When working on a project, have you ever felt that you and the rest of the team were making a lot of decisions based on assumptions? Having to make choices with limited information is not unusual — especially in complex projects or with brand new products. [Links checked March/27/2017]
Phrases like “We think people will use this feature because of X” or “We believe user group Y will switch to this product” become part of the early deliberation on what to develop and how to prioritize.
No one really wants to be interrupted, much less for something silly while they’re in the middle of doing a billion things. So, why do app ratings follow this pattern? And why don’t developers attempt to talk more with their customers?
In this article, we’ll investigate the various tactics of prompting for app reviews and ratings and how to make them better. We’ll also talk about how to ask users for feedback in a way that benefits everyone.
A few months ago, I ran an experiment to see how much faster I could make one of my websites in less than two hours of work. After installing a handful of WordPress plugins and fixing a few simple errors, I had improved the website’s loading speed from 1.61 seconds to 583 milliseconds. That’s a 70.39% improvement, without having made any visual changes to the website. [Links checked & repaired April/04/2017]
An “affordance” is a perceived signal or clue that an object may be used to perform a particular action. A chair sits at around knee height and appears to provide support. It affords sitting. A toothbrush has a handle a little longer than the human palm. It affords gripping.
All of the objects that surround us have affordances: some are explicit (the “Push” sign above a door handle), and others are hidden (a chair could be used to break a window or used as a weapon).
In this article, I’ll describe my approach with better-dom to solve the internationalization problem.
In what other industry do professionals disagree so vehemently about the basic goal of their work?
Do engineers debate whether their buildings should stand up or fall down?
Do accountants wring their hands over whether their beans should add up?
Do teachers wonder whether it’s important for their students to learn stuff?
But ask 12 marketers what the goal of their job is and you’ll get 13 answers.
Today, let’s see if we can find a workable definition for the purpose of branding that marketers can actually use.
A workable definition for the purpose of branding that marketers can actually use
But, first, allow me to get into some trouble with my opinion on the context…
There are generally two types of Marketers: “Brand Marketers” and “Response Marketers”
Sidebar: I should preface the following by saying that my experience as a direct response marketer probably biases me slightly toward seeing the Response perspective. I’ve worked in ad agencies creating direct mail and email campaigns. However, before that, I began my career doing freelance design, so I also appreciate beautiful aesthetic design even if I’m no Lee Clow.
Here’s what I’ve seen in many organizations: The Branding camp sees Response marketers as subservient, tactical geeks, and the Response group sees Brand marketers as fluffy, granola airheads.
In my agency days, we Response marketers always envied the budgets the Brand marketers were awarded. I think I can summarize the general feeling as injustice. After all, “We’re the ones bringing in all the sales. What has that brand ad done for you lately?!”
Response marketers often reference John Wanamer’s quote, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” and shake their heads mumbling, “We can tell you which half. That’s why we measure!”
The Brand marketers just laugh at the Response marketers’ naiveté as they enjoy their lunch martini and strip club with the clients.
But, I digress… the first question to ask is…
What is Branding?
There’s an ongoing debate in many organizations between the Branding and Response groups about the role of branding itself.
Response marketers are frustrated when Brand marketers’ create brand rules, codified in Brand Standards or Brand Guidelines or even “Brand Bible” documents when they’re based on aesthetics-alone. On the other hand, Brand marketers are disgusted by the ugly campaigns Response marketers create to drive sales.
I define a brand as the concept a person holds about a thing (person, business, place or activity, etc.) based on his or her accumulated experiences.
I believe a brand needs to cause an effect. I think it needs to stand for something different and singular. Something focused, memorable, meaningful and valuable enough to cause emotion and, ultimately action.
I put that question out to my Twitter followers recently and had an interesting debate refining the wording.
I started with this tweet:
Opinion: the goal of branding is to own a phrase in the minds of your prospects that they believe you can credibly deliver. Do you agree?
Have you ever wondered how digitally healthy the organization where you work at really is? If you’re a freelancer or work at an agency, well, have you thought about the health of your clients?
I’m not talking about whether you have the latest mobile application or a responsive website. I’m talking about the organization that sits behind these digital tools. If the organization is not digitally healthy, then even the best technology and design will fail.
Makelaarsland is a Netherlands-based brokerage firm. Prospective home sellers can sign up on their website to make the company their estate agent.
The website had a three-step registration process for home listings — Personal Information > Address > Finish.
Towards the right, it had a ‘Need Help?’ section with the company phone number and email ID. Underneath, there was a photo of a woman employee. This is how the page originally looked:
The A/B Test
Traffic Builders, an online marketing firm and a Visual Website Optimizer certified partner, ran an A/B test on Makelaarsland’s lead generation page with an objective to increase the number of home listings. Traffic Builders tested the woman’s image against the photo of a man putting a ‘sold’ sticker on a ‘for sale’ sign.
The second version with the man’s image saw 89% increase in sign-ups as compared to the original version. The test was run for 20 days at 95% statistical confidence before Makelaarsland implemented the changes on its website.
Visual Reassurance did the Trick
According to Traffic Builders’ senior conversion optimization consultant Eva Louwen, the Variation image used a very specific persuasion technique — response efficacy. The psychological principle subtly suggested how the action of signing up the form will ultimately result in the desired outcome of selling the house.
“People that sign up Makelaarsland as their estate agent want to be sure they’ll eventually sell their house. We used this technique by adding an image of a man putting a ‘sold’ sticker on a ‘for sale’ sign. This visual reassurance ended up convincing more visitors that signing Makelaarsland was indeed the right move to make,” said Eva, the author of the test.
“This technique was shown to me during Online Dialogue’s course on Master Of Online Persuasion. I picked it because it addressed the low response/trust issue problem with Makelaarsland,” Eva added.
This is not the first time that A/B testing a different image has increased conversions for a company. One of our customers, ExactTarget, saw its conversions increase by 40% after it A/B tested a different image on its homepage.
A/B tests conducted on lead generation pages always produce interesting results. If you have come across any such test recently, do tell us about it in the comments section.
The value of icons lies in their ability to support content in web design and communicate with users in more intuitive and effective ways. Most users are known to first scan a page for visually interesting content, and only after something grabs their attention will they actually begin reading. In short, icons are a simple, effective way to draw users into the content of your website.
Today’s icon set consists of a passionate set of icons in two styles (flat and light gradient).
From a motion design perspective, Facebook.com is phenomenally static. It’s purposefully dumbed down for the broadest levels of compatibility and user comfort. Facebook’s iOS apps, on the other hand, are fluid. They prioritize the design of motion; they feel like living, breathing apps.
This article serves to demonstrate that this dichotomy does not need to exist; websites can benefit from the same level of interactive and performant motion design found on mobile apps.