Monday, 25 August 2008

My business has morphed...

I love creating user friendly web content. This is probably why most of my recent work has been on web content projects. It feels like the business has morphed and now it's time to officially reposition myself.

I've already changed my response to, "what do you do?". I now reply, "I help small businesses create user friendly websites."

Now you might have noticed how I started the post talking about web content and now it's about websites. It seems to me that there's really no point having user friendly content if the fonts are hard to read, the pages difficult to navigate and the general feel completely at odds with the businesses' personality.

If you're Amazon you'll have your User Experience Team making sure every element of the site from search to shopping carts is user friendly. Small businesses don't need a team of people. But, they might need someone, inside or outside the business, who knows about user experience and can drive the project of making a user friendly website.

If they don't have someone who can do this, or someone who has time to do it, I'm going to be the person they can hire.

So that's the idea so far. I'm on the hunt for web designers who share my passion for the user's experience. This way we can offer clients a package of content, design and project management.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on what businesses need, what they already know and what they want from their websites. Add a comment or for in-depth chats I'm always free for a cup of tea,

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Checking a website is user friendly is really important

(This was an email to a client but it wanted to become a blog post too...)

We'd like to think, well I would, that there'd be some rules that we could follow to guarantee everyone can get around our websites easily. There are some rules, but not enough. For the bits that we can't follow rules for we have to find another solution: testing.

Here's an article about user testing for you to take a look at. As a small business working for small businesses I'm very aware that we need to be mindful of resources. But convincing people to do something fun, like test a website and share their opinions, may not be that hard.

You could ask your current/past clients to help you. If you said "we're really keen to get some intelligent, savvy people to share their opinions about our new website and we thought we'd ask you" they may say "we'd love to". Of course they'd have to pick people from their teams who didn't work with you last time, people who know enough to behave like a potential client but don't already know what you do.