Isn’t the Web Great? How Blockbuster used the web to change its game. The Web Is Great: Jott
Jul 09

Most companies plan their web site from the inside out. The process looks something like this:

1. What do we want it to do?
2. What are my competitors doing? Ooh, I’d like my web site to do that.
3. Talk about how great we are (use “we” and “our” a lot in our copy).
4. “This is how I want it to look. I like these colors. I don’t like those colors.”

Do you notice in the four elements above, you never see the word “you”? Zip. Not once. Nil. Here’s the mistake most companies are prone to making:

Companies scarecly think of the customer when planning the redesign of their web site.

Now, companies may think that they know what the customer wants and that’s inherent in their planning. But have they bothered to ask?

5 tips for better planning your new web site:

1. Ask the customer what they want. Go ahead, ask 10 of your best customers what they would like to see on your new web site, and send a survey to a good many prospects.

2. Plan your web site around the customers’ wants and needs, not your company. There’s a thought.

3. Don’t base your color and design preferences on what you like; base it on what your customers prefer. Involve your customers and prospects in the design process. They’re the ones who are going to use it anyway, right?

4. Don’t launch before you test. Ask your customer to complete a task (say, sign-up for a newsletter or download a white paper). Watch them do it. Get their feedback. Adjust. Then launch.

5. Do what your competitors aren’t doing. Ask your customers what they like about your competitors’ web sites, but also what they don’t like. Make sure you don’t do the don’t likes, because nothing drives prospects away better than poor usability or functionality.

Bottomline: When planning for a new web site, don’t make the web site for you-make it for the real user and ask them their wants, needs and preferences and get them intimately involved in the process.

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