I was recently reading an article by Jeffrey Eisenberg “Google, User Experience, and Thinking Beyond Conversion” on the User Interface Engineering site. The article emphasizes user experience and how it fits with the actors engaged in web page development: “designers, developers, content creators and marketers”.
The article also notes and this was the grand question, “If conversion is fundamentally about completing your linear scenarios, and people rarely go about accomplishing their goals in a linear fashion – how are you designing to address the buying process behavior of the majority of these non-linear prospects?”
This got me thinking about what customers want, what they need, and how these sometimes competing items can be addressed in converting prospects to sales.
I believe the first thing most sites do is try to appease everyone. As the web evolves, I think we’ll begin to see dynamic sites that change based on the user’s intention.
This type of site will need to address user ‘wants’ and educate to get the customer to ‘needs’ while clearing out all the other non-essential information.
I wrote last week about the coming of an App based internet (not my idea) and this really isn’t that much different a concept.
The App filters and presents site content based on the purpose of the App. The difference in my scenario is that the user would be on the Web using something bigger than a mobile device, and the ‘app’ would be a component of the site instead of a 3rd party on a mobile device.
Each page of a site ought to be there for a select number of probable reasons. By asking if one of these is what the user is interested in, you can help guide the user and present information critical to shifting from wants to needs, and with each selection the site changes to keep the most relevant information front and center.
Consider a reporter is doing a story on a large company. Visiting the site there is all types of information, product and service, management, news releases, employment opportunities, the bigger the company the more information that must be shifted through. If the site knew I was a member of the media, it could then interact with me to provide the information I’m seeking and it could supply information I may not have initially considered relevant.
Interactive web sites of this type would address both the non-linear process and linear funnels of customer and company.