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.
It’s a cultural trope to “want what you can’t have,” but it’s also a principle based in 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.
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.
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.
As much as we’d like to think that we’re rational, the reality is, we make many of our decisions emotionally.
Clicks, shares, purchases, comments, engagement are all subject to emotional decision making.
So how can you use this fact to your advantage?
While retail stores are slowly beginning to reopen, many consumers have made online shopping their new default. Some 71% of U.S. adults plan to do more than half of their holiday shopping digitally this year.
Like any popular business term, “customer centricity” is often abused by businesses that shoehorn it into their core values. Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t cut it. It’s actually better not to claim customer centricity if you can’t get people across your business to really care about your customers.
Persuading completely rational people to make a rational decision or take a rational action would be easy. Unfortunately, you’re stuck dealing with irrational thinking, fueled by cognitive biases and emotions.
So, how do you persuade effectively when people are so heavily influenced by subjective (and contextual) factors?