What users really care about, and tablet sales

Duncan Stephen
Tuesday 17 September 2013

How much information should you give customers online?

I enjoyed this article about the radical idea of designing a website around the user’s needs. The example given is of a home swimming pool company looking for a way to beat the economic downturn.

The company slashed its $250,000 advertising budget by 90% and focused their energies on their website with a radical strategy: telling customers exactly what they wanted to hear.

“As a result,” according to a New York Times article, “River Pools has recovered to exceed its peak pre-2007 revenue.” “How did you save your company?” the Times asked co-owner, Marcus Sheridan. “I just started thinking more about the way I use the Internet. Most of the time when I type in a search, I’m looking for an answer to a specific question. The problem in my industry, and a lot of industries, is you don’t get a lot of great search results because most businesses don’t want to give answers; they want to talk about their company. So I realized that if I was willing to answer all these questions that people have about fiberglass pools, we might have a chance to pull this out.”

Do users care about your latest news?

Agency Headscape recently wrote an analytics report for a UK university. It revealed that fewer than 1% of visitors view a news release. Moreover, most visitors that land on a news page leave the website entirely, without viewing anything else. We see similar results here at St Andrews.

Take a moment to think about this from the user’s perspective. The majority of users come to your site to complete a task. If your website promotes a service or product the likelihood of that task being to read news is extremely low. Instead they come to the site in an attempt to decide whether to make a purchase or to get support if they have already done so. News does not factor into either of these scenarios.

IDC: 87% of connected devices by 2017 will be tablets and smartphones

This report is an interesting overview underlining the pace of change at the moment.

During Q4 of this year, tablets will outsell desktop and laptop PCs.  IDC also estimates that tablet sales will surpass PCs on an annual basis by 2015.

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