Meeting the Needs of User Intent with Web Design

Every website has to be designed to deliver at its fullest potential. This means thinking beyond the basics. By always keeping the needs of the clients in mind first, it helps to keep a web design on track. Web designers now have to think about user intent, and how they can implement this into their plan e.g. if you have a page for let’s say the Horse Racing Spring Carnival, you would want the users to find exactly the information that they were seeking when they land on the page. In the example linked above, this is achieved through interactive content.

What is User Intent?

To really understand what user intent is, it means looking at what the masters of this term define it as. Google describes it in three distinct phases or categories, which are:

  • Do: A site visitor wants to be able to do something when they are on a site. It might be that they want to watch a video. Or, they may want to check out the classifieds, because they are looking for something specific.
  • Know: A user of a website may notice that changes have been made to their favourite website. The visitor may be curious as to why these changes took place, to see if it is going to affect their experience on the website.
  • Go: A site user wants to be able to go to a specific area of a website as quickly and efficiently as possible. Often visitors want to go to a specific area of a website so they can get concise information about something they want to do on the site. For example, they may be visiting a sports betting site and want to know what the odds are for a sports event they want to be on.

How Can the Web Designer Use This Information?

Modern-day thinking will determine which one of these three categories would be best suited to focus on, for a particular website that they are building. The general site will have the basics of these built into it, but by focusing on one of them, it can help to increase a good experience with user intent. If one looks at different websites that are focusing on user intent, they will clearly see which one of the categories the site has focused on.

  • Yahoo: As a search engine, their focus is on the “Go” category. Users of their platform are going to use a search query to allow them to go to a specific site that satisfies their requirement.
  • Amazon: This is a website that focuses on the “Do” category. It allows users to do something, which is usually shopping and buying specific products.
  • Wiki: This is an information based website. Users here are able to gather specific information on their topics of interest.

Designing the Websites With User Intent

Before the focus on design for user intent can be fully implemented, the web designer has to be really aware of what the target market for the site wants, and what their needs are.