Each one of your Customers will want something different from your website - you may want a website that's not too wordy but the fact of the matter is that some people prefer to read and if you're not giving these people precisely what they want then you're simply turning away business.
How often have you visited a website and quickly become frustrated because it's not giving you the information you want? Our guess is more often than not. The chances are that the website in question was specified by someone with an opposite personality type to yours.
Wouldn't it be great if you knew what makes your Customers tick? If you knew what made them tick then you would know what makes them click, right? Sub@omic wants you to know how to press your Customers' buttons so that they can quickly get to the information they're after on your website. This 'show them what they want and not just what you want to tell them' philosophy is at the very heart of our cognitive approach to designing websites.
Before we tackle the subject of Customers' personalities we first profile the senior management team so that they can understand their own personality type. Only when you know your own personality type will you appreciate how best to communicate through the website with others. Sub@omic uses a simple and accessible four colour model that's been trusted in business for over 20 years to understand a Customer's behaviour and preferences for communication. Peoples' personalities may be classified using a four colour areas:
We measure the preferences of the management team based on responses to a short online evaluator. One of the outputs is a 20 page personality profile, which identifies strengths and areas for development. This profiling exercise should ideally be carried out before an æ web strategy workshop so the results can be directly input into the workshop.
Dead red people are the commercial, competitive, goal-orientated people whose major concern is achieving and love smashing targets. Dead red people don't like wordy websites they like prices, bullet points and buttons so they can get where they want and do what they've got to on the website.
Hello yellow people are the outgoing, creative, risk-taking people who like to innovate and don't tend to stick with convention. Hello yellow people like interactive and immersive websites with video, involvement and movement all of which appeal to their sense of exploration to find out the newest and latest products or services.
Team green people are the loyal, listening, team-players whose desire for harmony and cohesion means that they're interested in the human aspects of a business. Team green people don't mind words on a website as they're keen to understand the motives for a company's actions so management biographies, policy and social statements will be sought out.
True blue people are the accurate, dependable, administrative processors in business that relish order and a business process. True blue people like factual detail and a no-nonsense website so tables, document downloads, technical and performance data are highly valued.
Once you've understood the communication preferences of your management team responsible for driving the website then it's easier to ensure that the right cognitive balance is achieved throughout the website as management shed their own perceptions of what should be on the website for what the Customer would prefer to see and use.
The psychology behind the colours was developed by Carl Jung in his work on human personality and relationships - we use this model to help us communicate better. Jung identified two attitudes in the human psyche: introversion and extroversion. The human personality then has four different functions: thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition. Jung combined the two attitudes and four functions to create eight 'psychological types'.
So how does all this psychology theory apply to a website? Well, take a good look at this page; notice how it is broadly split into four areas. At the top of the page there is a colourful interactive area for the yellows; beneath that and to the right there are buttons which act as shortcuts for the reds; the body copy to the left of the buttons is there for the green to read; the panel at the bottom right is for you blues to learn more from.
Which colour is Steve Whiting? Well, he's a green so for him writing these data panels and ensuring there was enough meaty data in them was a challenge. He likes building relationships so he will always wrestle with making sure that there's a button for the reds to cut to the chase. Finally, he worked hard to make sure there was enough playful interaction available for the yellows to explore the website.