Strategy Drives Design

Have you ever wondered how the really successful websites become so successful? It isn’t all down to luck (though a little helps) and it isn’t about having the prettiest website. It is down to careful design driven by strategy. But how do you develop a strategy that is going to create effective design?

The first step is to create a customer journey map. A customer journey map is a visual representation of a customer’s relationship with a company from initial touchpoints, through to final results. The method of mapping your customer journey involves empathising with your customer whilst analysing your business processes.

You can find out how to do this in 10 simple steps here. Once you have mapped out the customer journey should be armed with details of your customer touchpoints, customer persona, empathy map, moments of truth, and journey map. This gives you a strong basis to generate ideas and explore the website user journey in greater detail.

The website user journey is the path a visitor takes through your website. Analysing how users interact with your website will help you to understand what is important to your visitors and potentially how they react to language, visuals, layouts and content.

Mapping out the user journey can be done over one visit or over a much longer period to study how web visitors are using your website. Studying a much longer period will tell you what information they are accessing and how they are reaching decisions so we would always recommend doing this.

The user journey map covers different user groups, for example –  novice, expert and trade buyers. The map should then be looked at in seven phases; awareness, research, decision, pre-purchase, reassurance, purchase and post-purchase. Understanding the emotional state and thinking of the visitor at these key phases that will enable businesses to unlock the right approach for the product you’re creating.

Understanding the user’s emotional state and the information they need to process to reach a decision to buy/commit will drive useful insight when it comes to content strategy, functional scope and user experience (UX) design.

When you understand your customer and their experience of your website, you can begin to make the necessary design adjustments in line with best practises. If you would like to learn more about user journey mapping please read ‘The 5 best things about user journey’.

If you need help to understand your website visitors, then we would be more than happy to help. Give us a call on 01536 560 435.