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How persuasive design is misapplied

According to Colleen Jones, there are three things wrong with how persuasive design is currently applied:

1. It focuses on changing actions and behaviors though we all know that decisions are more or less based on opinion, attitude and emotion.

2. It doesn't address content which can influence people's thinking and motivate them to act

3. It focuses on optimizing design for conversion by pushing people along with sneaky tricks instead of motivating those with true interest


  • Three Reasons Why Persuasive Design Isn't Enough to Influence Change Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 21, 2010

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Adding fun to the user experience

In this article, Jared Spool looks at how four businesses made their products more fun and engaging by adding elements of play to the user experience.


  • Designing with the Elements of Play Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - April 19, 2010

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See also: Emotional design (10)  Cases and Examples (28) 



How usability tests are put together determines the outcome

In this article, Bryan Eisenberg makes an interesting comparison between and According UIE, outperforms Newport News when people are looking for particularly products. But in spite of its lower traffic and reach, Newport News rank higher in terms of revenue.

Why this difference? The answer might be that Newport News relies more on presenting goods within the context of fashion themes and trends, rather than merely classifying them by product categories. This approach might appeal to impulse buyers.

Whether Bryan Eisenberg's analysis is correct or not, the story is a reminder of an important aspect of usability testing: how you test will inevitable influence your results. If UIE had tested people who didn't know in advance what to buy, they may have seen different results.


  • Does Usability Actually Sell Anything? Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 10, 2007 - via Usability In The News

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See also: Usability testing (68) 



100 tips and tools to optimize landing pages has published a list of no less than 100 articles and tools that can help you optimize your landing pages to get visitors to do what you want them to.


  • The Landing Page Design Toolbox: 100 Tools, Tips and Resources Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 06, 2007

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See also: Landing pages (5) 



Create long-term loyalty through experiences that wow

Long-term customer loyalty is achieved by impressing customers again and again. It can't be bought or bottled. It's created though constant moments of "wow," where the product or service pleasantly surprises a customer.

In this essay, Brandon Schauer shows us how the art of the Long Wow is done by immersing ourselves in the customer's world, simulating the experiences though prototyping, and coming up with delights that normally go unfulfilled.


  • The Long Wow Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 29, 2007

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Tell people to click if you want them to click

Is it archaic to tell people to "click here" in online copy? Brian Clark thinks not.

"'s been proven time and time again that if you want someone to do something, you'll get better results if you tell them exactly what to do."

A recent experiment by Marketing Sherpa supports his view. They found that the word "click" had a significant influence on the clickthrough rates.

Here are the clickthrough rates of the wordings tested:
- "Click to continue": 8.53%
- "Continue to article": 3.3%
- "Read more": 1.8%


  • Does Telling Someone to Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 21, 2007

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See also: Links (19) 



How to optimize landing page performance

Marketing Experiments Journal has made a number of A/B tests of landing pages (the pages people land on clicking ads or search result links).

They found that landing page performance can be improved by:
- Focusing on one objective for each page and driving everything on the page to that one objective
- Using a vertical flow through the centre of the page
- Eliminating elements that may distract eye path from the flow toward the objective
- Using visual elements to draw attention toward the call to action
- Avoiding use of off-page links


  • Landing Page Confusion-How Does Having More Than One Objective to a Page Affect its Performance? Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 08, 2007 - via Copyblogger

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See also: Research (129)  E-commerce (27)  Landing pages (5)  Web page design (40) 



B2B sites suck

Business-to-business websites have substantially lower usability than mainstream consumer sites. In a usability test, the B2B sites earned a mere 50% success rate. In contrast, mainstream websites have a success rate of 66%.

According to Jakob Nielsen, the major problems with B2B sites are:
- The fail in supporting customers' decision-making process by preventing them from getting the information they need to research solutions
- They use segmentation that don't match the way customers think of themselves
- They require customers to register to get information, which they are very reluctant to do
- They lack pricing information (the users in the study prioritized prices as the most critical type of information)

Most of the test participants said that when they were thinking of doing business with a company, one of their first actions was to check out its website. By being user-hostile, the B2B sites turn away customers without ever knowing how many sales they've lost.


  • B2B Usability Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - May 30, 2006

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See also: Research (129)  E-commerce (27) 



Spending on advertising vs. customer experience

What is most profitable? Investing in marketing to drive traffic to a web site or investing in the customer experience of the site?

According to ICE, it's insane to begin anywhere else than improving customer experience. "If you were throwing a party, wouldn't you clean up your house before you invited people over?"

By improving the customer experience, we improve conversion rate and can make more money with fewer people.

To maximize return on investments, the only smart move is to begin with customer experience and spend money on driving traffic to the site later on.


  • Put Your Money Where The Experience Is Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 14, 2006

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See also: Cost-justification and ROI (27) 



Designing pages listing links to content

According to Jared Spool, gallery pages - pages listing links to content pages - are the hardest working pages on a web site. They separate those users who find the content they are looking for from the users who don't.

Studies by UIE show that when gallery pages don't contain the information that users will need to make their choice, they have to resort to "pogosticking" - jumping back and forth between the gallery and the content pages hoping they'll eventually hit the content they desire.

UIE also noticed that users expect the most important items to always be listed first in the gallery. If the first few items aren't of interest, they often assume the rest will be even less interesting.


  • Galleries: The Hardest Working Page on Your Site Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 01, 2005

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See also: Research (129)  Sections (8)  Web page design (40)  Navigation (63) 

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