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User Experience (UX) — The Key To All Good Design
What Makes A Great B2B Website?  Part 4 of 4

Arturo Perez, CEO - Kluge Interactive

In Part 1 of this four-part series we defined our three pillars of an effective B2B website: Brand, Content, and User Experience (UX). Part 2 focused on Branding, highlighting the importance of visual storytelling and the utilization of photography, iconography, videos, and super graphics to effectively communicate your messaging, and in Part 3 our focus turned to Content. In this final piece, part four of the series, we address the importance of User Experience and its vital role to the success of your website.

A good UX is the layer that ties every element of a website together. By building a strong visual narrative and utilizing a content-first approach, your user experience will already be infinitely better than most business-to-business (B2B) websites that are being produced today. But there are additional user-centric considerations that need to be put in place.
 

Build for your Audience

The key to a successful website is understanding who your target audience is.  Creating user personas is a great technique to ensure audience understanding. These personas are broken down by name, description, behaviors, needs & goals. Think of your user persona as a real person rather than someone you can archetype to be your perfect customer.

Image - Build for your audience

Personas don't have to be perfect or beautifully developed as shown by this persona we did for Live Media Group.


Understand Your Objectives

Beyond generating leads, your site may have many additional objectives. You may be trying to get prospective employees to your career page. Get existing customers to check out all of your recent success in your blog, or want users to sign up for your newsletter. 

What’s paramount is building a very real and clear hierarchy of objectives that lets your users focus on what’s important.

Image - Understand your objectives

AdColony has three distinct target users which it is trying to sign up to its service. At the bottom of each target user, we reinforce the call-to-action already on the top right of navigation bar but this time addressing the individual target user. There are no conflicting secondary calls-to-action on this part of the site so it still feels clean and natural even though we are triggering for the same action twice.
 

Understand Your User Journey

Just because you have a primary call-to-action does not mean the user must get there right away, especially if your goal is to generate leads.

Image - Understand your user journey

We initially directed users who clicked on Get Started Now to a Contact form. It is now going to the Solutions page. After users learn about the Solutions they are more likely to fill out the form in Contact page.


A Good Sitemap Is Everything

Sitemaps are often thought of as the static placement of key sections and subsections of the site, and this is partially true. The process of building a sitemap actually involves everyone on the team.  They all must understand the users' objectives, potential user journeys, and the interactions on the site. In other words, the sitemap must become alive in our minds so we can understand if it’s truly working.

Image - A good sitemap is everything

Directional arrows in AdColony’s sitemap help us visualize key interactions between sections, allowing us to envision key interactions of the site throughout the design process.


Performance Is Good UX

It goes without saying that none of the above is possible without solid technology behind it. It is important that your developers work tirelessly to write clean code and load things at the right time for a seamless user experience. On the web, performance is everything, and by improving your site’s load speed by a mere second, conversion rates have been shown to improve in the double digits.

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Deloitte’s Memory Card Game for the Monitor Institute, is set-up on a server that allows us to add speed/capacity to it at any minute for whatever reason in order to enhance performance.


Getting Started

I hope the above examples are helpful in preparing for your next web project. Please remember that they are simply meant to get you to think about the factors to consider. They are not a step-by-step guide to putting together your own process, and are in fact intentionally not written in any particular order. 

The key take away from this four-part series is that your website needs to consider brand, content, and user experience as one unified project. Whether you work with your in-house team or you outsource, the more you work together towards building all three pillars, the better off you are to succeed.

In order to help you prepare for your next project, feel free to utilize these two downloadable tools:

  • A Full Web Site Questionnaire and Checklist
    This is a very thorough tool that takes into account additional considerations such as your marketing materials, landing pages and marketing strategy. Its main goal, like this blog piece, it is intended to help you put into consideration your full digital marketing strategy to prevent assembling it in silos.
     
  • Stakeholder Alignment Check Workshop
    This very simple workshop sheet can be completed in a just a matter of minutes. I recommend printing it out and have everyone in your company (that will be involved in your next web/branding project) fill it out on their own. It should take no more than 10 minutes of their time. Then collect them all, and see how aligned you are as a team! Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t aligned. This is common, and is only the first step in putting together a great strategy.
     

It’s Not A Website, It’s Your Digital Presence

Think much more of it than as merely your website. It is your digital presence. More than ever, it is the future of every business.

I welcome your comments, and invite you to share this information.

Photo - Arturo Perez - Kluge Interactive

Arturo Perez, CEO
Kluge Interactive

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