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Skimmers, Swimmers and Divers

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The Three Types of Visitors to Websites

Are you looking for ways to make your business website more effective? Want to know how to make your content appeal to every visitor on your site?

It’s not impossible if you keep in mind the following:

  • Skimmers want to find the information they need and get out as quickly as possible.

  • Swimmers will go a little deeper and browse more of your site.

  • Divers want to take it all in and spend time exploring.

Many websites are bursting at the seams with valuable information and content.  Serving up this content in a way that’s informative and engaging (and not overwhelming) can be a major organizational and design challenge. 

As you plan the organization and design of your site, think of your site visitors in three categories: 

Skimmers, Swimmers and Divers

Each group is willing to go progressively deeper and spend more time on your site.  They each have different needs and wants when it comes to their online experience.  So how do you design your site to address all of them?

Start by understanding what each audience is looking for and think through opportunities to meet that need.

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Skimmers

Glide along the surface – they want to get in , get the info they need and get out as soon as possible.  They are headline readers and use title to guide their journey through your site.

How to meet their needs:

  • Think about the info most visitors are looking for.  This might include hours, contact info, admission price, menu – the low hanging fruit of info.

  • Make headlines clear and concise and use different headlines and establish a clear hierarchy to make page structure easy to understand at-a-glance.

  • Include search functionality. If the skimmers can’t locate what they need at-a-glance, an easy search function can keep them from leaving your page.

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Swimmers

Splash around – willing to get a little deeper.  They are interested but have a limited amount of time and energy they will devote to your site.  They are most likely looking for something specific but may stop and peruse if something catches their attention.

How to meet their needs:

  • Take a cue from magazine – the covers of which have the most dramatic or thought-provoking quotes from stories in bold colors and fonts to grab attention.  Translate this approach to your site and emphasize our most compelling content to make it irresistible.

  • Not everything can be on the home page, but don’t bury content under too many layers of navigation.  And use page metrics to help adjust content that is most sought.

  • Feature related and relevant information “in context” – include similar content when visitors are most likely to be interested in it.  For example, an info page about services could include testimonials or links to companion products.

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Divers

Going deep to get the full story – they will consume most, if not all, content and come back looking for new additions.

How to meet their needs:

  • Make sure your information is organized in an intuitive manner.  Divers may become frustrated if they cant make a mental map of your site as they browse.

  • Make the content progress clearly so they can easily find a stopping point and remember for when they resume.

  • Enhance their experience with multimedia – videos, imagery, audio – to keep them interested.

 

Building the Foundation

Keep in mind the needs of each of these visitors for a site that can cater to all who visit your site and convert visitors to customers.

  • Skimmers are looking for speed, ease, clarity and brevity.

  • Swimmers are looking for options, simplicity, efficiency and possibility.

  • Divers are looking for details, background, interaction and connection.

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‘Coding is dead, automation the real deal’

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‘Coding is dead, automation the real deal’

 

 

If you’ve been spending years learning a programming language such as Java or .Net, there’s a message for you from your potential employers: “Coding is dead”.

Yes, coding as we know it, may not longer be relevant in the world taken over by machine learning and automation. “Coding is dead. I don’t need to do any native development anymore,” Nitin Rakesh, newly appointed CEO of IT services firm Mphasis, told BusinessLine.

‘Cloud first’

“Large public platforms such as AWS, Salesforce.com etc, are the ones where the future of all the development will be. If you talk to a bank, they are doing code writing on native Java, sitting on a Unix machine anymore. The simple view is to be cloud first, mobile first,” he said.

Billions of lines of open source codes are freely available for programmers, which can be reused the way we put Lego blocks together to create a building model.

Akhilesh Tuteja, Partner and National Head (Technology and BPM), at KPMG, says: “It is true the way we program today may not exist in the near future, as there’ll be more of reusable code that’ll be in play. However, you will require some level of programming knowledge to understand how to put these blocks together and make sense of them.”

Application platforms such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure and IBM’s Watson, make it easy for engineers to build code in a rapid way by simply using existing pieces of code or simply a combination of multiple tools. Automation simplifies the task further by testing your code with the click of a button, which would’ve otherwise taken days to test.

“That’s why platforms become more important. Whether it is Java or .Net, it will be more configuration than coding. If you look at Node.JS, it is a script of Java. With that you’re not doing native coding but just using existing routines and put it together,” Rakesh said.

IT firms following suit

Mphasis is not the only company trying to change the way it trains its employees and see automation more important than native programming skills. Larger IT services companies such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro are also embarking on re-skilling lakhs of employees on digital technologies that train them on how to use agile methodologies, using more of reusable code to achieve the goals faster.

“If you look at delivery in digital, it is about design thinking, agile, rapid prototyping and everything that is fast and furious. The way we have designed our delivery so far is not fast and furious,” Patrick Nicolet, Group Executive Board member, Capgemini, had earlier told BusinessLine. Nicolet highlighted the importance of automation in order to survive in the current environment.

However, a world without the need of native coding skills does not mean we’ll not need programmers. The reuse of code will further help in reducing dependency on programming skills of individuals.

“The native coding capability will be required but people will need to understand how to reuse code rather than build it. That’s how you reduce your time to market by using existing code.

Our training would also have to align with the platform approach,” Rakesh said.

(This article was published on February 17, 2017)

 

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