Inside the Head of a Web User
By: Thomas Young, MBA
The most important skill in effective user testing is getting inside the head of the Web user and understanding their thoughts. It is only from this perspective that we can understand how to build intuitive Websites that get results. We have developed a list of the most common questions running through the mind of the Web user. These questions do not usually surface unless the user is asked to comment on what they are thinking. Take a look at our list and find ways to determine if your Web visitors have the same thoughts.
What is this site about?
Is it easy and intuitive for your Web visitors to understand what your site is about and what your company does? Many times a site will contain generic content that really says very little about the actual benefits of the business. Visitors should be able to easily understand what your company does in the first five seconds of visiting your home page.
What is of value to me?
After the visitor figures out your product or service offering, they will immediately try to find out what’s in it for them. What is in it for them? Why do people come to your Website? What are they looking for? This needs to be evident immediately on the home page or they will leave to find a site that does meet their needs.
How do I navigate or search?
Users will begin searching for details on what they think will add value. The ease of use of your navigation system and the intuitive nature of the site will determine success or failure. Links should be titled in ways that make sense to the visitor. Visitors should never get lost on your site, no matter the size. If you have a search function on your site make sure you test it with terms that users search on and track your most popular searches. Don’t waste your users time with a search function that brings up irrelevant results.
How do I contact them?
Make it very easy to contact you. Include contact information on every page along with a contact us section that includes a phone number, email and a contact form.
Here are a few additional questions to consider:
- What can I do here?
- Can I trust this company?
- Should I be somewhere else?
- Where am I on the site?
- What page am I on?
- Where are they located?
- How do I contact them?
- Should I tell others about the site?
- How do I buy and order?
Don’t make assumptions when building a Website. Make sure you get feedback from enough site visitors in your target market that you get an idea about how easy the site is to use. This prevents questions from surfacing that can cause usability problems and lead to a poor return from your Website.
Thomas Young is CEO and President of Intuitive Websites, a Colorado Springs based Internet marketing, Website design and usability firm. To learn more about Intuitive Websites contact Tom at 719-481-4040 or [email protected].