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Link: The Path To Advertising Nirvana - Smashing Magazine →

April 21st, 2010

I came across The Path To Advertising Nirvana at Smashing Magazine today, and found it interesting and applicable to many contexts, despite the heavy bias towards blogging sites (given that the author, Andrew Maier, serves as the editor–in–chief of the user experience blog, UX Booth, and speaks mainly about his experience and philosophy for working with advertisers at that site.)

Essentially, we’re designing for opposing goals: advertisers want users to give more conscious attention to their products and services, while usability-minded interaction designers want them to give less.

Check out the related links in that article as well, great stuff.

Does higher conversion rate equal better UX?

March 8th, 2010 7 notes

When something I feel improves the user experience is removed because it results in a lower conversion rate, I find myself very confused. How can a poorer UX have a higher conversion rate?

One specific example: When offering additional paid features to an existing free product, upsell ads contain information about the feature and an option to sign up or learn more. When a “learn more” link is present, more people click the learn more link, but don’t convert to paying customers. When no “learn more” link is present (yet no new information is added), more people click “sign up” (and I assume, convert to paying customers.)

Can we conclude from this that people are finding the information they require during the sign up process and are now happy customers? Or did they get duped into signing up?

I assume that having all the information in front of me before I go into the sign up process is a better user experience, but can a higher conversion rate mean I’m wrong?

Link: Square offers up a master class in product demos →

March 3rd, 2010

Square is a sweet-looking little tool for taking credit card payments with your iPhone. They’ve been all over the design blogs lately for their well-designed product site and product demo video, which is the work of the brilliant @lonelysandwich.

I agree, “The Square demo video is everything a demo video should be: clear, concise, informative, funny, good-looking and memorable. Come to think of it, that’s what we should all strive to be.”

Link: A List Apart: Articles: Words that Zing →

February 9th, 2010

Interesting perspective on writing for the web, with a helpful visualization from the Greek rhetorical concept of kairos:

In weaving, kairos occurs in the instant at which the shuttle passes through an opening in the loom’s threads; this is the moment when all the threads come together to create the fabric. Similarly, on the web, the threads of technology, design, content, culture, and user science intertwine to form the fabric—or context—that swathes the opportune moment.

This is the most succinct and powerful way I’ve ever heard to describe the way a design combines elements of visual composition, balance, content, science, and timing to support cognitive understanding and persuasion of viewers.

I loved the examples under selling a service subscription. There is an art to designing marketing content, and the concept of kairos explains this brilliantly. The customer can visualize themselves using the service, and that’s what drives the point home. When designing these examples, the team got into their users’ heads.

The way I read it, kairos is that “Zing” when everything comes together in a way that seems so simple, yet can be so difficult to create. Once you become cognitive of things like psychology and timing in addition to visual composition, typography, etc., and put the right words and images together in the right layout, finally, it happens. Zing.

photo of Sarah A blog full of thoughts and observations on making the web a better place, collected by Sarah Harrison.

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