As the great Bob Dylan famously said, “Times, they are a changin’.” And man, are they ever. Yet, despite this, many companies are doing the same ol’ thing with the same ol’ formula when it comes to their websites, and it isn’t working anymore. It’s time to start considering the customer and how they interact with your site, so that rather than digging around on another generic website, they find themselves on a thoughtful and interesting journey that continuously keeps them engaged and coming back for more.
In an increasingly accelerated world where customer needs and desires are changing and evolving, you may be wondering how you can keep up with them and design your website in a way that takes this into consideration. Well, we thought you’d never ask.
While every business’ offerings and customer needs are different, there are five key things we recommend when we approach creating any new website:
1: Learn about the customers: At Sublime, we always start with the customers, because while yes, your website is there to showcase who you are as a company, it should also meet the needs of the customer buying your product or service in order to ensure it’s effective. Because of this, we start by interviewing customers and figuring out what their specific needs are at each step of the buying process in order to help you properly lead them on a journey through your website that spoon feeds them the content and information that’s customized to their needs.
2: Map out their journey: Once you’ve interviewed your customers, you know what they need at each stage of the buying process and can map out a custom journey for each buyer persona. For instance, once on your homepage, they’ll ideally be able to self-select their journey based on their specific needs. From there, they can click a button that will take them to a new landing page with customized content, leading them to whatever call-to-action is relevant.
3: Build a wireframe for both copy and design: At Sublime Designs, when we create a new wireframe, we bring together our design and copywriting teams to map out the journey and wireframe each page. This ensures the journey is connected on all levels – from a content strategy and design perspective. We create graphics where an image could tell a better story and we think through how the graphics and content will flow together. Additionally, this is the stage where UX really needs to be thought through and carefully designed. How is the site going to be the most user-friendly and easy to navigate for all users to ensure the optimal customer experience?
4: Write, design, and code: While these are three things you have to do for any standard website, when you do these for a site with a customer journey approach, it’s important to make sure that they all connect with the customers. The design shouldn’t just be some generic imagery, but instead should represent something that’s relevant to the journey you’re taking them on. And it’s more than just jargon or pithy messaging, but instead hits on those specific buyer needs you established in your customer interviews.
5: Differentiate yourself. As the world gets noisier and more competitive, it’s more important than ever to make sure your website and brand design is interesting and differentiated from customers. Tone of voice is a great way to do that, as is beautiful imagery and pithy copy that instantly catches your attention.
If you find it’s time to reimagine your website (or are creating one for the first time) and want to make sure it provides the best possible customer journey, we’d love to talk to you. You can contact us directly at [email protected] to talk about your needs.