It’s a cultural trope to “want what you can’t have,” but it’s also a principle based on decades of psychological research.
That principle, scarcity, is incredibly powerful in marketing, persuasion, and conversion optimization—when done right, especially in a free market with limited resources. If people believe that they’ll be missing out on something, they’ll be prompted to act more quickly to get it.
A few years ago, I launched a kind of “Groupon deal for musicians.” I gave away $1,250 worth of products, including recording time and iTunes distribution, for just $69.
I had spent four months building it, and invested a significant amount of my personal savings into ensuring the campaign was everywhere.
It had to work, and I obsessed over conversions. This obsession paid off when I managed to increase conversion rate from 2.5% to 10.8%.
If you’re not following form design best practices, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.
While forms aren’t the sexiest part of conversion optimization, they tend to be the closest to the money—the macro-conversions. Spending a little time optimizing forms can be some of the most important optimization work you can do.
Of course, best practices don’t work the same on all sites. It’s contextual. But generally, implementing form design tactics that work more often than not is a good way to get started.
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.
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.
User flow is the path a user follows through your website interface to complete a task—make a reservation, purchase a product, subscribe to something. It’s also called a user journey.
And it has a massive impact on conversions.
To maximize your conversions, you have to get the user flow right on your site. Do it by building a user flow that matches user’s needs.
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?
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.
You’d like to think that you’re a completely rational person making completely rational decisions, right? It’s nice to believe that you haven’t made major life decisions based on how you were feeling.
Well, you have. Many times.
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.