Have you ever had to use the restroom in a department store, but couldn’t find it? You look everywhere on the ceiling looking for an arrow. Once you finally find it, this arrow leads you to another arrow.. which leads to another arrow.. and then to the destination you were looking for. A little frustrated but you still shop after.
Now, imagine being a new mother who has a recently potty trained child that needs to find a restroom asap. She follows the signs and gets frustrated so she leaves the store altogether. She drops her newly picked up items for the sales associates to pick up and doesn’t buy anything before leaving the store. Your perspective on how to get to the destination increases in importance.
The designer notices the mother leaving and is frustrated while leaving a potential sale behind. The designer empathizes with the problem and iterates on a solution. The designer creates maps and new signs for the entrance establishing a faster route to create a better human experience while selling products. The sales associate now helps hold the products at the register while the mother helps her child. The mother is now so grateful for the high level of service that she adds more products sitting at the counter and calls her friends to rave about how much the brand impacted her everyday life. This leads to an increase in sales.
Let’s switch to being an online business owner. You’ve done some research on your ideal customer, you decide to sell your fitness coaching service and create a website. You love dark colors so you choose a dark gray background and, in the same value hue as the gray, a red for button color to grab attention to your call to action. You want to establish your market value so you create a long elaborate copy that establishes that your brand is “dope”. Your button reads “click here because this coaching service will change your life” under it the reader is shamed into clicking with “unless you want to stay out of shape”. The client can book a call with your sales person but they only have a limit on times to create urgency.
You hire a professional media buyer to run your ads. They do a great job and within the first two weeks the click through rate is great but no applications. You start to ask why.
Imagine being the customer, you are a middle aged successful businessman looking to lose 10 pounds. You are also color blinded, but that shouldn’t stop you from reaching your fitness goals. You see an ad on facebook for a fitness coaching service and decide you will take a look. You land on the website and begin to read the copy, but you can’t find the button on the website to take you to the offer. Annoyed, you start clicking everywhere and you finally end up on a form that invites you to schedule a call. You click on a date that works best for your work schedule and see that there are no times available after the hours of 9 am – 5 pm M-F. You opt out and begin to look for other options.
You hire a designer who does research on your ideal client. The designer does an audit of your website. The designer notices there is no contrast between your landing page background and the call to actions. Next, following the links, the designer notices that the calendar has no slots available for those who work. The designer invites you to hire a copywriter who creates a better tone or voice and CTA copy that doesn’t shame the potential client but encourages them to invest in themselves while having a successful business.
Now, imagine being a middle aged successful businessman and you are excited when you see an ad for a fitness coaching service. You need to lose 10 pounds because you are finally taking a vacation with your family and you want to be able to keep up with them. Though you are color blind, you find an ad for exactly what you’ve been needing. The website is inviting and has great reviews on it. The buttons are easy to find as it reminds you of others sites you’ve trusted before. They lead you to a calendar that works with your schedule, what a relief!
Design thinking helps your client get them to where they need to go. While marketing gives your client the opportunity to decide to change their lives by persuading them that your product is what they need, the process following the marketing becomes just as important if not more. When traffic hits your website, how do you help your customers have the best experience and rave about you after? I hope this encourages you to take care of the people coming to your site and help them reach the finish line.
– Erin Daniel, Designer, the Hemon Group
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