What is a Discovery Phase and why do I need one for my website, app or online portal project?
5 ways to get people using your website or online portal more often.
If your online presence is the life blood of your business, the number of people engaging with your website, portal or dashboard can make or break its success. Whilst you may have a great business concept that solves your customers’ pain points, if their experience is poor when they interact with your platform or the interface is too complex, your users will simply give up.
We have been working with Licence Bureau, providers of vehicle licence checking services to companies across the country, to reinvent their online portal by applying user experience and user interface best practice design techniques. This helped them get people using their website and online portal more often.
With their new look, award winning online experience, Licence Bureau were able to grow their business by 20%, securing new contracts with large business partners and growing their customer base by 25%. Here’s what MD Malcolm Maycock said about their transformation View video
So, what can you do to ensure that your online experience isn’t holding your business back and encourage people to visit your website more often?
1. Know your users
It may sound obvious, but do you really understand your users? Are your perceptions based on opinion and assumption or actual research? Are you just listening to your suppliers or do you have direct feedback ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’?
By investing in direct user research and asking the right questions, you will have evidence-based insight relating to your customers’ goals, needs, wants, attitudes and frustrations. It is only with this depth of knowledge that you can then create a digital solution that meets their actual needs (not just the one you think they have).
Tools such as user personas can be a valuable resource to represent the voice of the users throughout the design and development process, ensuring your website, portal or app continues to meet your users’ needs and thus encouraging people to visit your website or portal more often.
2. Test the user journeys
When you understand your users’, their goals and the tasks they need to undertake to achieve their goals, your website or portal should be designed to make those tasks as easy as possible. Regularly testing the user journeys against the personas, goals, tasks and scenarios will ensure you are focused on getting the best end results. Any obstacles can be identified to help encourage a smooth path to conversion, whether that is encouraging a website sale or just regularly logging on to your portal.
3. Create consistent, tailored experiences
Understanding who your users are and where they have come from allows you to develop a relevant content strategy and map effective online journeys that meets their expectations. If users are arriving after having clicked an advert, the landing page should reiterate the same messages and reassure the user.
If the user has registered on your site or portal, you may want to tailor relevant content to them, customising their experience.
4. Design intuitive interfaces
Ensuring that the site or portal is easy to use is a vital element in encouraging repeat visitors. User insights should be used to inform the site architecture, page layouts and design.
Wireframes and prototypes enable concepts to be designed and tested by users, helping to ensure the information is presented in a user-friendly, easily digestible format. If you have large amounts of data to present, a Dashboard can display headline analytics in bite-size chunks. Interactive charts can provide a preview and more in-depth information can be available when drilled down.
As users are more familiar with social media style feeds like Facebook, it has become an intuitive way to present information. Incorporating this style, particularly for intranets, can help improve user adoption and buy-in.
5. On-going feedback
Gaining feedback is an essential way of ensuring that users will continue to engage with your platform. It needn’t be an intrusive survey pop-up, but having a ‘Give Feedback’ link on your site, asking for areas for improvement via social media and organising follow-up user testing sessions, will all help to provide vital insight into areas of improvement.
In summary, in order to get more people using your website, portal or online dashboard you simply need to understand who your users are, what they want, how they want it and when they want it. Investing in user research will help you to identify these key factors and inform the design of a better experience. When you consistently deliver a better experience, your users will be more engaged and interact with your website or online platform more often.
A note of caution however, if you want to maintain user engagement long term, this cannot be a one off activity. Your users are constantly learning and raising their expectations of digital experiences as they continue to interact online. In order to keep up, you have to know how to adapt and evolve your online presence.
Ensure you invest in user experience research as part of a long term strategy and you will see the performance of your website, online portal or dashboard sky rocket.
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If you would like to find out how your website or web application could be working harder, contact the experts at DotLabel
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