The Hello Bar is a simple web toolbar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Your Website Sucks: Beyond Usability

Today’s post wraps up our weeklong look at website design.

In the two previous posts we first looked at a couple of simple things you could do to the structure of your posts and also what to look for in your themes to make them user friendly.

Now we’re going to look at, what will seem on the surface, as an about face.

Eric Shaffer of Human Factors International Labs posed the comment (sic),

“It doesn’t matter whether a person has the ability to do something and have a satisfying experience. We’re concerned with whether they’ll make the decision we want.”

PET design™

Shaffer goes on to say that you have to have good hardware, software and usability. The difference today is designing for persuasion, emotion and trust (PET).

You’re more concerned with what the design will make your visitor do. Designing through persuasion:

  • The client WILL buy the product
  • The listener WILL download the show
  • The sponsor WILL sponsor your show

In order to persuade someone to do what you want, you want to engage the reader. You want them to experience an emotion like being effective or having the “ah-ha” moment.

If you make your site brain-dead simple, the reader won’t feel that. If you want them to feel engaged or committed, it isn’t about just making it easy.

The Mall Example

You walk into a big box store like JC Penney’s or Macy’s and you’re immediately lost. What you want is on the other side of the store in the back. The check out stand is on the opposite corner of the store.

Did the people who designed this store design it for usability? Absolutely not. They designed the store so you would be exposed to the most number of products on your way to what you want and, again, on your way to checking out. The assumption is that you may see something that you didn’t intend to get but now that you see it, you want it.

People’s decisions to purchase are not based entirely on logic. Emotion or habit tend to be the driving factors.

So How Does This Apply to My Site?

First, set your Persuasion Objective. What do you want your viewer to do when they’re at your site?

  • Download your show
  • Click an ad
  • Subscribe to the show
  • Join your list

Are there things you’d like them to do that they wouldn’t have thought of when they came to your site?

This second video is with Spenser Gerold of HFI and the work they did with the Delta Airlines site. You’ll see how they redesigned a rather boring and ignorable call to action into something that now had a substantial affect on the bottom line.

The whitepaper that Gerrold refers to can be downloaded here.

About Jay Walsh

With a combined 25 years of design, marketing, podcasting, video and social media knowledge, Jay created ProPodder.com with the goal of helping you make a better podcast.

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