Why Your Website Should Be User-Centric
When a business owner embarks upon the task of developing a website, he typically concentrates on how he wants to present his company to the world. Its mission, the products or services it sells, its history, its staff – the website pretty much revolves around the business itself. From the design and navigation to the content and copy, the company is the focus of the website.
This approach is totally backwards.
Your website should focus squarely on the site visitor. Why? Because although you and your employees may occasionally view your website, most visitors will be current or potential customers, and it’s your customers who are the key to your business’s success. They’re the ones who will purchase your products or services and refer you to others. If your website doesn’t provide them with a satisfying, pleasurable user experience, they’ll go elsewhere, and take their money with them.
Take a look at your website now, and try to see it through a customer’s eyes. Then answer these questions:
- Does your website have a visually pleasing, uncluttered, organized layout without a lot of distracting elements?
- Are the navigation and site architecture intuitive, so the user can get from one page to another without a problem?
- Are there minimal barriers to services and tools?
- Is the copy clear and effective, with a scannable layout that incorporates headings and subheadings, bullet lists, and shorter text blocks?
- Does your website take advantage of conventions so that users will know what to expect?
- And finally, does your copy use the words “you” and “your” more than it does “we,” “us,” or “our”?
If you can answer “yes” to most of the above questions, then you’re well on your way to developing a user-centric website. If not – well, you’ve got some work to do.
Focusing on your customers’ needs is of the utmost importance when developing your website. In fact, taking your customers into consideration is important in pretty much all facets of business – after all, it’s your customers, or the lack of them, that ultimately determine your business’s success.