The basic question is, how do the users you are interested in feel about using your service (or product)?
That’s the question that matters most because everyone has users, even if you don’t refer to them as such. And if you can’t or won’t deliver your value with an abundance of user friendliness, you lose.
We live in an “experience” economy today, a commoditized marketplace and hyperspeed culture. That means people are no longer satisfied with good, fast and cheap – they want it perfect, now and free.
1. You aren’t your user. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s cool – it matters if users enjoy using it. And it doesn’t matter if you get excited about it – it matters if users tell their associates about their positive experience of using it.
Stop superimposing onto your users what you think they should want. Instead, just ask them what they need. I’m sure they’d be happy to tell you. Learn to say, “Help me help you use me.”
Continually ask yourself how you’ve made it easier for people to interact with you.
2. Never underestimate the profitability of findability. If they can’t find you, they can’t use you; and if they can’t use you, it won’t matter how friendly you are: Visitors will leave before they get a chance to become customers.
Peter Morville is the father of findability. He first defined the term in 2005 in his book Ambient Findability, as “The ability of users to identify an appropriate website and navigate the pages of the site to discover and retrieve relevant information resources.” There three “secrets” embedded here:
1. Ease and comfort.
2. Relevancy and “realness”.
3. Demonstrating to users that you’re worth being found.
Findability enables approachability. How findable are you?
3. Respond to the idiosyncratic needs of each user. If you force everyone to conform to the same style, you run the risk of losing people who matter. Instead, position your service in ways that make it easy for the people you’re looking for to access you.
It’s not that users don’t like you – it’s that you’re not speaking on their frequency. If you want your message to be heard in a more approachable way, you have to also consider how people hear. Are you customizable?
4. Preserve people’s sense of control. In the psychology manual, The Handbook of Competence and Motivation, the research proved that human beings operate out of a model to feel autonomous and in control of their environment and actions.
Thus: The feeling of being in control is a basic human need. And your challenge is to make sure your users don’t lose that feeling. How do your reinforce people’s sense of control over the direction of any discussion or presentation about your service?
Key: The two things that matter are how people experience you; and how people experience themselves in relation to you. And if “in control’ isn’t part of that equation, people will not be inclined to establish a relationship with you.
5. Most people suck at remembering. Not just names, but everything. Partly because they don’t pay attention. Partly because they don’t write everything down. And partly because human memory is a mystery. The point: consider how you can encourage a memorable user experience
For example, the human memory can handle about seven bits of information at a time. Do everything you can to accommodate that capacity. Make it easy for people to organize and remember material. The friendliness of their user experience will grow exponentially.
6. Boring is deadly. A friend of mine recently purchased an online sales training course for his employees. When I asked him why his salespeople liked the program so much, his answer surprised me: “Because it’s fun,” he said. “Look, we can get good content anywhere. But the personality of this program is what makes it so cool.”
Lesson: Nobody buys boring, nobody notices normal and nobody pays for average. There’s an old saying – People don’t sue people they like.
The challenge is to figure out which unique attribute of your personality, life experience and expertise you can leverage in a remarkable way. That means: Values before vocation, individuality before industry and personality before profession.
Never forget that people buy people first. How are you leading with your “person” and following with your service?
7. Uniformity is beauty. Consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness. First, consistency between: Your actions and your attitude. That’s what enables your users to listen to you. Consider this question daily: How is what you’re doing or considering to do with your service right now consistent with the user experience you’re striving to deliver?