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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: Persuasive design (21)  Links (19) 



Intranet usability saves millions

According to Jakob Nielsen, intranet usability has improved 44% over the last few years. But there is still room for improvement. A company with poor intranet usability can save $3 million per year. A company with average usability $2.4 million. If you have 10,000 employees, that is.


  • Intranet Usability Shows Huge Advances Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 11, 2007

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See also: Research (129)  Intranets (3)  Cost-justification and ROI (27)  Tips and guidelines (95) 



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)  Persuasive design (21)  E-commerce (27)  Landing pages (5)  Web page design (40) 



Common shopping cart mistakes

In this article, SURL revisits a study from 2002 of common e-commerce problems. They found that all of the following 2002 issues remain in 2007:

- Calling a shopping cart anything but a shopping cart or whatever is appropriate for the target users of the site's location
- Requiring users to click "Buy" instead of "Add to shopping cart"
- Giving little to no visual feedback that an item has been added to the cart
- Forcing the user to view the shopping cart every time an item is placed there
- Asking the user to buy other related items before adding an item to the cart
- Requiring a user to register before adding an item to the cart
- Requiring a user to change the quantity to zero to remove an item from the cart
- Not making it evident how to update the items in the shopping cart
- Requiring a user to scroll to find an update cart button
- Requiring a user to check out before showing the final costs including shipping and tax


  • Top Ten Mistakes of Shopping Cart Design Revisited Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 12, 2007

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See also: Research (129)  E-commerce (27)  Shopping Carts (9) 



Is your app an ass-kisser?

If your app was an employee, what kind of employee would it be?

- The Ass-Kisser?
- Clueless Guy?
- The Paper Hat Guy?
- Brilliant but temperamental?
- Anal-retentive Guy?
- The Show-off?
- Just-Trust-Me Guy?
- The Undecider?

People react to computers in the same way they react to other people. Thinking of applications as creatures with personalities - as Kathy Sierra does here and Alan Cooper does in his 14 principles of polite apps - can be quite rewarding.


Henrik Olsen - March 27, 2007

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See also: Misc humor (8)  Emotional design (10) 



Google applications are for dorks and geeks

According to Jeff Bonforte from Yahoo, poor usability is the main reason behind the limited adoption of Google's online services such as Gmail and Google Talk.

Google is receiving a lot of attention from "dorks and geeks." But because Google is ruled by engineers and pay little attention to usability, they haven't been successful in turning ordinary people into users of their online applications.

Yahoo has found that removing features from their online applications have made them more attractive to mainstream users.


  • Yahoo rubbishes Google usability Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 02, 2007 - via Usability In The News

Permanent link Comments (4)

See also: Web applications (6) 



Usability improvements are worth money for non-commercial sites and intranets

According to Jakob Nielsen, it's a fallacy to believe that only commercial sites can profit from usability. The public sector can realize economic value from making people able to complete self-service transactions, non-profits from increased donations, and intranets from increased employee productivity.

Government agencies typically benefit significantly from usability improvements because they have a large base of users. In one example, Jakob estimates that a state agency could get a return-on-investment of 22,000% by fixing a basic usability problem.


  • Do Government Agencies and Non-Profits Get ROI From Usability? Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - February 12, 2007

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See also: Cost-justification and ROI (27)  Intranets (3) 



28% of internet users have tagged or categorized content online

Folksonomies are spreading. A survey from December 2006 has found that 28% of internet users in the US have tagged or categorized content online, such as photos, news stories or blog posts. On a typical day, 7% of the users say they tag or categorize online content.

Taggers are classic early adopters. They are likely to be under 40 and have higher levels of education and income.

The survey was carried out by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.


  • Report on the tagging survey Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 31, 2007

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See also: Navigation (63)  Information architecture (15)  Research (129) 



Part two of report on how to design web applications

Part II of the The Designer's Guide to Web Applications is out. In this 62-page report, Hagan and David Rivers examine seven of today's most innovative web applications, including:

- WebOffice
- Serenata Flowers
- Backpack
- SurveyMonkey
- Writely (now Google Docs)

The authors investigate the purpose of each application, its target users, and how each application tackles its specific design issues.

There is a free chapter of the report available.


Henrik Olsen - December 15, 2006

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See also: Books (47)  Web applications (6) 



It's the features that sell products

According to Donald Norman, features always win over simplicity. Given a choice, people will buy the product that does more, even when they realize that it is accompanied by more complexity.

"Marketing experts know that purchase decisions are influenced by feature lists, even if the buyers realize they will probably never use most of the features. Even if the features confuse more than they help."


  • Simplicity Is Highly Overrated Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 10, 2006

Permanent link Comments (2)

See also: Simplicity vs. capability (7) 


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