Optimizing Websites According to What Your Customers Don't Say

Jack Maden  |  October 12, 2017

Jack Maden  |  October 12, 2017


We all have basic expectations of how websites and apps should work. We want them to load efficiently, be intuitive and easy to use, have personalized features that we'd find interesting, and so on.

But as digital experiences become more complicated, our needs become more convoluted.

Say you're ordering a pizza online. Scrolling through the options, nothing really catches your eye, so you take advantage of the 'build your own pizza' feature.

As a user, could you communicate exactly what you want from an online pizza builder? How it should function within the existing setup of the website or app? How many choices of crust it should display and when?

That's assuming you'd even be motivated to do so, considering you came here for pizza, not for an opportunity to relay your thoughts on user experience and information architecture.

This kind of situation is an example of what Dell's VP of Business Transformation, Erin Kurusz, dubs 'unarticulated user needs'. While customers cannot give direct feedback on exactly how their experiences could be improved, analyzing their behavior enables optimizers to discover ways of doing so.

"It's not enough to engage with customers via a survey or something like that," Erin says, "the more important enriched data comes with getting embedded in their environment... understanding what problems they have in their space, the 'unarticulated needs' that we can observe.

"Customers have the ability to articulate certain things about what could be working better for them, but a lot of potential improvements they won't even be aware of. They're not going to articulate 'if you could create an API here to hook this onto my experience...' - but we can by observing them. These are the insights we take back when evaluating our processes and product design."

Digital Experience Transformation: Where Does Your Company Sit?

Analyzing user behavior and 'unarticulated needs' in the way Erin discusses above is done with digital experience analytics technologies like Decibel Insight, which quantify trends in the digital body language of website users.

Decibel Insight surfacing an example of user frustration

This sort of visibility into digital experiences enables digital teams to understand exactly how to improve websites and apps. By being alerted to and watching back where users get frustrated, engaged, or confused, teams can immediately identify and hone in on areas where there's opportunity for improvement or to gain insight about customer behavior.

Having this proactive capability when it comes to improving digital experiences is indicative of a company well on its way to achieving digital experience transformation. Only those that combine quantitative data - the 'what' of website performance - with qualitative insights about how customers feel are in a position to deliver digital experiences that turn users into customers - and keep them coming back in future.

Where does your company sit when it comes to measuring and delivering digital experiences? Do you analyze the unarticulated needs of your users?

Find out how you compare to other companies by taking our quick 5-question quiz now!

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Jack Maden

Written on October 12, 2017 by:

Jack Maden

Jack is Digital Manager at Decibel, the best digital experience intelligence platform around! He also runs philosophy break.


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