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Factors Affecting Customer-Centric Website Design - Essay Example

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The infrastructure known as the Internet has been at the heart of globalisation, flattening the world, and causing disruptive change in business bringing about new models and new products and services…
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Factors Affecting Customer-Centric Website Design
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Download file to see previous pages The paper concludes that website designers must exploit Cloud technologies and use teams that are multicultural and gender sensitive when designing their websites if they truly want to make their customers the centre of their work. Introduction The infrastructure known as the Internet has been at the heart of globalisation, flattening the world, and causing disruptive change in business bringing about new models and new products and services. At its core the web browser has been the most visible interface for consumers and businesses to enjoy these changes brought about by the Internet. With increasing use and time spent on the internet, and with the accompanying information overload, businesses are seeking to capture differentiate themselves through website designs that attract and engage customers. It is within this context that web designers are being tasked to come up with customer-centred websites. Customer-centric web design aims at creating a website that is intended to meet the specific needs of customers as opposed to all web visitors. When considering customer-centred design, Schneider (2011) recommends focusing on the customer buying process. Garrett (2003) suggested that there are six key areas that the web designer will need to focus on to enhance the users’ experience: visual design, information architecture, information design, navigation design, interaction design, and content. Given the highly fluid nature of the internet and its associated technologies, web designers are finding it difficult to design the much desired customer-centric websites. In the next section, the paper begins by trying to understand why customer-centric web design is so important for any individual or organisation that is putting up or has a website. After that the paper discusses three factors that make achieving customer-centric web design difficult. First it discusses the effect of culture and gender, then the impact of the emergence of the mobile web and finally the rise of prosumerism. The paper then concludes with suggestions on possible techniques that web designers could use to tackle the challenge posed by these three factors. Literature Review Importance of Customer-Centric Web Designs Naturally, one would ask why is achieving customer-centric web designs so important to warrant its discussion? Porter (2001) argued that the internet weakened industry profitability by influencing the five forces that underlie industry structure. The Internet reduced switching costs and shifted bargaining power to end consumers. The web essentially changed the dynamics of the relationship between organisations and their customers. The customer is now more empowered and more in control of the relationship than ever before (Perfetti, 2006). The web has not only made it easier for customers to find alternatives but it has also lowered the costs they incur either in searching for alternatives or moving to them. Customers only care about that which is important to them. This means that if they cannot find the products, services or information that brought them to a particular website, they will simply go elsewhere. To prevent customers from going elsewhere makes it necessary for organizations to design their websites with the customer as the core focus. Also, it has been found that there is a big distinction between the numbers of people who visit a website and those ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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