We are working with a UK gas infrastructure company to improve the usability of their website and encourage their users to connect with them via their digital offerings. We conducted user research in a number of workshops, each of which included a mixture of ages and technical abilities. In the space of three days, we travelled the length and breadth of the country, in order to find what makes their customers tick.
The workshops were filled with activities to gather user insights, which through analysis found common themes and the resulting user needs. We took these user needs to begin redesigning their website.
Speaking to users and gathering insights from ‘the horse’s mouth’ is fundamental in creating user-centred designs; ensuring you’re designing with their needs in mind.
Key UX problems and fixes:
1. Targeting content to actual users
Our client’s content wasn’t informed by up to date user needs to fit the variety of customers that visit their website. Our research found that user’s felt disengaged with the website’s content due to confusion over terminology, tone of voice, and lack of understanding of what services they offered. This lead to increased calls by customers into their contact centre.
What you can do:
- Find out more about your customers by completing research activities such as personas, user journey mapping and competitor analysis.
- Personas help to think about groups of real people and their online needs rather than trying to ‘design for everyone’.
- Understand what your customers need from your online channels, and what their goals are using your website, user journey mapping is perfect for capturing these goals as well as what frustrations customers have to deal with.
- A competitor analysis allows you to look at other companies out there offering the same or similar services to you and what they are doing. This helps prioritise new features, or to update older ones.
All of this combined will help form the beginnings of creating simple, tailored, and concise content, which goes a long way!
2. Create consistent content
One of the issues with this client’s website was that the type of content and tone of voice. Their customers were confused at the conflicting messages and contacted them unnecessarily to clear up the uncertainty caused from the website.
What you can do:
Decide on a brand tone of voice and your central messaging, and implement this throughout. This applies to the copy and design of your website, social media messaging, online ads, traditional adverts and so on.
Whatever avenue your customer reaches you from, try to be consistent with your design, text, language and tone. You want your users to recognise your brand wherever they see it. Use brand guidelines to instill the messaging in anyone involved in the marketing or design, this can also help new employees to make sure they maintain consistency.
3. Accurate quality of information
In Grice’s cooperative principle, he explains the ‘maxim of quality’ - meaning only to provide information that you know to be true or accurate. This also applies in the UX approach to your website.
Your users come to your site to find information and engage with your brand. Whether that be to find out more about your services or to buy a product. By providing accurate information, this instils trust in your company and thereafter users returning to your website. If your content appears to be flouting the maxim of quality, you’re likely to frustrate your customers, which may result in complaints, as well as potentially losing custom.
4. Make steps to constantly improve
This particular company have made a commitment to their customers and business as they are listening and making users the key focus of their online presence. They are listening to customer feedback, acting on it, and then iterating to ensure it stays true to what user needs were uncovered through research.
Using the Build, Measure, Learn approach going forward ensures insights are quickly integrated into the development process.
If you put your user at the centre of your website design, you can ingrain trust even in a brand they have never come across before. Creating a consistent, targeted, accurate and UX optimised website will help your brand excel.