In IA Practice
Summary: Your company’s website user experience is being judged with every page view and online interaction. Does your site have what it takes to be competitive?

When you’re playing poker, “table stakes” are the cost for you get in the game. All games have table stakes, even if it’s just showing up. In the online world, the table stakes have changed. Ten years, ago the table stakes to get online were about the technology players needed to get a website to actually work.

Now that technology has largely been figured out, and developers are better and easier to find. Today, the table stakes for websites are about user experience. Since the explosion of smartphones apps that provide focused, specific services with a single click, users get a much better overall experience. This changes the outlook not just at the level of the app, but for the desktop and browser as well.

Want a better website user experience?

Here are the key user expectations you need to consider:

  • Usability – Users have far less patience for bad or unhelpful interfaces.
  • Integration/Modularization – Even in complex contexts, users expect the information to be well organized and relevant to their interests. But they want access to different “modules” as needed.
  • Multiple platforms – Despite the fact that users generally have both a smartphone and a desktop, they do not want to have to switch to the “right” platform in order to take advantage of a service. They will use a different interface to do a task specific to the essential quality of that interface (e.g., data entry or design on a desktop vs. using a map on a smart phone), but the gateway to that use shouldn’t force people to change.

    All 3 of these issues add huge complexity to the design, planning, and implementation of online systems. But your company’s online presence is being judged with every page view and online interaction. Have you brought the right things to the table to even be considered in the online competitive game?

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