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Chapter 3. Knowing Your Customers: Princ... > Analyze Existing Web Sites

Analyze Existing Web Sites

Another way of getting information about potential customers and their needs is to ask them to evaluate existing Web sites. Use your existing Web site or a competitor's Web site to get a feel for what's right and what's wrong. Recruit some representative customers, and observe what they say they want to do on the Web site, what they actually do, and what steps they take to do it. Make note of the kinds of mistakes they make, and pay special attention to what they say they like and don't like. You might also want to have a questionnaire that they can fill out, to learn more about their demographic information and their interests and subjective ratings. In Chapter 4—Involving Customers with Iterative Design, we discuss in more detail how to do this.

Start your analysis by finding all the people who sent you e-mail about your Web site. Whether they suggested a new feature or criticized a feature that did not make sense, these are the customers who cared enough to make a comment about your site in the first place. If they live close enough, consider asking if you can visit them for an interview, or if they can come to your office to help evaluate the Web site.


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