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User Experience & Persuasive Design

How does the site make you feel? Is it enjoyable to navigate? Does it feel seamless and fun? Does it just work?

These are just some of the many things that go into user experience. This is an archive of the best stuff on CXL on user experience and persuasive design.

8 Effective Web Design Principles You Should Know

Your website design is more important for conversions than you think. You can implement every conversion-boosting tactic in the world, but if your web design looks like crap, it won’t do you much good.

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Subway signs

The easier your website is to use, the more people use it. An essential part of “easy to use” is intuitiveness. Intuitive design means that when a user sees it, they know exactly what to do.

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Simple ingredients

A study by Google had two key findings:

  • Users will judge websites as beautiful or not within 1/50th to 1/20th of a second.
  • “Visually complex” websites are consistently rated as less beautiful than their simpler counterparts.

Moreover, “highly prototypical” sites—those with layouts commonly associated with sites of their category—that also had a simple website design were rated the most beautiful.

In other words, the study found that the simpler the design, the better.

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Robert Cialdini

Back in 1984, Dr. Robert B. Cialdini wrote a book called Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Since then, it’s been widely hailed as a seminal book on marketing—something everyone in conversion optimization should read.

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User journey map

User journey mapping is a widely used and impactful technique that can help you improve your product, marketing, UX, and merchandising decisions.

However, like other UX research techniques (including user personas), there’s some vagueness and obscurity around how to actually create user journey maps.

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Example of a good error message on Google

Your users will make mistakes. It’s inevitable. That’s what error messages are for—but so many companies fail to follow best practices, and they’re pissing off potential customers in the process.

So, how can we better design error messages to improve the user experience and increase conversions?

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Sign-Up Flows: A Friction-Based Analysis (with Examples)

Friction is “the psychological resistance that your visitors experience when trying to complete an action.” It’s also a conversion killer.

You can optimize your value proposition or call to action buttons all you want, but if your sign-up flow contains too much friction, you’re leaving money on the table.

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An example of serial position effect

You put tons of time into creating your product, experimenting with acquisition channels, and honing your messaging.

Yet here I am, about to tell you that consumers are often swayed by such subtle nudges as the order in which you present your products, or the “serial position effect.”

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census researcher

Good user research asks the right questions to the right people. If you fail on either account, you may make million-dollar decisions on bad data.

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How to Define Your Product Life Cycle Marketing Goals

In the early 2000s, DVDs were the primary way to watch videos. Netflix streaming launched in 2007, and the DVD player is now a technological antique.

Products, much like humans, live on borrowed time. From the moment they launch, they’re on a journey towards decline. 

How this journey plays out is what marketers try to predict by using the product lifecycle as a model. 

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