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Learn how to avoid unnecessary web renewal meetings by having only one workshop

Web personnel / work | Case / interview
Time to read: about 9 mins

I’m going to show you how to avoid unnecessary meetings for website renewal by having only one workshop.
Have you experienced an approaching deadline for a website renewal but had so many meetings that you are behind schedule? By having just one workshop, you can decrease the number of meetings you need to have.

 

Here is an example of how to do it!

When you renew your website how long do you think it would take to do it? From my experience, depending on scale of renewal, from taking a contract till finishing takes about 3 months. During this time you have meetings 2 to 3 times a month. So why do you have to have meetings?

Reasons may be,

  • The purpose of the renewal is not clear
  • There is a deviation in the renewal plane so everyone needs to change their approach.
  • There is a lack of interest in the project.


If you leave these problems as the renewal project advances, not only is there an increasing number of meeting, in the worse case, the whole project might break down. I will introduce you to a way to resolve these problems.

It might surprise you but by having meetings with both the client company and production company, you can analyze your website from every situation and find a new way of improving your website. The result of doing this is you can decrease the number meetings.



Flow from the workshop to the site renewal

Step.1: This is what you need to do before running a workshop.


Sapporo renovation specialist company M plus【M+】(after the renewal)

Now I’m going to show you a Sapporo renovation specialist company M plus【M+】 and the workshop which they used when renewing their website. You need to do all those things below as groundwork for doing workshop.

This is to decide what kind of workshop you need run.

※Workshop is to solve problems by having discussions with everyone.

Preparation and attention; hear as many different points of view on the project as possible .


バランスのとれたヒアリング


Before you have a workshop, it is good to listen to the opinions of the staff and management of the company doing the upgrade. You will be able to get an idea of their vision and overall goal. By hearing both the views of the practical aspects and the vision of management, it will increase the success of the renewal.

Preparation and attention; To conduct market research on the ground





left:Putting together a market research to the axis of the 3C right:State of open house

Before you have a workshop, it is important to see the company worksite with your own eyes. By going to the site, you can get the reaction from customers and by listening to the workers at the site, you can get a feel for the real situation.
At M+, I could hear the site visitor’s reactions and opinions by going to an actual open house and joining seminar for people considering renovating their homes.

Preparation and attention; do simple interviews with people close to the industry


インタビューを行う


It is best to interview people who are in the target industry but if this is too time consuming or expensive you can have friends give you their views about renovating their home. If you ask your friends, good questions are things like;

  • When(Under what circumstances)
  • How(how you are using)
  • Why

Even having simple interviews like this can help you understand customer’s feelings.

Note the following points when conducting a workshop


When you prepare the workshop, these are the points to note.

  • Who are the people involved
  • Why do is the workshop needed
  • What are the objective to be achieve

 

Preparation and attention; Ask people from different departments and/or positions to join.


First, you must think about what kind of people you want at the workshop. The point is to have input from people in at least two different positions or departments. Having a website user to present would be ideal it is often difficult to do so.

For this workshop there were; sales representative from M+:3 people, Residential designer:one person, coordinator:one person, housing installation technician:one person, marketing:one person. Seven people participated all together.

Preparation and attention; decide the facilitator


A workshop that has a confident and enthusiastic facilitator produces a sense of unity among all participants. Repeating, eliciting, and summarizing the goals of the workshop is useful. At the M+ workshop I, as web consultant, served as the facilitator.

Preparation and attention; Put yourself in the user’s shoes


Typically, the average residence time on the site is for 3~5 minutes. Considering this, let’s do the workshop from the user’s point of view. If you set a time limit, inevitably you will work with this in mind.

Preparation and attention; Full participation, have every person present their ideas


It is important that all attendees understand their views are valued. If everyone gets to share their opinion, their satisfaction with the website renewal process increases.

Preparation and attention; prepare fixtures in advance to proceed smoothly

It will be good to prepare these fixtures before running workshop.

  • Post it memo paper
  • Permanent marker
  • paper(A4 size)
  • Whiteboard

 


Step 2; having the workshop: Analyzing the current situation



When you are ready to start having workshop, let the participants know the purpose and intention of this workshop. Make sure you use terminology everyone can understand.

Work 1; think of the customers who will use the site


Ask participants to imagine the kind customers they think will use the website then aim to design it to suit them. With a variety of different people you will get different views but this helps create a final product that apples to a wide range of people.

Match the content to the user profile. The contents will be different for each website.

  • Name, age, gender, annual income
  • Family structure (living alone, couple, 2 children, etc.)
  • Occupation
  • Work atmosphere
  • Life style
  • Current residence

Let participants to think for 5 minutes about what kind of customer they imagine will then share their ideas with the group.

Participant’s image of customers①




  • Megumi Ikeda(age 36)female、living alone
  • Master of Economics
  • Apparel manager
  • Often travels on business
  • Renting near the station(Subway station that has easy to access to Sapporo Station)
  • Head office is near Sapporo Station
  • Not at home much
  • Has a cat, she ask her mum to take care of her cat occasionally
  • Eats out often, do not cook at home much but sometimes cooks gourmet dishes like stewed beef tail

 

Customer image of participants②




  • Single Male 45 years old
  • Wants to buy a house rather than renting and wants to design his room in his own style
  • Has many hobbies; he wants to decorate his room with his collections ( so he also wants lots of space)

 

 

 

Work 2; evaluate the website from the perspective of the customer


Take on the perspective of customers then evaluate the site in the radar chart as shown in the figure. Have this as the goal for the website, and continue to analyze the behavior until you get there.

It is good to evaluate the time with the following contents.

レーダーチャート<br /><br /> 役に立つ<br /><br /> 望ましい<br /><br /> 信頼できる<br /><br /> 探しやすい<br /><br /> 内容がわかりやすい


work3; imagine how customers will navigate through the website/walk-through evaluation


Do a walk-through evaluation. A walk-through evaluation is to imagine how customers move around in the website and get a feel for what they would do. I created a detailed and concrete action for the each of the following scene.

  1. The customer image
  2. What is the purpose?
  3. How they visit the M + Website Web
  4. How they move around in the website
  5. Are there any inconveniences? (which contents was hard to understand and how to change those inconvenience )


The point is 「to imagine the website from a customer point of view, not your own 」.

Hypothesis
1. image of customers:
aged 30, female , alone
she knows the word「renovation」but doesn’t know what it entails.2. Purpose:
She wants to know the meaning of 「renovation」.3. Method:
She surfs through her smart phone in lunchtime.
She knew M+’s Facebook page and already clicked “Like”.
She found out that there is a M+ website so she visits the site.4. surfing engine:
First she saw a construction case.
After that, she looked through all the concept cases.
She was interested in「inZONE」which is on the bottom of the page then she moved downwards and found「M+」.
She went back to M+ site so she misunderstood that inZONE and M+ are related.5. inconvenience:
There is no set cost for the renovation and a mysterious connection to inZONE
There is no information about monthly repayments or the total cost
Even if she wanted to attend a seminar, the application form is difficult to fill out.

 

Step3; after the workshop:Standardization of customer image for the Renewal concept design.



After the workshop is done, all the participants should organize the next stage. But this time, as workshop had taken 3 hours it was hard to motivate people to do this so the web consultants dealt with it all.

If you are not used to organizing website construction, it might take some time to see any benefit from your workshop.

sorting 1; From「customer image」to「Persona / Scenario」


While at the workshop, all participants imagined potential customers. But it is important to pitch your site at a particular kind of customer. When you do this, the aim is to make a specific persona. For example;

age:30’s(×) → aged 32(○)
family structure:1~2 kids(×) → there are 3 years old girl and 5 years old boy (○)
occupation:doctor(×) → have been working for 3 years at Sapporo dentist. (○)

It is important to imagine a customer persona as if they actually exist. Then by making this scenario it is realistic and has the movement and feeling of the kind of customer you aim to attract to your website.



Customer Journey Map(persona and feeling of each touch point)

Sorting 2; From the “Multifaceted opinion ” to “the site map”


We have a group discussion on whether thing should be included on the site or not. When we do this we write out all the opinions that were obtained during the workshop on “Post it” notes, especially from stages 2 and 3. Use these as a base for the user persona, make it a priority to match site content to these, and then start making a site map.



As a base for the user persona, organize content and prioritize it.

Sorting 3 ; draw a design of a prototype site on paper




When you finished making a site map make a prototype on paper. Draw a design that will become the base for the site. When making the prototype, take in to consideration the workshop results. Think of a design that improves on points that were hard to use when you were doing the walk-through evaluation. By doing this you can improve weaknesses in the current website.

For the M+ renewal, the big change we made was to top page and contact form. Here is how we used persona for the top page and the improvements we made.

  • improvement 1:To answer the question ” what is house renovation?” better, we put photos of renovated rooms on the top page as a photo gallery. By doing this, it makes what renovation is easier for customers to understand.

 

  • improvement 2:We placed a visual link page that shows the case study of different personas. For example, a lady who hasn’t married, is living alone, and enjoys entertaining. A 50-year-old man living alone and who enjoys his hobby. These personas resonate directly with customers so they can imagine the layout and fancy living after the renovation.



Before and After of the top page

Results obtained from the workshop; after 2 months the number of conversion increased 256% !


After the website renewal workshop they could had these results;

  • Analysis of results one month after website renewal
  • average session time increased 49.98%
  • bounce rate decreased 17.56%
  • page/session increased 39.07%
  • conversion increased 166.67%

 

  • Direct achievements

            We analyzed the website from the various points of view and could find ways to improve it. This was a benefit of gathering information             from all the different people at once in the workshop.

 

  • Background benefits

            Additional achievements that resulted from the workshop included getting workers who were not previously interested, to talk their                 website by having a good discussion at the workshop. Everybody got to have his or her say by having the workshop. Adjusting                             schedules, gathering information, and checking designs are all done by phone calls and e-mail.

 

The benefits of having a workshop

  1. Visible improvements come from including various points of view
  2. Meeting misalignment is reduced so time wasted and production costs are reduced by 30% too.
  3. The site becomes an aggregation of the opinion of all participants so everyone feels they have a stake in the final product and we get content based on everyone’s best ideas.
  4. Of course the web consultant becomes a partner in the look of the final website as do all the other people involved.
  5. You can advertise the site with confidence to customers (the real users) because by designing the site from the customer point of view you know it will appeal to them.

 

 

Conclusion:Find the real customer image and maximize the efficiency and effectiveness the renewal plan.


It makes a big difference to approach it from the customer point of view. Having a workshop like this means you can use a customer point of view to guide your website renewal.

Just spending lots of time and money does not always make a good website. For example, real customer interview takes 1~2 months to reflect correctly on your website.

The important thing is to get the views of everybody who is involved the project. From the one workshop we did this time, we could analyze the situation from various points of view to make many important customer scenarios, which is much faster than surveying real customers. It needs professional’s skill to improve the website but the people who are actually using the site, the customers, are not a professionals. By renewing the website from customer point of view at the workshop it leads to good results.

This is the purpose of web analytics, to bring the most effect with the least cost by matching the product to the customers needs.

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Author for this article


李 優未


Ri Yumi

Regraphy Limited company representative
Web analytics master
Executive committee of CSSNite in SAPPORO

Born in Seoul, Korea. Bilingual in Japanese and Korean.

Graduated from Art University in Korea and Digital Hollywood School in Tokyo. Moved to Sapporo in 2000.

Established Regraphy Limited company in 2005. Design manager improving web design, UX, and web analytics.

Being both as a supervisor and executive committee of “CSS Nite in SEOUL” in Seoul, Korea in 2009.

Over 300 people participated in every event and it grew to become a major seminar event in Korea.

Loves snow and snowboarding.

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