Visitor portrait

Hey guys and welcome back to ManageSite!

Today's lesson is all about site visitors. Knowing who's going to visit your site when you finish the development is crucial to success and saves development time as it gives you the power to tailor your site exactly for the persons intended to visit it.

Now that we're clear with that, let's think what this portrait should look like. First of all, you need all sorts of statistical data you get your hands on:

  • Age group (... to ... years)
  • Gender (male/female)
  • Marital status (Single/Married/Divorced/Widowed)
  • Number of children (0...)
  • Job/Student/something else
  • Average income (per month/year)
  • Targets when visiting the site
  • Typical site usage scenarios (based on the previous one)
  • Core goals in life (yeah, this one too)
  • Likes, dislikes and other tastes
  • Anything else you can get at this point from your customer, marketing studies or your own vision.
Now you must understand that if you have several groups of visitors (and oftentimes you do) you must fill in all the stats for each and every of them.

Is it enough to have this data to make decisions? Nope! Now that you have it, go take the next step - build personas on these, like "Joe Smith, 40 years old, owns a mechanical workshop... etc." - you get the idea.

Next you have to imagine yourself to actually be that person. Keep asking yourself questions like these:
  • What would I behave like if I were this guy?
  • What would I use the site for?
  • What would I think like?
  • How would I choose what I like on this site?
  • What would be the easiest and most site structure and presentation for what I'm looking for?
These will help you to build a much more detailed vision of what you are going to create. In two words - these will help you build your Requirements Specifications (more on this here).

Why should I do this? Can't I just stick with my vision?
Oh, you can but it will be much closer to reality if you ask these to yourself. Certainly you shouldn't go crazy and become obsessed with emulating this personas but you sure have to visualize them and do it on paper (I prefer paper but you may as well choose Word or Google Docs or something like that. It's just that paperwork, including motoric memory is so much more effective for such things)

Check out the full contents of the future book for more info!

I'd like to know how helpful this advice was, add your comments here please! And as always - I will be more than pleased to answer any questions you might have so feel free to ask them ))