Conversion is a term with plenty of myths attached. At Equals Creative we often get asked about conversion, so we’ve decided to debug the myths and break things down.
Conversion doesn’t have to be complicated; think of it as simply encouraging users taking a desired action. It doesn’t have to be cold and formal either. Conversion can be seen as empathising with your users; creating designs which appeal to their needs. We’ve talked previously about creating personas which is a great way to define your customers and relate to them. But how can we design to reach out to those users – your potential customers?
One: Call to actions and value propositions
More often than not, you only have a few short moments in which to convert your users to customers, so their attention should be grabbed the minute they hit your site. Value propositions clearly state what it is you offer that can’t be found elsewhere and should be the first thing customers see when they reach your site. Your brand’s value propositions should also link to clear, strong, call-to-actions: “This is what we’re offering; this is how to get it!”
What makes a good CTA?
- Communicate the benefits of responding. What will the user get out of completing the call to action?
- Assume no users will commit to taking up your offer unless there’s something in it for them!Incentives such as offers and deals encourage users to convert by communicating clear gains.
- Limit the number of CTAs and don’t be tempted to bombard the user with offers. A small number of distinct CTAs is better than overwhelming your customers.
- Position is key. Some theories suggest users navigate a page in a ‘Z’ shape (top left to bottom right), but the central column of your site is generally a good place to position your CTA. Important CTAs must go above the fold.
- Don’t hide your CTA in a sea of content. Ensure there’s enough space surrounding it to present it clearly.
- Does your CTA denote exclusivity? Users are more likely to respond if your offer is current and limited.
Two: Simplified forms and instructions
We know that nobody likes filling in forms. We also know that the majority of users will scan a website instead of read it. This means that every word of your content matters, even down to the minimal wording in your forms. Going out of your way to make forms and instructions clear and self-explanatory for the user will really pay dividends. Try to do as much of the work for your customer as possible.
“Try to do as much of the work for your customer as possible”
What makes a good form?
- Use a title for your form which describes its purpose in a clear and concise way.
- Action words guide the user and encourage them to take a desired action.
- What’s in it for the user? Once again explain clearly what the user will gain from completing the form.
- Be specific: avoid using Yes / No Dialogs. If the reader will be scanning your form (and potentially just reading the button labels for instruction prompts) make sure your question, instruction or action is directly addressed in your button labels.
- Labels should be positioned above the field where possible and left-aligned. This makes the form faster and easier to fill in.
Three: Conversion-centred Design
You have very little time to convert users once they’ve reached your site. Conversion-centred Design (CCD) helps address this challenge by creating user experiences that achieve a business goal. In CDD persuasive design and psychological queues encourage users to complete an action.
“We are instinctively drawn to both symmetry and faces, both of which can be extremely effective in design.”
5 key elements of CCD
Contrast and colour
Colour is a great tool to initiate a specific response from your customer. Colour and contrast can be used interchangeably to isolate and differentiate visual aspects of your site and focus the user.
Read our article Emotion in Web Design for more on the psychology of colour.
Have you been selective with your imagery and used good quality images? Are your images relevant and do they compliment your content? Irrelevant images will confuse and bewilder your users and devalue your content (and your brand). As humans, we are instinctively drawn to both symmetry and faces, both of which can be extremely effective in design.
Using pathways such as lines and roads can guide customers’ attention to a significant point or area on your site. Arrows function in a similar way to guide a user’s focus. Be creative when incorporating these elements into your design; pathways and arrows don’t have to be explicit images; they can be created out of text and content too.
This term simply describes a tunnel-vision effect which can be formed by creating a ‘window’ or frame through which to view a CTA. It helps prevent the user’s gaze from wandering.
Declutter your site if necessary and ensure there’s enough blank space to draw attention where it needs to be. This heightens the effect of colour in your CTAs and allows it to stand out on the page.
Whilst these UX design tips are by no means exhaustive, they’re a straightforward guide to improving UX Design. Conversion that offers a return on investment is the backbone of a successful site and involves optimised usability, conversion-centered design and great content.