ENBIS-8 in Athens

21 – 25 September 2008 Abstract submission: 14 March – 11 August 2008

Customer-centred design strategy for a website that satisfies customers’ emotional needs

23 September 2008, 09:20 – 09:40


Submitted by
Shirley Coleman
Aditya Parulekar and Shirley Coleman
Newcastle University, UK
Websites form a major gateway into services offered by niche consultancies. Websites are the first stop for customers to find information about the services offered. This experience can be vital in the customer forming his first impressions about the organisation. With web channel being the most slippery channel, a potential customer can easily be lost to competitors. Website design is therefore extremely important. Web usability and design factors which emotionally appeal to the customers help the formation of “sticky” relationships with customers. Facilities which provide metrics for web analytics are freely available and can be helpful if used appropriately. Feedback from customers is a fundamental source of information to guide design and assess effectiveness of a website. Customer-centred design is popular in most conventional businesses such as automobiles and food packaging. In the present paper, we propose a customer-centred design strategy for website design to meet customers’ emotional needs as users and patrons. Kansei Engineering is a methodology which captures emotional response to products and services. An administrative change provided an opportunity to review the ISRU website and to redevelop it. ISRU is a self-financing unit within the School of Mathematics and Statistics, Newcastle University. The statistical services it offers are of general applicability but nevertheless seek to satisfy a niche market. A baseline summary was obtained to compare with post implementation results. The well established I*PROMS website provided access to examples of historic and current web analytic data which were used to develop metrics for assessing effectiveness in the particular case of a niche technical consultancy unit. The paper reports the project which was carried out using Six Sigma project methodology. Websites cannot remain static but must be responsive to disruptive innovation and other vectors of change. Website design is put in a historical context with the aim of tracing future requirements for change.
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