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Why Would Anyone Use That?xgr90w0s9x0woyzr81hybf4rc82aypclWhy Would Anyone Use That?

(English → 中文) View original
Translators:
Confused
You’re creating ANOTHER social network??
Photo courtesy of doctabu
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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. ynp2qc2iiq5i5qr98nk16m2u96smw5dk“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?9e2dj3x6gfeq22k7gj39kju0qmqptcws

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. 0anzjp914yo3l4aiwge385f54ij2k8vbTechnology 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.dz7skjoypqc04w6e4fajt8h727o0gy4k

But how do you focus on this value? How do you think through the motivation for someone actually using your website or software?r2cb3v4yxl1kgjzi4q1lewfd3qrazcnh

Defining Your Audiencescltoz637s6c3rvg6grdxpakcgqkb9bt

To start out, the first thing you have to define is:51m3oa30s1b9ljqtvw5rzqb4rmuyofij

Who are you trying to reach?woh85bd86fhv0d4ps59v6mklybqm6zxt

A simple exercise (not necessarily easy, but simple) is to name and prioritize your top three intended audiences. Be specific enough to be accurate. ktnddsmpf7qqc9e47ahrmu23orww6g2hFor 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.0r3m694ixpw5278vg1ynfbpsadoful4k

Writing User Stories992z5cfsgomdbejy5lwdlbvtkfzfhttg

After your users/audiences are defined, the next step is to figure out:ds7fjlktn4ammser8mo5bht5h3lr26a5

What value is your site or tool offering to these groups?nm55namnbhbrfoigicr0nfittiaugfnt

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 write6vwxppiq1munvfgb32sk2xravnisdcoa

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. j8lxsdli6ruy3d7a8wzytgxsj4kkep7nHe 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.ixq5nyiy61pv7acjs3w2lb81m4joo8jx

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?ofpzqthnnbhgllgszt6r6k8gym18m3f0

Getting Feedback3ajytscacxeitp2cajc074vpgicl9c62

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.mywpfxxh973erse033ee804isl9ppfm1

Does Your Audience Agree with You?z5xhfqteug8t929dbjabs251prv42mur

Are your user stories totally off base? Example feedback:0f6h0tvi4nclvsmbc8hltuh9fhtdv0zl

“I would never take the time to sign up for another membership…”sebb8zp2aoh17f1ujxt17zx778c8zsei

“You have to open up a browser to see the calendar? That’s the only thing I would use!”olcmqamhdxmh7owq9d7ya1y95xhndh4r

“I. hate. WYSIWYGs.”456nipl8qvq9n9baracqke7doptteyw8

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. 71xtx0rtkey4r04b44hmbpk967bzly6jMuch 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.i0k545luqwkklm0ussa2oc0qxguu892g

Think Through the Eyes of Your Usery2wowl233uodi7fwapxch7qbz860r7dg

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.4fcu1yry2gahqvbd65yyx6enhhw2hseb

  • Define and prioritize your top three audiencesfdyo943hqgwfjhqecbreatt3qpxe22a7
  • Write up user stories for each user typekqeuwhabpkii95lvoqr08rywpf4grma2
  • See if your value propositions hold up to the scrutiny of actual people in your user types.q4ci1uzn6o5myuhckoslo8lqoovzhpax

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.re2z4g1sguse3kdalwzvozxxwwt8smf9

How are you focusing on value delivery to your community?9obz7j3w81w5par7nl757r94438gk01k

(original) View 中文 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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