An insight into useful dimensions of Interface Design PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 July 2010 15:21

Integrate Interface Design with what customers will love to have

World Wide Web has thrown up unprecedented challenges in the realm of engaging and retaining customer. First and foremost, there are plenty of web sites like yours thronging up the Web space designed and positioned to tap the customer base.  First impression of your web site to a new surfer is what it takes to gain your customer or to lose it helplessly.

Cyberspace is as cruel a medium for customer acquisition as it is excessively assistive. The point to note here is that even slight lapse on the part of Interface designer can cost a potential customer. The moment users happen to visit your web site, they make an instant decision whether it is worthwhile to stick to your site or to switch on elsewhere. They would love to see the features they want on your web site or simply would disapprove your site -- and leave the place never to return again.

So, it is of terribly great importance to know what your customers are likely to love on your web site. Knowing your target audience is the first crucial step when you are through the planning phase of your web site development. Knowing what turns your prospective customers or users on is the most important consideration to chalk out web development methodology.

How would you know it?
Users are usually real serious to find out what they are looking for on the Net because they are spending their precious time and efforts in this pursuit. But, in the process, they are disappointed by pathetic Interface design and other features. This is so because you did not find it fit to figure out what your customers want on your web site.

You are absolutely right that you cannot map out what exactly customers want on your web site. Probably, that was the reason you did attempt this seemingly complex task. Right?

Perhaps what you unknowingly missed is the fact that assessing user behavior is never an exercise in precision and exactness. It is about deciphering notable trends and distinguishing patterns. You do not need to believe in every word that customers utter, but definitely striking the right chord behind all such utterances and deriving some conclusion offers you an edge in Interface design decisions.

How to proceed with discovering what your customers want

Web site is designed and conceived for a particular market segment. So, it is better to focus on likely preferences of your audience in this segment. You cannot call all your prospective customers to have a look at your web site in the making or on the verge of getting finishing touches. Nevertheless, you can call in a couple of peoples who can be identified with the prospective customers based on certain criteria. Simply put, if your web site is meant for young mothers or so, you can invite them, those who happen to be among your friends or acquaintances. The reason why I am emphasizing on it is that this small exercise helps eventually.

Let’s know how to go about it.

  • Bring in a small representative sample of your target audience, preferably 8-10 people. Try to make it as heterogeneous as possible because it will help you get diversity of opinions.
  • Make sure you do not end up choosing some sort of people whose suggestions may be biased, owning to something personal to you or your website.
  • Ask open ended questions: What’s so special of this web site? What’s so disgusting? What difficulties do they face while using the web site? What do they wish it should have, and it should not?... and the like.
  • Video record the entire session. The whole team is to watch the recordings with open and receptive mind. Many aspects will come to the fore, which indeed need a second thought. Study the diverse opinions and find the logic in them so each contributor from different departments, like designers, programmers, graphic artists, content writers, animators, etc. can go ahead humbly and progressively.

Making sense of respondent’s whims and fancies

You must appreciate this fact that understanding consumer behavior is a little difficult and chances are that you end up hugely confused. What to believe and what not to, may be a tough proposition initially as you will find that their opinions are at best their fancies, at times,  and therefore not practicable.

Your worries will surely be of great help to you because this is what will lead you to separate wheat from the chaff. Your quest for coming out with some inferences on pragmatic grounds is what you are expected out of all such proceedings.

Do not disregard respondent’s opinion straight away as whims or fancies. Examine critically on real grounds and definitely a few opinions will have a substance that can go into making Interface Design richer --  if executed effectively.

Statistics does not matter, but substance does!

Statistics might not be necessarily helpful especially when sample to be studied is so small. If 6 out of 10 respondents are seen to like a special feature, say, an animation on your web site, it does not mean that it is going to a big hit with the vast majority of your target audience.

You must appreciate this fact that understanding consumer behavior is a little difficult and chances are that you end up hugely confused. What to believe and what not to, may be a tough proposition initially as you will find that their opinions are at best their fancies, at times,  and therefore not practicable.

Your worries will surely be of great help to you because this is what will lead you to separate wheat from the chaff. Your quest for coming out with some inferences on pragmatic grounds is what you are expected out of all such proceedings.

Do not disregard respondent’s opinion straight away as whims or fancies. Examine critically on real grounds and definitely a few opinions will have a substance that can go into making Interface Design richer --  if executed effectively.

Statistics does not matter, but substance does!

Statistics might not be necessarily helpful especially when sample to be studied is so small. If 6 out of 10 respondents are seen to like a special feature, say, an animation on your web site, it does not mean that it is going to a big hit with the vast majority of your target audience.

Deepak Sharma is a Web Designer at BlueApple, a Web Design and Development Company with a well connected development infrastructure in India having a strong portfolio offering superior web services and solutions at competitive costs.

Last Updated ( Friday, 26 November 2010 09:50 )
 

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