Last night TEW had the opportunity to review 4 different attendee websites. Each site was evaluated for clarity in messaging, defined next steps, and overall purpose. We were joined by 2 local designers who helped lend their expertise and knowledge in the review of each site.

Nicole Maynard is the Head of User Experience at Hyatt leading a team of researchers, interaction and visual designers, creating solutions that elevate Hyatt’s digital footprint and enhance the guest experience. She is a versatile UX professional with a foundation in graphic, information and interaction design and has been performing user research well before realizing it was a profession. Nicole has always found the inner workings of our minds to be a compelling subject of study. Her work has been published nationally and has won various design awards. If you want to get her chatting, ask about her love of birds or her commitment to health and wellness.

Megan Hemler is a user experience designer specializing in product design and strategy. Megan is currently a UX Design Lead with ZS Associates, focusing on SaaS products for enterprise clients. Megan has a background in social science and a history of learning-by-doing; previous positions include UX Architect at Chicago agency HY Connect and Content Strategy Manager for Teach For America. When not connecting business and user goals, Megan enjoys yoga, running, and trying all the new restaurants in Logan Square.


Things to Remember When Reviewing

Often times companies focus on the purpose of their website as getting more leads, having people contact them, etc. But that’s your agenda. Your potential customers have a different agenda.

The purpose of your site is to make people happy.

To kick things off, we shared are a few key pieces of information that should be used towards evaluating websites.

Who is your intended visitor?

User Personas stem from the idea of uncovering that 1 person your product/service is best suited for. A lot of times companies fail to define their user persona as just a single person, and instead group it together in wide ranges. Use a user persona to begin understanding your customer and how your product/service truly affects their life.

You can create your own user persona by answering some questions at:

Why do they want to work with you?

Your Unique Value Proposition should often be the first sentence someone reads on your website. It should state who you are, what you do, and why someone wants to work with you. We used an example UVP from Dylan’s Tours in San Francisco.

What do they know?

We also want to evaluate Level of Awareness, which helps us understand how much information we need to provide a potential customer. We look to answer the question, “what does this person know as they come into contact with my brand?”

Level of Awareness can be broken into 5 major areas.

Unaware: My target customer doesn’t know they have a problem.
Pain/Problem Aware: My target customer is aware they have a problem.
Solution Aware: My target customer knows there are solutions to their problem.
Product Aware: My target customer knows about companies who offer products/services like mine.
Most Aware: My target customer knows, specifically, about my business.

By understanding what our potential customer knows we can start to figure out what they need. When we can give them what they need, we make them happy. Nobody wants to dig around your site looking for information. They want that information front, center, and easily accessible.

You can download the full presentation at:

Reviewed Websites

Over the course of 60 minutes we had the opportunity to evaluate 4 different websites. Each group was asked to use the same set of criteria in their discussions. Group discussions were led by each designer then discussed between both groups.

Alex helps entrepreneurs and professionals build a financial blueprint for a foundation of financial peace of mind. The purpose of his site is to clarify his credentials and encourage visitors to contact him.

CCR helps people achieve their homeownership milestones. The purpose of their site is to establish their agents as real estate thought leaders.

ChangeMyBehavior focuses on violence and health intervention prevention focused on youth & community outreach for Chicago’s south side. The purpose of the site is to generate income to grow the organization. As submitter Lorraine Yvonne Bogan put it, “My heart is more focused on helping to transform negative behaviors using Faith-based Christian principles.”

Nancy Gardner is a psychotherapist in private practice. The purpose of her site is to inform prospective clients and motivate them to set up an appointment.

The Entrepreneur’s Workshop provides small group sessions to help Chicago entrepreneurs further develop their skills in business and marketing. Our next event is scheduled for Tuesday, December 12th at the WeWork National Building in the Loop. Learn more and RSVP at

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