While reading this article, I was made aware of this service called peek. You give them your URL and your email address and they send you a 5-minute video with a first-time user. The user explains how they're navigating and what they're thinking, giving you a first hand perspective of how good (or bad) your site's usabulity is. I signed up, and I am terrified.
So, obviously I signed up and sent someone to the Ramen homepage.
And oh boy, was it painful.
As I watched the video, I felt like running away. As the sole designer at Ramen, my job is to have a user land on the homepage and convert them. I failed. Not only was this person a random user, but he turned out to be our target customer. He had a software project he wanted to validate and get feedback on, but shortly after getting him excited about the concept of Ramen, our homepage confused him, and we lost him as a customer. It was terrible to see someone wed consider our exact target market bounce because I failed to explain the benefits Ramen can provide.
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