Creative Agencies

Defining Users for Good UX Design Requires Good Research

Submitted by Sam Moore on Thu, 11/19/2020 - 15:48
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Define Users

In our last post, we discussed the need to recognize that there are two real users we’re designing for in a webdev project: Internal Content Editors and External End Users.

 

Web developers must serve each of these user sets, so the users must be defined in as much detail as possible, to set up the needs and expectations of each, which we will use as our design requirements. We call this the Discovery process.

 

External Users – End Users/Customers

The site's external end users may belong to a monolithic group, but more likely, they will belong to several subsets, differentiated in terms relevant to the client/site owner’s business or purpose. Your marketing department should research and create a Customer Profile for each subset of typical customers.

  • These profiles should be generated using known demographic information as much as possible. Relevant demographics will change according to client needs.

  • Other salient points about them will have to remain conjecture, until use of the new site reveals observable data about external users.

  • When building the project timeline, the webdev project manager should be tapped to follow up on this information, which should help determine anticipated needs and desires for the website's ongoing features and functionality. This way, all future updates are based on actual feedback.

Internal Users – Content Editors

In reality, the Internal User is the first one to consider, because the content editor will be the first one to use the site before actual customers do. They will be inputting and updating text, images and media before the customer ever sees it, so they are key to the success of the site.

  • Because there can be several levels of internal users, each should be represented by a Persona Story, also created by your Marketing department.

  • A Persona Story is a pseudo-personality profile and needs assessment that will help determine the features and functionalities needed on the site.

     

We’ll cover the questions used to build the Persona Story in our next post.

WebDev 101 - User interface design

Submitted by Sam Moore on Wed, 10/14/2020 - 15:43
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Web development user interface design

Regardless which content management system (CMS) people use, unless they are dedicated content managers, they are usually administrative professionals primarily responsible for other activities more traditional to their jobs. This makes web content updates just another burdensome task.

If the CMS they’re required to use is difficult, stressful and unrewarding, they will avoid doing it. If you notice a strong resistance to this task in your organization, we’re probably talking about you. At Resonetrics, we can prescribe strategies to successfully deal with your particular situation.

Generally, we start with an introductory interview to learn your specific needs and situation. Then we talk with your designated content editor, to objectively determine whether that person really has the skill set (or the willingness and potential to develop it) and bandwidth to take on the task consistently, as part of their position.

 

If so, we may offer to help onboard that person to a professional standard, using task modeling and checklists to help establish a repeatable routine that produces the results you seek. We will also help your designee navigate your organization's particular culture to make sure they get what they need for each website update.

If your designee does not appear to be a good candidate for the content editing role, we will help you find someone among your team members who is, or recommend external sources to locate a better fit.

 

Moving Toward the Future, Part 4: How Traditional Small Creative Agencies Can Re-tool for the Digital Era – Adhering to Digital-First Tenets

Submitted by Sam Moore on Fri, 09/11/2020 - 09:19

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digital era

The first tenet of digital-first marketing is in its name: Every campaign concept begins with the idea that digital will be the primary and most important outreach channel. This can be difficult for those whose career path began in the print era, many of whom believe that print assets can simply be converted to digital ones. Anyone who has tried to make that happen can tell you otherwise. There must be an intentional mind-shift in which print takes a subordinate position to digital.

 

Along with that comes getting used to the much faster development and deployment pace required by digital-first efforts. Channels and platforms evolve on a nearly daily basis, and the rules that govern them do, as well. Tech-first professionals such as coders and software engineers are used to thinking this way, while traditional creatives may feel the rug has been pulled out from under them at first.

 

This shift also entails leaving behind the perfectionism of traditional print production, once required because huge, expensive print runs had a significant shelf life in which errors were anathema. Now, creatives must become comfortable with the digital-born “iterate and optimize” mindset, in which something close to a “minimum viable product” gets shipped (or launched) to kick off a campaign, then the messaging and graphics are tweaked for effectiveness based on real-world testing, which is the subject of next week’s post.

Moving Toward the Future, Part 3: How Traditional Small Creative Agencies Can Re-tool for the Digital Era – New Appreciation for IT Staff

Submitted by Sam Moore on Wed, 09/02/2020 - 12:29

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IT Staff

In traditional creative agencies, IT staff have almost been a second thought. Programmers, coders and similar employees were viewed mostly as a pair of hands to execute on the agency’s main value proposition: creative ideas. But in a digital-first world in which a constantly growing mound of content is king, it has become at least as important to make sure experienced, knowledgeable IT pros are present when the paper is blank, at the beginning of any campaign.

These people must be present not only to advise accurately on which concepts can most easily and inexpensively be implemented digitally, but also to vet creative assets such as websites and apps for all-important characteristics such as SEO ranking, cleanness of code and loading times.

Another critical task such IT personnel will fulfill is testing deliverables. Testing everything from links and pop-overs to mobile responsiveness must be built into new digital-first processes by people who understand the nuances of the work, and when such testing is most effective. Ensuring that these folks are integral members of the team will keep you competitive and give your projects the best chance for success of your campaigns…and your business.