Focus on the User

July 10th, 2008 by dusty

I frequently comb through our archives of documents on Google Docs, and recently stumbled upon this mind-dump that I did about two years ago. It’s describing a product idea that I had for a web app, and how it could be made SO MUCH better than the existing sites out there.

It’s not about the technology its about experience.

Funny thing is, here we are two years later, and we’re finally building the product… Interestingly, this is still exactly the vision and direction that we’re taking things. I encourage you to do the same… Though this was initially for our webapp, I truly believe that this stuff transfers. Reader’s Digest version:

Be 100 percent about the user. Provide value. Be awesome.

  • Happy users = returning users = more traffic
  • Happy users tell their friends
  • Happy users don’t get frustrated, and spend more time on site
  • How to make happy user?
    • Site easy on the eyes
      • No BLINKING ADS!
      • Google taught us that RELEVANT, unobtrusive ads can be VERY PROFITABLE
      • Annoying ads are not good for the advertiser OR the user
    • Actually RELEVANT, USEFUL CONTENT will drive the MOST TRAFFIC
      • Make a site that people actually WANT TO USE
    • Provide them with the information that they WANT
      • Provide value, and the people will come
      • Provide value, and the people will tell other people.
    • Provide them with USEFUL INFORMATION
      • Don’t just put information “just because”
      • Give serious thought to providing VALUE to the user in every area of the site.
        • Why is the user visiting the ??? section? Am I solving his/her needs?
    • Make it EASY
      • On the internet, it’s EASY for a user to go somewhere else.
      • Make the site EASY TO USE, or they will leave, and go to a competitor whose site IS easy to use
        • Don’t assume that they will stay because of your BRAND, or because of your MONOPOLY.