Now that you understand the concept of "Designing for Customer Intent", let's delve into the methodology illustrated by a real-world example (generalized for customer benefit) of using it in an e-commerce website redesign project.
Before getting into the details, we must emphasize that this approach is system-agnostic. Whether you're designing a website, or a complex digital product or phone number list service, you can use a customer intent approach to make these systems more human.
1. Define customer intent
The first step is to define what the customer intends for the digital item you are designing (why use your product), let’s use an e-commerce website as an example.
1. Talk to loyal customers
We start this step by talking to a business's most loyal customers. The key insights we dig out of these conversations include understanding when and how customers interact with the business (i.e. their touchpoints). More importantly, why did they choose these to interact with.
2. When, how and why of collection
After talking to the customer, the second step phone number list involves collecting and listing all the "when," "how," and "why" statements the customer has made about their experience.
For example, a could be: "When I want to learn more about Acme's products (When), I use the website (How)". When & How statements might be: "I do this because I know the site will give me a high-level view of all the different items I should consider buying" and so on.
3. Turn insights into intent
After listing the customer information we have collected, we will summarize the list into clear, mutually exclusive bullet points. Each of these points accomplishes something like "When a customer visits the website (or application or system) they intend to visit...".
This is a very simple list. For our e-commerce example, we might conclude that when a customer visits a website, they intend to—
Get the latest
Understand what the company's business is doing
Understand the company's business development
Find a retailer near you
Investigate/research for better solutions
return the goods
The checklist looks simple, right? After all, that's what customers go to e-commerce sites for. However, reaching the list above is not as easy as it seems.
Below, we compare this final list (column 1) to an example before we checked it against conversations with loyal customers (column 2):
This is normal because business people tend to try to include specific items that represent the part of the site they want the user to visit, rather than being honest about why the customer is visiting the site.
This is why we need to use the opinions of our most loyal customers to create our intent list, without these suggestions this list would undoubtedly tend to meet business goals, meaning the website or app would be designed for business purposes Not customer intent. It's like the website we designed in 1999.
4. An honest look at intent
The third step is to honestly review and edit our listings using real customer insights. Our goal is to make our intent list as objective and non-feature-specific as possible, how do we know we're doing it right?
At the end of the day, if our customer intent checklist reflects what we've heard in our research and makes our business stakeholders a bit out of tune, then we've defined it well. Finally, after reviewing our customer intent checklist, we categorize everything the company has or intends to fulfill.
We boiled these down into a navigational structure that was tailored to enable customers to achieve their intent rather than set them on a so-called happy path to all that the business has to offer.
The resulting structure is a bridge that creates an organic "dialogue" between the client and the brand. Let's talk about how to use this method.
5. Use customer intent
Let's take a closer look at how we used the customer intent checklist above to create a navigation structure for an e-commerce site. We'll start with the most abstract/strategic exercises before diving into more specific ones.
2. Conceptual modeling
One of the exercises we do before designing an interface is to create a conceptual model. We use this model to define the overall set of information that needs to exist on a website (or digital product) in order to communicate unique business value while satisfying customer intent.
Below is a conceptual model of our e-commerce website based on the example customer intent checklist defined above.