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Why Would Anyone Use That?kh5992b3lz3gbu1ikaaa4xo0hdf91wbcWhy Would Anyone Use That?

(English → Dansk) View original
Translators:
Confused
You’re creating ANOTHER social network??
Photo courtesy of doctabu
z5vu2yuep8jaf43cukh33g0wjp896hpv

Here at Social Source Commons we see a lot of tools. Many of them are flash-in-the-pan or sputter out fast. What’s the problem? Organizations create tools and websites that no one uses. They tend to think in terms of the features that they can offer rather than in terms of what their users and audiences actually would use. 56nqcgmf34dakvth1j2lktw0c0vxb557“We want our website to first of all, look awesome, have flash movies that show our work on the front page with rotating pictures that people add into the website.” We understand. Technology is bright and shiny. You can do a LOT with the current state of the web and development tech. But is it necessary? Is that what your audience wants?odiyg37miw2ozzn5c44z376tokaja9lp

We here at Aspiration like to ask “what value are you providing to your audience?” Why would someone come to your website/use your tool/interact with your content? And almost more importantly, why would they do it a second time? In theory, we’re all here working to provide some sort of service, help or offering to a group of people. In other words, we’re here to provide some sort of value. g57a09k1tjf6uwcn2wshsz7k7bkaqexwTechnology projects like building a website or making a cool new software tool are no different. By focusing on the value that you’re offering, you’re prioritizing your audience/users.or2xysc97ek9rq70h4vkxuxzvhfxpwa3

But how do you focus on this value? How do you think through the motivation for someone actually using your website or software?ui3b4725blr0s91p3w8bvfhey24b1olm

Defining Your Audience7p54n0y3ecwxsjwktu48gz0yvrq8fdbd

To start out, the first thing you have to define is:pf9bi4eje4rugyjtwj1cqccri98d8enn

Who are you trying to reach?mmpvlha5yytjjk8so6d5yuos6e66o921

A simple exercise (not necessarily easy, but simple) is to name and prioritize your top three intended audiences. Be specific enough to be accurate. 68rx4ztdvq0anbcn2k23etkcljzm2oryFor example, if you’re a nutrition nonprofit putting together a website for kids in food deserts to find healthy food options in their area, one of your intended audience isn’t “youth”, but rather “youth in food deserts.” This will help you get out of the “please everyone” mentality that most projects fall into. Focus on everyone is no focus at all.py0jnr7fa2m74pgovcg3i4ljr3e5pzn4

Writing User Storiesgbzhch9tl0t6fibtktx977vl0kv1q3qw

After your users/audiences are defined, the next step is to figure out:w9xr5y9531z3ng63b2e60oj95p5keqt1

What value is your site or tool offering to these groups?ayhko96k6bm168kz2js439kulet0sgkt

One way that we recommend people connect their intended audiences with the technology they’re trying to promote is to create user stories for each user type or intended audience. A user story is a short, one or two sentence narrative about how a theoretical user interacts with your site or tool and gets some value. For example, if one of our intended audiences was “Tech-savvy adults who want to train as volunteers”, we might writecs6he1ty0uitje7so4we4j3xqj4qongq

Josh is an overly enthusiastic WordPress user and wants to volunteer to do trainings in his city. He finds the website’s homepage through Google and sees a link to “Volunteer as a Trainer!” He is taken to a contact form that asks him for his name, email, phone number and the topic that he would like to train in. q9grzxa0ctai5wgmfsi3puyodwovc7ssHe clicks “Submit”, the form is sent to the volunteer manager who will then contact Josh and Josh is left with a “Thank You” page that asks if he’d like to tell his friends through Facebook or Twitter.jqlm7341iteyh1um4gcj3hen5678yhp7

Putting together user stories like the one above for the audiences you are trying to reach will help you not only think through the functions and layout of your website or offering but will force you to think about your tech offering in terms of what users actually want. What a concept, eh?ef4x7ejh33jeib81cfqy6kgpldc6d7gh

Getting Feedbackfpdwshllva65403yvmf86tawtkaen3ks

After you’ve defined your audiences, thought through their interaction with your tool and written user stories, the next step is to talk to people in your audiences to see what they think.sew7ss01gkb35tzd4lcnswch9rxujtt2

Does Your Audience Agree with You?6ly0bmfyjbg063vrc28ldgvkqh3sy1lu

Are your user stories totally off base? Example feedback:chdogh4sixl4vr9qpzr7bw0v7pbb43k7

“I would never take the time to sign up for another membership…”p6fhgs17lp81e1mmfgnmehkxnwyr1tbg

“You have to open up a browser to see the calendar? That’s the only thing I would use!”v1u43o8k2ac5m704se68cy79n4pb8wcu

“I. hate. WYSIWYGs.”6hhztbk38by3fbwmg2z6734pwdpncnq8

Thinking in terms of an tool’s “value proposition” or what it’s offering to the people they’re trying to reach can make a misguided and flailing organizational communications and technology strategy actually start to address some real need. Many times, organizations will spend a ton of time, energy and money putting together a huge project like a personalized social network when the only thing their audience wants is an events calendar. 9ernqm8o2uoz22p5bwm2xwz4edqd2602Much better to save that money and time by asking your intended users about whether your vision for the tool matches their reality before you invest that dough.sl3vu9svz4wvznjs4g6gyrrw8xngi9g0

Think Through the Eyes of Your User31qp1eme5mibbaxtb4hwbxovzonsm1uf

As a recap, so many orgs put together websites and tools that didn’t think twice about what users actually wanted. By determining your “value proposition”, you can start to think through what value people would get by using your site or tool.reod69b84qmx0xbsojihrvboyevus3ua

  • Define and prioritize your top three audiencesrpedrvedwx97n67qq98rs56w75clm1h4
  • Write up user stories for each user type2n17h08fkgvnytm9wg175tmuywdy9tw2
  • See if your value propositions hold up to the scrutiny of actual people in your user types.d46166ky8yzlsx0r34vniyjbpndbdkag

With this approach, the goal is to get to a piece of valuable piece of technology that speaks to the people who you want to use it. People-focused technology.jzlpt18apkm6h3eqy1v9ge64pv3cj5at

How are you focusing on value delivery to your community?hfjgn0q3p3alpjr07ac6rebbb0vuqsvx

(original) View Dansk translation
Confused
You’re creating ANOTHER social network??
Photo courtesy of doctabu

Here at Social Source Commons we see a lot of tools. Many of them are flash-in-the-pan or sputter out fast. What’s the problem? Organizations create tools and websites that no one uses. They tend to think in terms of the features that they can offer rather than in terms of what their users and audiences actually would use. “We want our website to first of all, look awesome, have flash movies that show our work on the front page with rotating pictures that people add into the website.” We understand. Technology is bright and shiny. You can do a LOT with the current state of the web and development tech. But is it necessary? Is that what your audience wants?

We here at Aspiration like to ask “what value are you providing to your audience?” Why would someone come to your website/use your tool/interact with your content? And almost more importantly, why would they do it a second time? In theory, we’re all here working to provide some sort of service, help or offering to a group of people. In other words, we’re here to provide some sort of value. Technology projects like building a website or making a cool new software tool are no different. By focusing on the value that you’re offering, you’re prioritizing your audience/users.

But how do you focus on this value? How do you think through the motivation for someone actually using your website or software?

Defining Your Audience

To start out, the first thing you have to define is:

Who are you trying to reach?

A simple exercise (not necessarily easy, but simple) is to name and prioritize your top three intended audiences. Be specific enough to be accurate. For example, if you’re a nutrition nonprofit putting together a website for kids in food deserts to find healthy food options in their area, one of your intended audience isn’t “youth”, but rather “youth in food deserts.” This will help you get out of the “please everyone” mentality that most projects fall into. Focus on everyone is no focus at all.

Writing User Stories

After your users/audiences are defined, the next step is to figure out:

What value is your site or tool offering to these groups?

One way that we recommend people connect their intended audiences with the technology they’re trying to promote is to create user stories for each user type or intended audience. A user story is a short, one or two sentence narrative about how a theoretical user interacts with your site or tool and gets some value. For example, if one of our intended audiences was “Tech-savvy adults who want to train as volunteers”, we might write

Josh is an overly enthusiastic WordPress user and wants to volunteer to do trainings in his city. He finds the website’s homepage through Google and sees a link to “Volunteer as a Trainer!” He is taken to a contact form that asks him for his name, email, phone number and the topic that he would like to train in. He clicks “Submit”, the form is sent to the volunteer manager who will then contact Josh and Josh is left with a “Thank You” page that asks if he’d like to tell his friends through Facebook or Twitter.

Putting together user stories like the one above for the audiences you are trying to reach will help you not only think through the functions and layout of your website or offering but will force you to think about your tech offering in terms of what users actually want. What a concept, eh?

Getting Feedback

After you’ve defined your audiences, thought through their interaction with your tool and written user stories, the next step is to talk to people in your audiences to see what they think.

Does Your Audience Agree with You?

Are your user stories totally off base? Example feedback:

“I would never take the time to sign up for another membership…”

“You have to open up a browser to see the calendar? That’s the only thing I would use!”

“I. hate. WYSIWYGs.”

Thinking in terms of an tool’s “value proposition” or what it’s offering to the people they’re trying to reach can make a misguided and flailing organizational communications and technology strategy actually start to address some real need. Many times, organizations will spend a ton of time, energy and money putting together a huge project like a personalized social network when the only thing their audience wants is an events calendar. Much better to save that money and time by asking your intended users about whether your vision for the tool matches their reality before you invest that dough.

Think Through the Eyes of Your User

As a recap, so many orgs put together websites and tools that didn’t think twice about what users actually wanted. By determining your “value proposition”, you can start to think through what value people would get by using your site or tool.

  • Define and prioritize your top three audiences
  • Write up user stories for each user type
  • See if your value propositions hold up to the scrutiny of actual people in your user types.

With this approach, the goal is to get to a piece of valuable piece of technology that speaks to the people who you want to use it. People-focused technology.

How are you focusing on value delivery to your community?



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