Year of UX – January 2019

04.02.2019 |

  • Posted by Mark Picken
  • Mapping our user journeys

     

     

    While our Year of UX officially started back in October 2018, we’re creating a month-by-month guide during 2019 highlighting the successes and challenges we’ve had during each month.

     

    Here’s our January highlights

    Content Design training

    Attending Content Design London’s 2 day content design course at the very cool Waterloo Creative. The course was developed by my old Falmouth College of Arts’ friend, Sarah Richards. Sarah led the team at Government Digital Services (GDS), pioneered a new method in developing content – content design – and gave us Gov.uk. 

    I was in my element with Post-it notes, Sharpies and rolls of paper! 

    Here’s a blog I wrote on the 5 things I took away from the content design training.

     

    Better understanding of user needs

    Last week we ran two user needs and user journeys sessions with Blue Flame Heating and Partech Engineering. The aim was to get a better understanding of who the users are. We also wanted to discover what they want to achieve and the journey they need to take to get there.

    It’s allowed us to work together with the client, use their knowledge and experience, and focus on what is important for their customers.

     

    Quicker, better content

    As a result of having a better understanding of the user needs and user journeys, we produced quicker and better content. 

    In both sessions we created content and mocked up new landing page templates in around 10 – 15 minutes as a result of spending time working out the needs first.

    With Blue Flame Heating it also allowed us to work out a process for stripping out around 15 pages on the current site that have had less traffic than we originally expected, and replacing it with 5 pages that we believe will get better results.

     

    17% more website traffic

    We’ve actually been honing our UX (user experience) process over the last 4 years. It was great to find out that a site we helped to develop last year, and went live in November, has seen a 17% increase in traffic.

    We followed our standard procedure to help build this site. Our work covered UX workshop, user needs discovery, content development and wireframe development. Once this was completed we handed over to the design and development team.

     

    Pairs writing

    We worked alongside our SEO expert, Jamie Turnbull, during the Partech session to get input on keywords and phrases that people are actually looking for. Working together meant we were able to produce much better content and a much better outcome for the client.

    We also worked closely with Grant Doe, Blue Flame’s maintenance team supervisor. This allowed us to develop content based on what people are actually searching for around heating. From this we created the 7 most common radiator questions blog. This is now the site’s 10th most visited page.

     

    More opportunities

    While working on one of our UX reviews (for Fifteen Cornwall), we started to gather information around accessibility.

    This has led to us to getting a better understanding of user needs, especially relating to visual impairment, and how that can impact on your website. 

    So, we wrote a blog on accessibility with some key stats.

     

    Here’s our January challenges

    Time

    Time is one of the biggest challenges. We really want to get on and redevelop the MPAD website using the principles we’ve developed over the last 4 years. We’ve mapped out the new sitemap and developed 2 landing pages.

    Just need to get cracking!

     

    Selling the benefits to potential clients

    We know our clients using the process get it. We know that they are already benefiting from it.

    However, we just need to spend more time speaking to businesses, as well as refining our messaging. This will help key decision makers to understand the benefits from using this process. 

    To help the process we’re contacting people we’ve worked with over the last 20 years to get their input on what we’re doing and our messaging.

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