“Your brain is another good resource.”
Empathy. It is probably the most useful, yet under-utilized way to gain insights that drive business decisions. Case studies, analytics, tried and true methods are all great, but the ability to think from someone else’s perspective can go a long way towards helping you stay ahead of the curve by understanding the causes and motivations of behavior, instead of chasing the symptoms of authentic consumer solutions by mimicking the successes of competitors.
Today, I’d like to take you through a collection of posts about conversion, two of which are aimed at designers, because just as empathy is important to understand your customers, it can also help you collaborate better with your creatives. We finish with a video by Distilled that discusses tips on improving the working relationships with designers.
In “The Designer’s Guide to A/B Testing,” we get solid justification and instruction on split-testing for the sake of improving conversion on your website. This isn’t aimed at experts (we shouldn’t expect a Designer’s Guide to be), but it does move a beginner (designer or not) to an intermediate understanding quickly.
One of the more interesting pieces of the guide was a tip pulled from an eye tracking study. The study claimed text receives more attention on the homepage. This shouldn’t be too shocking when we think about it, even though I was a little surprised initially. We know images hold great value, but they places a significant burden of interpretation on the viewer. While text requires interpretation, well written marketing copy is going to lead the reader down a much narrower path of possible interpretations. What this means is that the words on your homepage are how you will differentiate yourself from your competition.
Expanding on the role of text in design and conversion, “Good Writing and Editing is Part of Great Design” discusses the role of text and its message not just as a part of the finished design, but as a guiding principle throughout the design process to create cohesion of all the design elements.
The basics are covered in this piece. Match your language to your audience. Be direct and clear. Polish to a professional feel, even when using an informal tone. But the article also goes into areas that are becoming overlooked more and more.
When design projects get segmented into text and visual design components that are being worked on by separate individuals, collaboration is important to avoid a conflicting tone that can turn-off visitors. And then there is the lost art of editing. If you rely on software to fix your mistakes, you need to stop. It takes a human to edit writing. Spell checking and grammar checking tools don’t catch a lot of egregious mistakes, and these mistakes send a strong negative signaling to someone you want to trust you.
“Friction is not limited to form fields and page lengths. It’s not all about getting everything above the fold. It goes much deeper, and requires a marketer put themselves in the shoes of their customers.”
“Hidden Friction: The 7 Silent Killers of Conversion” gets a little more advanced but provides easy to understand examples of ways you’re getting in your own way with design and layout. While there are the often cited conversion killers of low contrast between text and background and under-emphasized CTAs, we also get gems that help you understand how your page layout guides a user through the page and the negative impact of multimedia.
In this eight minute video, we get advice on giving feedback to designers, which includes helpful tools, etiquette, reflection on instructions, funneling feedback through a single point of contact, and more.