Why most portals fail

Most of the time, when a business decides it needs a custom portal, the idea becomes a black box and then quickly turns into the kitchen sink.  There is nothing that makes a portal fail more than clutter and confusion. Your customers don’t want to see that. So as the saying goes “A little goes a long way!”

Do you know what your customer’s journey looks like? Do you know what it’s like to do business with you?  If you haven’t seen it from their eyes, you won’t develop the simple key insights that will ensure success.  Walt Disney would never have been able to create a magical child’s experience if he didn’t look at it from their point of view.

Here are our top 4 reasons why portals fail

  1. It doesn’t guide the user: Many portals are designed like websites and expect users to “find” the information or an activity to perform.  In actuality, people don’t want to think, they want YOU to guide them. Portals often fail to lead people to the needed information and activities.  We invested more time studying early users to adjust the flow of the portal based on observations.
  2. It’s too clunky: People will tell you they want more features.  In reality, when given too many features, people experience an information overload and most of the features will be ignored.  When we ask users what features they want, they will almost always say “give me all of the options.”  So you need to be prepared to ask, but also deviate from what they ask for.
  3. Missing feedback: Many portals fail to provide users with feedback or closure to activities.  People have a psychological need for closure. Users will become frustrated if your portal leaves them hanging, lacks feedback, or misses out on clearly communicating next steps.
  4. It lacks metrics: Without tracking and measuring key performance indicators, portals have no visible feedback on their impact.  Are the goals of the portal even being achieved? Carry the goals of your portal forward and ensure that important metrics like traffic, usage, and rates are being tracked and reported.

You’ll win when you know what your customers want and have an automated process to get them there.