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« Networks and Marketing | Main | The Value of Free Information »

Concentrating on User Centered Design

Users have their mind set on the information they seek.  If you can align your web content with what your users desire you'll be more successful online.  This seems logical to everyone, but few people actually follow through on the logic.

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make online is not providing users the information they desire.  How many times have you visited a web site excepting one thing only to get another? Many companies decided what their content is going to be via committee. Upper level management has meetings and creates a strategy based on their desires.  What they are really doing is imposing what they think is important on the user.  This process rarely proves successful. In many cases it frustrates the user.

Successful web sites concentrate on user centered design.  They focus on providing high quality content and take extra strides to deliver that content effectively.  Theses companies take their egos out of the equation and focus on delivering high quality content to their users.

How do I provide users with relevant content? One suggestion is to take a survey of your users. Setup a simple survey via email.  If you're web site has been up for a while you should have more than enough user email addresses.  In the email, ask users what type of information or content they seek. Tabulate the data and find the top requests.  You'll usually find that what you think the user needs and what they actually want are two different things.  Make sure you provide the user with what they need and enjoy your online success.

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