quot;Storytelling&quot; to Doublecheck Prototype <ul><li>Review your persona sheets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use storytelling to create a customer scenario </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Run through the scenario </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to start? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Straightforward? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quick? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Complete? </li></ul></ul></ul>
    61. 61. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers. Anthony Robbins
    62. 62. How to Prototype - Site Structure 1.1.1 Computers
    63. 63. Producing your Blueprint
    64. 64. Annotated Wireframes 1 2 4 1 2 3 4 <ul><li>Counter Start Point </li></ul><ul><li>Counters follow numbered square sequence </li></ul><ul><li>Each player rolls dice </li></ul><ul><li>Moves forward [1-6] squares at a time </li></ul><ul><li>Move up to 12 if counter lands at base of ladder </li></ul><ul><li>Move down to 8 if counter lands on head of snake </li></ul><ul><li>First player counter on square 16 wins game </li></ul>3 4 3 2 1 5 6 7 8 12 11 10 9 13 14 15 16
    65. 65. Annotated Wireframes
    66. 66. Web Design Tip - Mood Boards <ul><li>Collage of Relevant Photos </li></ul><ul><li>Products… </li></ul><ul><li>Locations… </li></ul><ul><li>Nature… </li></ul>Colour Palette
    67. 67. Where to Get Help <ul><li>Outsourcers - programming, design, content publishing </li></ul><ul><ul><li> - freelancers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> - freelancers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> - customisable templates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> - almost anything web-based for $5 </li></ul></ul>
    68. 68. Where to Get Help <ul><li>Outsourcers - content creation </li></ul><ul><ul><li> - writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> - proofreading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> - editing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> - formatting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> - transcription </li></ul></ul>
    69. 69. Summary
    70. 70. Why Does Website Usability Matter? 1 2 3 Our Goals & Awareness Customer/Competitor Research Planning,Testing, Implementing What's in it for me?
    71. 71. Step 1 : Website Goals and Awareness Goals Matrix Web Research
    72. 72. Step 2: Customer and Competitor Research
    73. 73. Step 3: Prototyping, Testing and Implementing
    74. 74. How it Feels to Apply This System <ul><li>What Jo Says… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Colette’s system has opened my eyes - IT & websites are actually EASY! The course has given me lots of quick fix solutions to areas that in the past would take me hours and quite frankly I was not good at as I was not playing to my strengths…. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Before connecting with Colette, I didn’t have the confidence because I thought I needed a technical background to do this…. Colette makes it easy for anyone from any background or profession to have a customer focused website that gives customers what they want and helps me make profits online. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jo Ward, London </li></ul></ul>
    75. 75. Please tell me you're not mucking about doing fantasy football in work time AGAIN!?!?! OI! No! I'm doing valuable research at The Fast, Fun Customer Friendly Way to Boost Your Business Online
    76. 76. For more information <ul><li>Website - Online User-Centered Design Training Course </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Free Report - How To Implement a Customer Friendly Website </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media Contacts for Colette Mason </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>