UX design is all about creating a compelling experience for your users.
It’s knowing what the user wants, and giving it to them quickly and simply. The best UX design makes the user think the website is created just for them.
The first in our four part series focuses on Value Proposition. Because the first step is telling users exactly what you do, and promising them good value.
When a visitor lands on your website, you’ve got about five seconds to convince them why you are worth their time. New users are always looking for quick answers.
"Who are you? What do you do? How will this benefit me?"
That’s a lot of information to convey in just five seconds!
The trick is crafting the perfect ‘Value Proposition’: a short, sharp description of your business and why it’s valuable. It’s the first thing your users should see when they visit your website.
It’s the foundation of good UX design. If you get it right, you’ve just created your first great user experience. They’re happy, intrigued, and looking to explore more about you.
If you get it wrong, they’ve already left.
This is why your value proposition is so important. It opens the door.
Let’s create your value proposition.
Step 1. What do you do?
The value proposition starts with a laser sharp description of your service.
If you’ve never tried to condense your business proposition into one sentence, try it now. It’s tricky, but it’s crucial that you get it right. Here are some perfect examples from around the world:
Facebook –“Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.”
Netflix –“Watch TV programmes and films anytime, anywhere.”
PayPal –“The simpler, safer way to get paid.”
Reddit –“The front page of the internet”
The best products and services can be summed up in one digestible sentence. Can yours?
Step 2: Who’s it for?
Is your service built for developers, graphic designers, cat lovers? Tell them. Connect with them. Say “this service is for you!”
Photoshop are excellent at this: The world’s best imaging and design app with new tools for designers and photographers.
It’s simple and it gives them a clear, defined target audience. Who is your product for?
Step 3. How will your product fix their problem and change their life?
It’s not enough to tell users who you are and what you do. That alone won’t convince them to buy your product. You need to show them a better world.
Tell them how you will add value to their life. What problem will you fix? This is your promise to the user, and it’s the crucial part of your value proposition.
Apple are the masters here. Take the iPad, for example. Here’s Apple’s web copy:
“The iPad changes the way you do things every day. Take on a new project, pick up a new skill or start a new hobby.”
Not once in their value proposition do they describe the product. They don’t need to. They’ve already sold you on the lifestyle! Try doing the same thing for your product or service. Sell the dream.
Step 4. The clincher
If step 3 is all about selling the dream, step 4 convinces the practical part of your brain. It’s the tasty little extra that convinces them to keep going. It’s the tangible, quantifiable benefit they’ll get from using your service.
Think of Netflix’s free monthly trial or Facebook’s clincher: “It’s free, and always will be!” It could also be a discount for new users or a money-back guarantee.
Step 5. What makes you unique?
The internet is bursting with new services, platforms and products. Tell the user how you are different. Why should they trust you rather than someone else?
What makes you the best service?
WordPress fill their value proposition full of unique offerings: “The easiest way to create a free website”, “We power 24% of the internet”,
Give them a clear reason to trust you over the competition. Are you the easiest service, the best, the cheapest, the most popular, the most eco-friendly?
Step 6. An image
It’s a cliche, but a picture really does paint a thousand words. Choose a graphic or hero shot to accompany the copy. It ought to show your product or service in action. Make it look irresistible and vital.
Visit Instagram’s homepage and you’re greeted with a beautiful shot of Instagram in action. Don’t just tell people what you do, show them.
Step 7. Show them where to go next
If you’ve perfected the first steps, you’ve done the hard work and convinced them. All you need to do now is point them in the right direction. Give them a direct task: “Sign up now” or “click to find out more”.
Without it, you can’t define your target audience. You can’t reach out to the right people. More importantly, you can’t provide a simple user experience. You’ll leave visitors confused and disillusioned.
Fantastic UX design all starts by telling people what you do, and why they need your service.
Daren Low is the founder of Bitcatcha.com and co-developer of the free Server Speed Checker. With a decade of experience in website development and internet marketing to his name, Daren is considered a premier authority on all things related to building and managing an online presence. Feel free to pick his brain by connecting via Google+ and Twitter.
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