Recently, we had a client come to us in trouble.  Long story short, this was a customer who had come to us previously asking us to build her a website.  We talked over what she wanted, drummed up a proposal, and sent it over to her.  Great, fine, totally on board.  However, then she started talking to another company who promised to do the same job for much cheaper.  She went with them, the site was designed and up and running, and she was not happy with it.  She came back to us needing help.

I have said and will always say, you get what you pay for.  We are in the process of redesigning for her.  We’ve spent several hours drawing up the proposed changes that we think need to take place and we will spend another dozen hours I’m sure working with the web designer on those proposed changes.  

From a design perspective, the site needs to be a lot more streamlined.  Less talk, more action.  When redesigning the site we went in and did so by putting ourselves in her customer’s shoes.  I literally sat down and thought about what myself as a customer would need and want to search for.  When we’re talking about user experience, this is a huge thing to remember.  The way you design something greatly impacts the way a user is able to maneuver through it.  Just because the pages work, links work, forms work, etc. doesn’t mean that someone is going to sit and click through 20 pages of nothing to find what they’re looking for.  There has to be a balance that works together.  Functionality and practicality.  A want and a need.

Sometimes when designing a site, or designing anything for that matter, you really have to go back to Marketing 101.  You need to identify the problem and then start solving that problem.  You need to have a quick call to action so that you know the customer isn’t getting lost in the message, because then you will lose a customer.  People are all about WIIFM.  Me, me, me – all the time.  So cater to them.  Don’t have that same “me, me, me” philosophy about yourself.  Harsh truth: people don’t want to read 10 pages about you.  They want to get in, see what’s in it for them, and get out.  

Software design, web design, user experience -they all have one thing in common.  The customer.  If you are working for a client, the first thing you need to do is identify your customer’s customer’s needs.  Build from there and, at the end of the day, make sure that that is the perspective that you are continually checking yourself from.

Have you had a similar experience?  Share below! Do you agree that the customer’s customer’s perspective is most important?  Or would you disagree?