“The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in.”
WHY USER DETERMINED DESIGN (UDD)?
User Determined Design, or UDD, looks to mesh your unique product with the needs of the particular niche market of consumers that will access you on the internet. You want to remain uniquely “you” while presenting yourself to potential customers in a way that is clearly “them”. Let’s say that another way: Tell your story using the media that people want to see and hear it in. Your website is an extension of your business. Everything a customer experiences around your brand gives them a picture of who you are. There are many painters and paintings, but only one Mona Lisa. There have been many plays and playwrights, but only one true Hamlet. Your website will employ media and coding that can give it the right edge to display who you are to the awaiting public.
As mentioned throughout this series, mobile is the preferred technology. Mobile is a rather broad category so you will want to build your website with that in mind. Working to code and build layers of responsive design allows your website to adjust to the different screen sizes in the mobile market. You want your website to look just as good on a desktop, laptop, cell phone, or iPad screen. The website will then be able to shift its presentation, while maintaining your particular branding, to protect your brand integrity.
There are TV shows and movies, music, drawings, paintings, sculptures, and architecture. All incorporate different mediums of art. There is just as great a diversity within each art form. Each is used to tell a story of some sort. Websites incorporate several media types, or types of content, but not all content may be right for your site. You can tell your unique story in each type, but it is most fruitful to learn what your audience likes because this is likely what they will be looking for when they search.
BUSINESS PLAN MEETS WEB DESIGN
You have likely done some research to identify your particular market. You know who the competitors are. You know what they are buying. You know what they need and what is missing from the Market at large. It is also likely that you have sought to find data on spend habits.
You will want to employ that same data to decide what media to focus on:
- Who is your customer (describe both primary and secondary customers)(be as specific as possible)?
- What sites do they visit?
- What media is available?
- What media is consumed on those web sites?
- What media shows the most interaction (comments, shares, likes, etc)?
Then apply your specific business goals to it with a few additional questions:
- What is my business goal for this website (what am I trying to do)?
- How does this fit with our mission statement?
- What boundaries do I need to stay in (limitations for design, upkeep, expectations, etc)?
- What is my budget?
Then throw them together after analyzing the options that are available to you.
You will want to make sure you are consistent and able to be competitive in the market at large. The budget and goals of your media may be in competition. You may have less budget and time or skills to dedicate what is needed to remain competitive. You might only be able to really work with 1-2 types of media.
ORGANIZING YOUR MEDIA STRATEGY
- Set long-term goals (remember to make them measurable).
- Set dates to review and gauge your goals. Readjust as needed.
- Set short(er) term goals (1 month, 3 month, 6month, 1 year, 3 year, etc).
- Create a media calendar
- Establish a calendar for regular site updates (build in time to research trends and data to incorporate as needed)
- Monitor your reports on daily or bi-weekly time frames if possible. Keep a record of results and analyze why you are getting the responses you are getting. This may be a monthly/semi-monthly or weekly job. Some of your preparation will help you determine this.
For additional direction on understanding your audience check out this article from the folks over at MOZ and this older article from Forbes.