How do you use them to plan a website?
- Make a list of users and order them by importance.
- Define each user’s objective.
- List the features needed to achieve that objective.
Chris: Alright, I’m sold on user journeys. So how do we do it?
Matt: Okay, well, it’s not that difficult. People kind of get a bit scared by them, but they’re pretty simple things really. You can put them in a spreadsheet, a document, however you want to do it.
Chris: So we just start with a list of all the different users. How can that look?
Matt: Okay, you can do a sheet per user – it depends how complex your site build is going to be as well. It might be something that’s really small, you’re just looking at a brochure site that’s selling something very simple, and that’s your primary concern. You may have an e-commerce store, so you might want to then look at the different types of users and go through their journeys through that store. So a purchaser, an admin, all those sorts of things.
Chris: So then you put them in the order of priority.
Matt: Yeah, so when you think about those different types of user for an e-commerce store, who do you care the most about, and what are you trying to get them to do? What’s their end-goal? If web designers understand who is the most important user to look after, and what their most important use case is, it can help them determine the visual hierarchy for that design. For instance, if you are selling something online, but actually the most important thing you do with your users is engage with them through your email marketing. Perhaps we want a much more prevalent subscription thing on the site there, and we push that subscription service to their newsletter everywhere we can, because you’ve told us that’s the most important thing for you and your customers. That would steer the design.
Chris: Right, so you’ve defined each user’s objective, so then you need to list all the features to achieve that objective.
Matt: Yeah, so breaking down, that’s something that we could work on together, or a technical team could work on. So again, if you go to e-commerce, there’s going to be a certain amount of features you need to put on the website to achieve that objective. If you’re buying something, you need a shopping basket, you need tax rules, you need all of the different elements of an e-commerce system that would then fulfil that service. If they can’t get through the checkout, if they can’t pay for anything, then you’ve failed that user journey.
Chris: And finally, you need to give all that to your web developer so we can start building something.
Matt: Exactly. Working with a web developer once you’ve got or understood those user journeys, that’s when they can help get that site map right as well. And there’s lots of other things you should really look at before you start doing your site map, including SEO. So what we’ve looked at here is these user journeys and how you would plan your website, there’s maybe a whole other story to tell as well, which is looking at these user journeys and how you get them to your website and focus on them through online marketing. So there's a nice complex world you can build from understanding your audience and your user journeys.
Chris: That is highly useful.
Matt: That wasn’t very funny though, was it. I feel like we kind of need to do some pat-a-cake to give the audience something to look at.
Chris: I don’t know what to say on this bit. Is there a link to download something?
Matt: Maybe. Have a look below!
Chris: Yes there is! Thank goodness for that.
Matt: Great. Thanks everyone. Bye!