Web design with the customer in mind

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Every business leader knows the customer is king - which means it’s strange that many firms still fail to pay enough attention to the customer experience. For those not aiming to compete on price, customer experience will be the key differentiator amongst your competition.

Just think of your own interactions. How often have you visited a web site, only to find the experience tainted by poor navigability, lack of options or less than intuitive structure?

It’s time for a wake up call. Firms should think of their web presence as they would their physical presence, such as shops or factories.

It would be anathema to clutter such locations, or to provide leisurely and unhelpful customer service. So, why not take a similarly hard stance to web design?

You must recognise that a concentration on usability during web design is absolutely vital if you really want your customer to feel special.

The key here is making the application invaluable to your customers through valuable content, services and most of all usability.

Think about the development tools you will use and how the right IT professionals and line-of-business executives will be able to create an effective design.

Also think hard about the presentation layer. Different customers will make different demands on your business. Try to avoid a “one size fits all” approach to your users and don’t implement too many personalisation options that can defeat the purpose of the application.

Such differentiation can make your job complicated, so concentrate on the following rules.

Simple is best and content should be easy to find. Just as new elements can improve a web design, some elements will be extraneous and should be removed.

You will, therefore, need to continually refine and test your ideas.

Do not assume a finished design will always be appropriate because user requirements can change.

Finally, as you modify your web design, do not impose technology.

Think about what your users need and then apply new technologies and methods.

In short, always keep the customer at the forefront of your mind and your web site will be a pleasure to use.

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