If you had fresh eyes ...
Posted on July 27, 2012 by Lawrence Smith - Leave a comment
Taiwan, A place I have heard of, but know virtually nothing about. And I arrived at a very “Asian” (obviously) website, http://eng.taiwan.net.tw. Lots of pastel colours, lots of animation, and lots and lots of places to click. Usability issues aside (and there are a few), the site fails for me on several levels, and it’s interesting why.
Firstly, this is my first introduction to Taiwan. I’m at ground zero, I know nothing. What would really work for me is a map to help orient me in regard to other countries, to understand how big the country is, and then to locate where the places are. Simultaneously I want photos, big ones, that inspire me and say “wow, you should visit!”. And finally, while I want to know and feel it’s an Asian country, I personality would like a little more simplicity to make it easier for me to identify and interpret information. Rather than it all being on one page, with lots of flashing buttons!
So, again for my perspective, I want the site to be in the shape and form that fits me, as a potential visitor. I think this is where it gets interesting. We strive typically to preserve a brand, or to design in the image of what we believe is right. But is that what visitors want? Do they want an Asian look, or one they are comfortable with? The challenge being that every visitor is different, and what works for me, may not work for you. Usability studies will help this, and interestingly we’re in the middle of one right now testing some designs, but, they have to be tested against (ideally) a similar market to your real audience. The market segments.
And then there is the app. Classic, tap “useful information” and this is what you get.
And my point to all this? Fresh eyes. Often it’s hard to look at your site and marketing material objectively. Go and “visit” a destination online you have never been to before, virtually or physically, and pretend you’re planning a trip there. What information did you want, and why, and how could you make it better? And then go back to your site and apply that same logic.
Time for coffee, and for me to ponder the meaning of the grounds. Happy Friday!