Designing for what they need is difficult but liberating

by / Filed under Web

There is a type of product that does require lots and lots of content marketing and will continue to require such marketing long into the future. The type of product where the more you learn about what it’s made of, the less likely you are to buy it. Thus, the product’s manufacturers must create a ‘brand’ that is as far away from the actual product as possible. Coca Cola and Red Bull are good examples of such brands. Less content marketing, more quality content

Yes, see the Red Bull Content Pool.

There are many ways to say the same thing over and over, but you really should listen to Gerry McGovern on websites. It’d be easy to dismiss it as a non-engaging, non-imaginative view of the web, but that would miss the point.

To make a good website you have to find out what customers really need from you; not what they, your organisation (or you, for that matter) wants, or would like them to need. This can be difficult and counterintuitive work, not least because there’s quite a chasm between what customers say (especially in focus groups), what they actually do and how you see your website.

It takes imagination and discipline to interpret a card sort or top task list and convert the results into a web design that works.

While this task-first view of the world may seem limiting, it can be liberating. After all, most customer tasks are prosaic. In terms of HTML and CSS it is, most of the time, incredibly easy to code designs that enable customers to do what they want to do. The skill comes in working out what exactly that is, writing it and figuring out what it looks like on a web page.