What the He!# is Usability, and How Can it Help Me? Part 1 of 2

How do you get your customer to take action on your website? What is the most important action a customer can take, and how do you measure that? That, my Cult friends, is called usability.  The way you design the creative, and develop the functional aspects of your website, can either make or break your marketing efforts, and should be considered among the top priorities when building site infrastructure.

When designing client websites at Cult, the driving force behind them is what the public sees, and how they interact. Here are a few concepts to keep in mind when brainstorming usability tactics, taken from Susan Weinschenk’s principles of applying psychology to understand ‘what makes them click.’

    1. Social validation on your websiteSocial validation: People are very affected by what their friends are doing, which is why user reviews and ‘Jane liked this, so you should too’ types of Facebook promotions are so important. People want to be part of the ‘in-crowd’ and will jump on your bandwagon if friends are, so use this to your advantage. Cult tip: incorporate social validation through feeds, badges, testimonials and reviews. User reviews should incorporate as much info. about the reviewer and item being reviewed as possible for even more validation. A good example of reviews can be found on the Modcloth website. Overall, this aspect is a large part of what we practice, ‘cult marketing’, and is a crucial piece in your branding and marketing efforts.

 

    1. Fear of loss usability exampleScarcity & fear of loss: We can all relate to this one. If you think something is available for only a short amount of time, your ‘fear of loss’ instinct kicks in and makes you want it even more. Fear lives in the ‘old brain’ as Susan explains, and is the driving force behind a lot of action that a user will take. Here’s a great example from a retail store; imagine if you applied it to your online cart as Seth mentions. Cult tip: use a call to action involving numbers, setting deadlines, or limits, and add parameters to download options, events, and signups. Cult has integrated ‘fear of loss’ with white papers, webinars, and contest signups to name a few.

 

  1. Paint the picture with peoplePhotos & stories: “Let me tell you a story” is a great way to capture an audience and get their attention. You can do this through photos that start to tell your story. Paint users a picture that will activate the pain sensors in the brain, helps them relate to your story, and ultimately buy-in to your message. Cult tip: use faces to tell a story which has been the most effective for us, and combine photos with short messages that lead into your longer text.

Read more from Susan here: What Makes Them Click