User Research

So, you want a new website. Preferably one that is user friendly. But where to start?

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Websites can’t simply be made, they must be planned and designed. At the core of this is knowing who your users are and what their needs are from the site. This is why our team of user researchers are on-hand to help with planning you a great site, that meets both expectation and need.

User research’s core focus is on understanding user needs, motivations and behaviours.

There are many parts necessary in planning a good, usable, user-friendly site. That’s why we offer comprehensive insight and activities, to ensure that your site is right for your subset of visitors. Our work includes:

  1. Documenting website objectives - Why do you want a website? What purpose does it have? What do you need it to achieve? We help clients define the objectives of their website so that we both know why we’re doing this and how we can measure its success.

  2. Undertaking audience assessments - Who do you think uses your site? Who uses your site? Who do you need to reach? These are your users. We identify and understand who your users are, from there we can start to understand what these users either want or need to do, as well as what you want or need them to know.

  3. Identifying user needs - What do your users need to do on your website? What tasks have they arrived to complete? E.g. book an appointment; apply for a course; download a publication. What do they need in order to do this? Keeping user needs central means a website stays focused on what it is trying to achieve and doesn’t try and meet needs that don’t exist or are superfluous.

  4. Developing the information architecture (IA) - the structure of the site - Doing this well is imperative so that users can navigate instantly to the information they need.  We provide IA solutions that can be tested with real users. Online tools allow us to show users a mockup of a navigation menu and ask them where they would go to find information on certain topics. It’s fun and very insightful!

  5. Undertaking content modelling - We look at what “types” of content will exist on your site - not simply page types like “blog” but more concept-based, e.g. if you have team info, “person” would be a content type, so would “event”. It all helps to create content that is structured well from the outset, as well as helping developers know how to build the site. This activity is strongly advised for any site that is likely to have a lot of different and changing content types. It helps avoid duplication and reduces the risk of content getting in a mess as websites grow.

  6. Wireframing - Once an agreed structure of the site has been agreed, pages can begin to be designed. Wireframing means sketching out a design before making it properly.

We work alongside our friends at Hannah Mary Harris on User Research for our clients. Check them out!

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