Using Goals in Web Site Design

All web sites depend on visitor success

If visitors’ goals aren’t fulfilled, they may give up, they may click back and go elsewhere, and they are certainly unlikely to recommend a site to others.

Many sites depend directly on the consumer’s success, for example ticket booking or shopping sites, where it’s crucial that visitors are able to complete transactions, and come back to the same site in future.

For other sites, success depends indirectly on the visitor’s achieving their goals – such as through brand-promotion using competitions or games, market research via a chat site, or advertising on a lifestyle portal.

In all cases, if the publisher’s goals aren’t met, the commercial consequences can be serious. All these goals depend on people coming, using, staying around, bookmarking, coming back, recommending to others. As consumers of web sites, we want to find great sites that help us achieve our personal goals, and we’re very willing to use the best ones again and again.

Success depends on carrying a visitor all the way through to their goal being met. Getting them 99% of the way there won’t mean you’re 99% as successful!

All goals are important

Goal-oriented design is a process for creating solutions that enable people to achieve realistic goals.

All goals are important, but you may not be able to deliver them all, and you certainly can’t design for every possibility. If your web project is going to succeed, you need to know which goals to shoot for.

In this section you’ll first analyse your goals, then work out your web site’s goals, and finally the site’s visitors’ goals.

Goal-oriented Design

Your goals
Identifying your personal goals will help you to achieve them.
Your site’s goals
Identify your web site’s goals
Users’ goals
The importance of understanding users’ goals when designing web sites and applications, introducing personas as a design tool.
Win-win solutions
The best sites are consciously planned to deliver win-win solutions that deliver both users’ goals and achieve the site’s goals.
Why using personas in your design process helps avoid common mistakes and creates a better product.
The Site Persona & Dialogue Process
Two more powerful tools for modelling the interactions on your web site. Site personas represent the site’s brand and goals. The Dialogue Process is a way of designing interactions as conversations between user personas and the site persona.
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