I’ve talked a lot about how you, having turned over lots of complex problems, have domain knowledge while your audience is forced to operate from too little experience.
Mapping user journeys in your site’s info architecture allows you systematically help them go from what they are focused on to your expert solutions, but where do you start?
Your responsibility to your audience is to shepherd them from where they are to where they ultimately want to go. As you clear those paths, it also helps Google connect those dots for their users, which should result in better visibility on your content in search.
Recently I’m tinkering with this process for mapping that out: start with taking an inventory of relevant intents, identify the greater purposes behind those intents, look at where intent leads them astray from the greater purposes they are pursuing.
Brainstorming pitfalls here,
- they bring their experience to a new problem, making assumptions when they shouldn’t, applies more when transfer of learning is not possible
- they have a painful symptom, to them a pointy problem, and so their focus is on treating the symptom
- they misdiagnose the underlying cause and seek the wrong treatment altogether
- the higher their uncertainty, the more they will avoid taking a direct bold approach to solving the problem, they will guess, leaning into what feels easy, comfortable, low risk
It’s a fun exercise to try to switch between the mindset of domain knowledge and beginner.
My COVID hobby has been learning to play the guitar.
I think I need to get a foundation and then systematically drill weaknesses. But when it comes to progress I’m not sure what that looks like.
I’ll listen to a song, try to play it and sound bad. I’ll decide my problem is I can’t play fast enough. So I just try to play the same thing over and over, trying to be faster.
The more complex or uncertain, the more I avoid getting started. Music theory? Eek.
I bring assumptions, like I think strumming is corny so I don’t know how to strum even though all 101 videos seem to involve strumming chords.
I only have a vague idea of why those things are important and I just want to shortcut my way to playing complex songs well so I drill one thing, clearly hitting a wall in progress, driving my wife nuts in the process.
Any suggestions very welcome there!
If you add up all those common intents and typical pitfalls, you’ll find well worn patterns that make good fodder for organizing a top notch site structure.