September 11th Class Takeaways

Qualitative Research
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/examples-qualitative-research-strategies-10244.html
Qualitative research is done by asking questions that pertain to the quality of happiness that the customer has with a product. It is important to ask yourself what do our customers think and why do they think it? These are the questions to answer when doing qualitative market research. I read an article about some examples of qualitative research. The simplest way of doing qualitative research is observation. This should be done when a company wants to view a customer in their natural environment. This is often done in malls or grocery stores to observe how customers view a certain product on the shelf. Another example is interviewing. While doing this it is important to ask open ended questions to not sway your customer to answer in a certain way. When doing this the marketer doing the research simply writes down the answers that the interviewee answered. Then at a later date the marketers analyze these answers. The last example they gave in the article was focus groups. When I think of market research this is what I think of. This is a way to reduce researcher bias. In a focus group many people are interviewed at one time to gain their opinions about a product. The worry with this type of research is that the bias will be introduced into the group by the choice of group members.
Why have a website over a Facebook page?

This was something Paul brought up in class that really caught my attention. A lot of companies currently have Facebook pages, but don’t even have a website. The reason for this a lot of times is the huge cost of having a website and the worry that the owner will not have access to updating the website. Often the businesses that do not have websites have owners that are not technologically inclined. A way to surpass this barrier is to explain to them that it’s as easy as using Facebook, or if they still are not interested maybe offer to keep the website updated for them at an extra charge. The video I posted is just talking about how a business without a website is losing out on customers. In a different video I watched they mentioned that 85% of people look up a business’s website before visiting that business. They also mentioned search engine optimization which I know Paul said we will be going over in one of our upcoming classes. The biggest piece of advice that the video gave was to make sure you have a professional create your website for you. Don’t let one of your friends do it just because they say they can, make sure that whoever you have create it for you will do a good job.

Website Usability

We talked a lot about website usability in class today. I know in emerging web trends we read a book about website usability called “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug. This book is an excellent resource to use and I would highly recommend it to any marketers, web developers, and graphic designers. I found a video on youtube called “10 Usability Heuristics.” I noticed that it said according to Jakob Neilson. I heard Paul bring up his name earlier in the class so I knew he must be a reliable source. One of the things they talked about was that it is important that system communicates clearly with the user. It is important that the user understands what the website is trying to communicate with them. This means less words and larger fonts. Another thing that they brought up was to use common symbols and names for links within the website. Paul had a great example of this in class today when he said he was not able to find the shopping cart on a website he was purchasing items from because that website decided to call it “your bag” instead of “shopping cart.” These are just a couple of ways to make your website more usable for the user.

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