In July 2021, we decided to redesign our new website. However, how to create a solution that meets the needs and requirements of our clients – not only ours? To answer this question we decided to conduct internal ux research, including both our clients and market analysis, in order to best adapt to the challenges that lie ahead.
Our aim was simple, but we decided to extend it by a few additional points. The results of the work were to help create a new website, but at the same time they should help us determine the further direction of the organisation’s development and be used in other areas of work such as marketing or business strategy. Have we succeeded? Let’s see!
In any research process, the first most important thing to do is to answer the question – what do we really want to know? To make sure that everyone in the team has a common goal and to get to know the view of team members on every aspect of the organisation, we conducted a kick-off workshop. During the 4-hour meeting we established both common goals and values, as well the rules for the next few weeks of work. Also, by using the Lean Canvas tool we fast mapped information about the company and our vision for further development.
The workshop was just the beginning of our work – the gathered information combined with the analysis of our services and projects, allowed us to define the main questions, hypotheses and further research activities.
In the next step we created an in-depth analysis of relevant competition covering 36 parameters including positioning in the market, target groups, marketing efforts, visual style of communication, UVP, UX efficiency, information architecture and so on. To add a broader perspective we also carried out a more general analysis of the entire market segment. This allowed us to better understand the actions of our competition, establish benchmarks for our strategies as well as highlight our strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.
Then, based on scientifically proven models and recognised methods we researched various cultural and psychological factors which let us define communication patterns that are optimal for our target audience.
One of the most important elements of our research were interviews with existing clients – after all, they are the best source of valuable feedback. The interviews were based on a script written for this particular task. Such a document reassures us that we have asked all the necessary questions (in line with the previously formulated hypotheses).
Additionally, we performed netnographic research, i.e. observation of users’ activities on the Internet. After analyzing dozens of opinions, comments and thematic threads on review groups or portals, we observed two main patterns of behaviour within two separate user paths. The search for patterns of user behaviour is one of the most important research stages – thanks to them we are able to correctly characterize the group and determine its main needs and behaviours.
On the basis of all the information compiled, we have distinguished 3 main groups of customers, characterized according to their main need and the level of the company’s evolution. The division into different user groups helps to cater for all customers’ needs and to properly adjust both communication and the scope of the company offer. The next step was to create specific personas representing each group to facilitate the mapping of information and other processes other than website construction, e.g. marketing strategy.
Defined personas and customers’ needs are some of the most important components of design – but there is much more to it. The next step for us was to conduct another internal workshop, this time focusing on the characterization of the Unique Value Proposition and the communication of other values. For this purpose, two tools were used – the Golden Circle and UVP Canvas. In addition, we also characterised the overall values of the company and the team itself. Conducting such a workshop allows to organise information and compare internal insights with findings from an external research. Moreover, this is also a great tool for building the organisational culture and making sure that every voice in the company is properly heard.
Using all the collected information, the research results were written down in a form of the guidelines for a new website, instead of just a simple documentation of findings. This seemingly small change – providing the same data, but with a different purpose of the document – allowed for a quick and transparent organisation of insights both in terms of UX and UI design assumptions, as well as guidelines for creating future content for the website. The information architecture was also based on it – which made it possible to present the collected conclusions in a technical form, supporting further work.
In order to ensure the best quality, UX mockups were prepared, which made it possible to design an appropriate user experience on the entire website. This action may seem like prolonging the design time – but nothing could be more wrong! Appropriate use of mock-ups helped us prepare the design of the entire website and its verification much faster, which significantly reduced the costs of possible corrections and enabled earlier start of work on the solution’s backend. In addition, the appropriate integration of tools and preparation of the mock-ups helped to speed up the UI design process due to the fact that it was based on the finished UX project.
What happened next? The collected information about the users made it possible to properly adjust the copy of the entire website. Then, based on the prepared mock-ups and insights from the guideline, a new visual version of the website was designed, which we developed in the next steps. Additionally, using the collected information, the research team prepared recommendations for further general development activities and supplementary materials, especially useful in the field of business strategy development and marketing activities.