As you might know we as Vennster are an independent company since the beginning of 2011. As part of the process, we changed our name and our branding style. Now it’s time to develop our own website - Vennster.nl. Of course we do that in a way we also would when designing a website for one of our customers using the appropriate methods and tools.
The first and most important step is to determine who the target audience of our website is.
In the lifecycle of experiencing the services/products of your company, users of your website can be in different stages. They can be…
- Don’t know you (very well)
- Become aware of you: the company & the people
- Explore your services/products
- Compare your company with similar companies
- Might become a customer
- Are already making use of your services/products
- Wonder what more you have to offer
- Want to know what there is to benefit
- Know you very well – are loyal fans
- Need information in more depth
- Want to know about new things
- Want to share knowledge
- Might recommend your services/products to others
- ...have different needs when visiting the site.
Relations are familiar with your way of doing business, the methods you use. Visitors might not be, they need more explanation.
- ...look at the information from different points of view.
- ...might enter a website via different channels. Therefore you need to be sure that your website is findable in all different ways. Visitors will use Google, customers might use (part of) the URL and relations may have (a certain page of) your website in their list of favorites. Therefore users will not always land on your homepage but will very likely end up somewhere else in your site. This means you have to make sure that it is easy to navigate from anywhere in the website. If you want to know more about ‘the Total Experience Lifecycle’ check out the website of Akendi, partner from Vennster in UX-design from Canada: http://www.akendi.com/end-to-end-experience-design-process/akendi-experience-lifecycle.php.
First we determined who we want to target with our website. Due to the nature of our services our target audience consists of people with very different professions and skills. In order to find out who these users of our Vennster.nl-site really are, we used a common technique: describing personas; a realistic picture of a person that represents a specific part of the target group for the service/product/website we have to offer them. In our case there is a need for personas in different stages of the relationship describing the visitor, the customer and the relation.
In my next blog I will explain how we created such a realistic picture and why this is necessary.