Designing for Users

I was watching a presentation by Jay Conrad Levinson, the author of Guerilla Marketing.

Guerilla marketing is basically an approach to marketing which doesn’t require a lot of money. One point he makes in the book and presentation is how websites should be designed with the user in mind.

Most people probably think they do this, including me. However, I started thinking about it and realised I really wasn’t doing this at all.

A business exists to solve a problem that the customer has. Imagine a customer goes to a website to book a holiday. They probably don’t care about most of the things the web designer does. They just have a pain which they want a solution to. Are they interested in a lengthy about page? Do they really care about the 100 different links on the homepage? Probably not.

The way I imagine it is the customer is a person trapped in a maze. What they need is to get out. Imagine every superfluous link as a dead end in the maze. The job of the designer is to eliminate these dead ends, and get the user out - i.e. to solve their problem.

Just imagining it this way really helps focus on what it really means to design for the user.