The grocery store provides an excellent metaphor for the user experience on your website.
With one major difference.
Consider your favourite grocery store.
Chances are you've gone there for years.
You know where everything you need is located, you are on top of the best times to shop and plan strategically around upcoming sales and when the lines are short.
Heck, you may even have a favourite check-out girl, or boy, you dog!
The point is you are comfortable shopping there, you have reason to continue doing so and you are at a point where you don't even consider going elsewhere (I mean, why would you risk change, they may not have the specific brands you need to make your world go round - oh, the horror!).
Now think back to the first time you went there - what was it like?
Chances are you had to read some of the aisle signs to find what you wanted, or even spent time going back to aisles a second time. Most likely, you had to change a brand or two from your previous grocery store.
You may have reached out to a stock boy or manager to ask if they had something specific, and you silently judged their resulting effort - as wellas the speed and efficiency of your future check-out girl crush.
You may not remember it now, but if you have recently moved, you know that the first time in a grocery store is much more difficult than the 100th. In fact you may have tried two or three before deciding, or even settling, on the 'best'.
Can I be Candid?
Wouldn't it have been nice if your first visit to a new grocery store just had one aisle - and that aisle only had what you were looking for, fully stocked, at eye-level, on sale, and the aisle led to a no-wait check-out?
And the cute cashier already somehow knew you by name?
And the magazines all featured stories about your favourite things?
What if you didn't have a list - you just needed milk - and it was there - AT THE FRONT!! By the sliding front door, which you were able to park right next to, that opened in time instead of waiting until you almost slammed into it.
And the grocery basket you grabbed wasn't sticky or gross at all!
Wow! Chicken skin. Goosebumps? Whatever.
Either way, that right there is the perfect metaphor for a first-timer's visit to your website.
Are your first-time customers going to be comfortable on your site? Why? Is it because you understand user experience, or is it because your aunt thinks the pictures look nice?
Or is your user experience strategy simply relying on someone to come by twice a week for, I dunno, a year - before they get comfortable?
Where's your website's 'milk'? Is it buried in the back because you figure people don't mind the walk?
Ever wonder why people are willing to pay $6.50 at the corner store for milk?
What about you sideburns? You want some of this milk? - Billy Madison
Anyway, the point is that you should know what the 'milk' for your business is, as well as everything else special about your brand or offering - but that's not enough.
You need to make it easy to hear about, find and buy your milk.
Are you ready to understand and capitalize on the advantages that come from optimized user experience?
I can help.