Understand user needs to create valuable digital solutions
By Sara Hernandez
Last week Comprend attended “Webbdagarna” in Stockholm – a two-day event centring around digital experiences, trends and development. This year’s event was over all about everything from content strategy to nanotechnology, but the most outstanding discussions where about user insights and what to do with them.
It was clear that the interest in working with user insights was the hype of the year – to our great pleasure at Comprend, since we encourage to do user testing and work with user experience in all our projects. The speakers were all unanimous on one thing – we have to start putting the users first and understand their needs, behaviours and emotional triggers.
Let the user perspective drive innovation
One of the speakers of the day was Talia Wolf, a conversion expert and co-founder of GetUpLift. She works to help companies optimise their websites and e-commerce platforms to increase conversions. Her perspective is that at the root of every conversion is our decision-making process. Therefore, it is crucial to understand what the users really want. We must ask how the user is feeling and what the emotional triggers that drive their decision-making are, before finding a solution.
Tricia Wang, a technology ethnographer and consultant at Sudden Compass, also talked about the difference between being company-centric and customer-centric and how companies must stop “doing digital” and work towards becoming digital. Your company can be innovative but if the user perspective is not in the forefront you will fail to reap results from the customer. She gave examples from Kodak and Nokia – two very innovative companies that failed to understand what the customer wanted and therefore missed out on opportunities to grow and develop.
Wang also put a lot of emphasis on combining big data with what she called “thick” data. Big data – statistics, numbers and patterns - can’t explain everything about human behaviour. You need to add thick data – customer interviews, usability testing and in-depth knowledge about humans and their needs and behaviours.
Inside-out mentality causes bad user experience and low conversion
David Darmanin, CEO of Hotjar, gave a talk named “The rise of the user”. His point was that we must prioritise the users and aim to understand how they behave and what they want. He urged us to put more effort into asking the users questions and make sure to act on the feedback and insights collected.
One of the most entertaining talks of the event was UX comedian Karl Gilis a.k.a. “the 3rd most influential conversion expert in the world”. His session was called “Why you suck at online marketing”. Gilis gave us several examples of company websites where the inside-out mentality causes bad user experience and low conversion. The companies are so focused on their own story and what they want to sell, promote or talk about that the user perspective gets lost.
These are a few examples but there were many more speakers talking about user experience, conversion and analytics and they all gave a clear message: We must understand our users in order to create digital solutions that are useful and valuable to them.