Reaching Your Target User: Step 1 Admitting the Truth

“I do not always realize that I am not my target user.­­”

There I said it.

But to cut myself some slack, I think this self-delusion also affects even the smartest and most strategically minded among us. Maybe you, too.

So, what’s the issue here? Simply put, we like to fool ourselves into thinking that we can put ourselves in the seat of our website’s users, look at our web pages, and see them, feel them, the same as how actual users do. But the truth is we are not our user.

We know our industries, the calls to action, the conversion paths to take, the end goal in all its glory. We are overinformed and this distorts our perception of our websites. Unfortunately this means that we can sometimes let our personal opinions get in the way of what is best for the user and, therefore, our website. We absent-mindedly forget who our users are, their habits, personalities and level of technical knowledge.

So, maybe… it is time to admit it and pull ourselves out of our self-delusions. Ask your users what matters to them and, most of all, what works for them. Take a look at your daily practices, analyze the needs of your target audience, pull all the data together, and see if your web presence has your user’s best interests at heart.

You might be surprised what insights you gain when you ask your users directly.