Putting users first for a competitive advantage

We all love a great online experience where everything’s easy, convenient, flexible, unobstructed, pleasurable, fast and simple. But marketing initiatives can get in the way, especially when their creators put users second. Here’s how to avoid some of the commonest pitfalls and prioritise a quality user experience.

The marketing advantages of putting users first

Annoying floaty things and obstructions

Social media connectedness is a great thing. But hovering social media buttons that cover up the stuff you’re trying to read, then scroll down with you, are a huge pain in the butt. And too many blogs don’t accept comments unless you go via Facebook or Twitter, which is obstructive. You want everyone to be able to leave comments, and it makes marketing sense to provide as many ways as possible for them to do it.

Poorly targeted ads and floating pop-ups

Targeted marketing is cool when it’s done right. But not when they’re irrelevant. And I hate those annoying floating adverts that increasingly hover around my screen… even though I’ve blocked pop ups. I’m  tormented by automatic noise too, where you click through to a page and a video kicks off whether you like it or not.

NB. This can happen when you inadvertently agree, via sneaky paragraphs in the terms and conditions, to install ad software onto your machine. It’s a feature of many free downloads, usually free versions of software and tools. Be very careful – and tick all the ‘no’ boxes during the install process.

Baffling navigation

Where’s your content? The further it is down your hierarchy, the fewer people will want to click through to it. A flat site architecture – or navigation taking the user experience into account another way – lets people find your brilliant content easier and faster.

If your competitors’ website isn’t as annoying as yours, you’ll lose out. It’s harder to sell to people you’ve irritated so put your consumer head on. If you find something irritating, so will other people.