You’ve acquired a ton of customers lately for your company. On the surface, this is awesome. More customers, more money. So you throw your energy into your customer funnel.
However, soon after sign-up, they seem to fly right out the back door. Why is this happening? Why do customers leave—or use the service less—often without saying anything?
One of my favorite UX quotes comes from Chikezie Ejiasi, Head of Studio and Design Systems at Google.
He wrote: “Life is conversational. Web design should be the same way. On the web, you’re talking to someone you’ve probably never met—so it’s important to be clear and precise. Thus, well-structured navigation and content organization goes hand in hand with having a good conversation.”
It’s the early 1980s. You’re in charge of a fledgling ESPN, and you have two choices:
- Add more college basketball—you’re highest-rated programming—to the schedule.
- Stick with the skiing and billiards you’ve aired for years (because you couldn’t afford anything else).
Which creates the more profitable programming bundle?
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.”
When Warren Buffett coined the term “economic moat”, he stated that the products that have wide, sustainable moats around them, are the ones that deliver rewards to investors.
That’s why determining the competitive advantage of any company is key to investing, to which moats were initially tethered: a bigger moat makes a stock a better bet.
But the implications are broader, for companies large and small. An effective moat doesn’t require Amazon’s distribution network or Microsoft’s monopolistic software strategy.
“What is beautiful is good,” the saying goes.
This saying stems from a belief that attractiveness correlates to other good qualities. In a phrase, attractiveness is a Halo Effect.
Of course you can see that on the surface, the logic in that saying is flawed. What’s beautiful has nothing to do with what is good. But we still associate perception and individual traits, making our judgement often inaccurate.
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.
If you’ve ignored the design and content of your “thank you” page, you’re neglecting:
- Recent purchasers.
- New leads.
These are some of the highest value segments of an online audience, yet what most sites decide to show them is an afterthought.
There’s a popular user experience quote: “A user interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s not that good.” While clever, that statement is far from true.
User interfaces shouldn’t be complicated, but you can’t expect a new user to understand a new interface without any direction. Similarly, you can’t expect an existing user to understand an updated interface or a new feature without any help.
Perception isn’t always the same thing as reality, even when it comes to something as “objective” as your product’s value.
In fact, the perceived value of your product is fairly malleable. There are countless studies, as well as anecdotes, that support the notion that you can tweak small things to increase your product’s value perception.