You might be focused on your own personal KPIs, what the Marketing team would like it to achieve or what your line manager demands in terms of growth and targets.
And while a collection of objectives seems like a sensible blueprint to start from, after processing the various departmental opinions and preferences, the project can quickly spiral out of control.
Maybe the boss has seen a pretty nifty site somewhere that has loads of animations and simply wants your build to echo that. Or marketing insist it should work in a different way, and give you a wildly different direction to follow before agreeing your original concept was better.
Maybe just hold on a minute, take a breath and ask yourself – what are you actually trying to achieve?
Is it brand awareness? Lead generation? Sales conversion?
And what are we using to measure success? Site visits? Dwell time? Conversions? Specific event interaction?
Or maybe it should be simple metrics around customer engagement. They’re the users remember.
Oh yes, them!
Because unless you’re carefully considering your user’s needs and looking at everything through that lens, you’re going to have a problem. They are the focus.
Who really wants to face the criticism of why people ‘simply aren’t engaging with the platform’, why they aren’t converting down the sales funnel or why they seem to close the application down as soon as they’ve opened it.
Your users have the ultimate power to disengage and find a better experience elsewhere immediately.
Like any high street, if you’ve an ugly and out of touch shop window you’re unlikely to get any footfall.
Even if you do get them through the door they are going to leave permanently if the experience is clunky, disorganised and unhelpful.
With this in mind, doesn’t it make sense to talk your customers before you design your shop?
Perhaps find out what they like and expect, what bothers them and what they are missing from other experiences.
You actually already know this, even if subconsciously. You’re a customer. We all are.
We’re the real experts in digital experience because we live it every day. We know what bugs us, frustrates us and what a smooth, hassle free experience looks and feels like.
You’re a human experiencing a digital world.
So don’t forget yourself, or others like you, when creating a new one.
Tips for creating a great digital human experience
Do some user research
Literally work with an agency or conduct the research yourself. Talk to a broad cross section of your target demographic, find out the problems they face, what’s frustrating, what they want to do, how long they need to do it, and where they do it from.
Hire User Experience expertise – and listen to it!
A good UX designer will already be very aware of the business objectives of a digital experience project and knows the best way to get users from A to B. They will have seen where and why applications fail many times before and know how to smooth the path and remove the obstacles. You’ve paid for their knowledge, so listen to it.
Not sure which approach will work best? Really want to get this right? Be patient and let the data tell you. Produce multiple approaches and measure the results. Your users and the data will tell you what works best.
Engaging User Interface design
It’s not just the imagery or the buttons, it’s all the bits in between. It’s what happens when you hover over an image, how the page animates when you scroll down, the feel of a good online experience. The third dimension.
You followed points 1 to 4 religiously 18 months ago but it’s time to review. A year is a long time in digital, trends move on and so subconsciously do our tastes. That kitchen your friend put in four years ago, who uses ceramic hobs now? If you want to stay relevant, continue to invest.