Know the User Requirements before Optimizing Your Website
Not many businesses know that user experience in their website is accomplished only when the user is able to fulfill his/her goals for their website. If you want to make your customers’ goals more achievable with your site, then you need to get to know your customers. The more you learn about your users and their objectives, the easier it will be to make the necessary changes to your site in order support their needs. A requirement explains what your product is supposed to do or characteristics of your product. The requirements you collected from your potential customers must be useful not obscure and they should be clear and unambiguous as possible.
There are two types of requirements – functional and nonfunctional requirements. Functional requirements explain exactly what your product does and some of them include authentication, business rules, administrative functions, audit tracking, external interfaces, reporting requirements, certification requirements, historical data and regulatory requirements. Nonfunctional requirements are used to describe characteristics of your product instead what it can do and some of them include scalability, reliability, availability, capacity, security, manageability, regulatory, maintainability and recoverability.
The 3-Step Process in Gathering User Requirements
There are 3 steps in gathering user requirements and it is not that simple to accomplish. When framing a user requirement you might be thinking twice about what the user wants. Collecting the information to back up or suspend any skepticism will make sure the requirements are necessary. Furthermore, the requirements many tend to increase as more users interact with the prototype.
When you are performing this step, consider your shareholders rather than your target customers. You have to keep your users in mind when you are creating functional requirements. However, when you are creating nonfunctional requirements, you need to consider the opinions from your investors or shareholders of your company. For collecting data, few proven methods that you can utilize include direct or indirect user observation, surveys, interviews, focus groups and conducting research on competitor sites. You need to choose those methods that are best suited for your website.
Analyze the Given Data
Now that you have gathered useful data the next step is to organize and categorize the gathered user data. In this way, you can avoid a jumbled, large mess and it will show you the familiarity of the data that you should be concentrating on. Based on familiarity factor, you have to organize the users and group them, and then you can start to analyze the data. The categories to focus on are based on the personality, attitude and academic aspects of the user. After building user groups, the next step is to build a user persona from each category of users. It will simplify the process if you are using a persona rather than trying to consider each user in each group.
When you are building your persona, identify what their objectives are when they are using your site. Personas are used to discover information about your potential customers that you might not have expected. Also, thinking about one user persona instead of an entire group of users will make the process much less confusing and easier to analyze. After creating your user personas, it is time to discover how they behave in certain situations. List certain tasks after creating the situations so that your persona will go through when they browse through your web page. You need to add your persona in it once you list the task, and thereby you can figure out how they will behave while they are on your site. The final step in the analytical process is to define each task that your persona will be performed in order to accomplish the goal in the selected situation.
Implementing the Changes on Your Site
Now that you understand the process of data analysis, we can use the analyzed data to enhance the user’s site experience. For this step, you should be examining each task in order to list the functional and non-functional requirements of the website. Many experts recommend creating a versatile table for requesting functions. In the table, there must be necessary sections such as “Number”, “Requirement”, “Explain the Requirement”, “Reasoning the Requirement”, “Urgency” and “Criteria”. You will be able to easily use the table for various tasks with those sections listed, and all while staying organized. You will have collected your functional and nonfunctional requirements, once you use that table for each task.
User Experience evaluation is not an easy process, especially when your site is somewhat complex. You need for professional help to undertake an evaluation process and there are web development firms which offer excellent website evaluation solutions based on their client needs.