This week on the vlog, Chris brings us an important topic: the VALUE OF GATHERING INSIGHT. Click the video to listen and learn.

THE VALUE OF GATHERING INSIGHT

What is insight?

Insight is a tricky thing to define. Cambridge English Dictionary calls it “a clear, deep, and sometimes sudden understanding of a complicated problem or situation”. In real terms, though, insight is the bridge between your business and the wants and needs of your customers. Insight connects the what to the why: it’s how you develop branding, propositional messages, products and features to resonate with customers.

The act of insight-gathering is lost in the digital world. When building a website, the typical focus is on the technology rather than the need of the customer. Here’s what I mean.

Traditional web builds are inefficient

The problem with the traditional web build process is that the end customer only sees the product in the latter stages. Take a look at this image below:

The problem with the traditional web build process is that insight is only gathered in the latter stages.

We see the typical process: take the requirements from the client, begin to identify the specification, design, development, internal testing… you get the idea.

But there’s one glaring error in the whole thing. The entire build of a website up to the stage of deployment could be 2-3 months of work… and at the end of the process, THIS is the first time the product gets shown to the customer.

We don’t mean the client here, either. We mean the person who will use your website. That end user – the one whose business you want – only has an input in the process at this point. It’s all quite late in the game to get feedback, isn’t it? You’ve sunk all that development time and resource just to hear what the customer really wants and your project has fallen short of the mark.

The value of insight

We believe in working insight-first; that means putting the customer at the heart of everything. Here’s how we imagine it:

The Insightful UX insight-first approach

At the stage of requirement – right at the beginning of the process – the best course of action is to go and speak to your customers. Find out what customers think of your idea and gather that insight together in preparation for the next phase of development.

Customer research informs design and development

Next, you can build wireframes of your website – flat website blueprints – based on customer feedback. Then, once those wireframes have been built, it’s time to head back out to customer research. Let your customers loose on your prototype website and see what they think. What do they like about the user journey? What would they prefer to have instead?

Based on that feedback, you can adapt and confidently develop a website that you know customers want.

Keep testing, keep learning

Here is where the two build processes overlap. Once you roll out your website or app, you’re still going to get customer feedback. Listen to your customers! They’ve been right all along so far, it’d be silly to ignore them now. Test different features and develop a conversion rate optimisation plan to get even closer to the service or website your customers have been crying out for.

Conclusion

We didn’t say the traditional web build process was wrong – it’s just inefficient. It ignores the customer and takes longer to get to the good stuff.

Gathering insight from the beginning reduces cost of development and disappointment all-round. It also improves customer experience, conversion – even helps with retention.

For us, it’s a no brainer. Insight-first, all the way down.

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