Principles of persuasion

So your firm finally understands the importance of usability. They’ve hired a team of designers and spent a fortune on advertisements. There’s a small glitch though… customers aren’t doing what they are supposed to do i.e. buying the product that the firm has so sincerely promoted.

So how do you persuade people to actually purchase your product?

Social proof:  If all those people are doing it… there must be something to it

Social proof is the phenomenon of people imitating what other people are doing, especially when the situation is ambiguous.  We tend to look to others to validate a product. If people have recommended a hotel more than others, there is a greater chance that the hotel will be booked more often.

Reviews from other travelers help in the decision making process

Reviews from other travelers help in the decision making process

Susan Weinschenk, Phd., an expert in the science of persuasion, emphasizes the need to display peer reviews. People are more likely to imitate the behaviour of folks like themselves. The number of reviews help too, the more the reviews the more likely, people are to invest in the product/ service.

Reciprocity:  Do a good deed and the favour will be returned

People are more likely return a gift when they are given one, as they feel obliged to do so. As human beings, we have a natural urge to repay debts and return favours, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do to you’. In the online space, this could be seen as offering a trial to a product, offering compelling content or a service free of cost.  More often than not, people will be obliged to sign up for the product or service in question.

A free sign up promotes a sense of indebtedness among users

A free sign up promotes a sense of indebtedness among users, making it more likely for them to sign up for the premier service.

I hope this post on the principles of persuasion was helpful. In my next post, I will be sharing a few more principles of persuasion.

Concession: Comparison helps with decision making

To promote the decision making process, it is always good to present people with comparisons in price and features. It is more likely that people will buy when presented with a choice, especially when one of the options are considerably lower than the other.

One great example of this principle are the price displays in supermarkets.

Comparing prices is more likely to catch people's attention and help with decision making.

Comparing prices is more likely to catch people’s attention and help with decision making.

10 User Centered Design blogs you ought to read

Just thought I’d share my favorite UCD blogs with you. These are sites I read to keep in touch with the research on usability. They also make for very interesting reading.

Experience Dynamics: Frank spiller’s blog is something that every User experience professional should read. Frank has the happy knack to hitting the nail on the head with every post. Very practical info out there.

Boxes and Arrows:  In the words of David Moore, Boxes and Arrows is an “Intelligent peer-written journal on information architecture and user-centered design. Lots of practical information as well as conceptual back-up”.

Seven87: With a unique outlook on usability, marketing and customer experience, Charlie Nichols presents usability in a business environment.

Webword: John S. Rhodes operates the WebWord Blog, providing Continue reading

Web 2.0 Master’s Degree!

Web20

Apparently I have earned myself a master’s degree in Web 2.0! You might wanna try it out yourself… its fun. You get to figure out the trademark features of web 2.0 sites. It will make you think for sure!

Free icon sets, fonts for the designer

Take a look at these resources of free icon and font sets.  Its the designer’s proverbial pot of gold. Whats more… there are pointers to places where you can find even more.

Iconsets

Silk Icons: “Silk” is a smooth, free icon set, containing over 700 16-by-16 pixel icons. There are a large variety of icons, you’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy. The USP of this iconset is that they are too neat to ignore.

Sweetie Icons: Another adorable set of pixel icons with the relevant photoshop files included. 

Continue reading

The design curve

When there is a site to design, there are a lot of people who become information architects at the drop of a hat. Everyone considers himself/herself an expert on the topic. All of a sudden the designer becomes a mere puppet and is reduced to someone who simply executes everyone’s ideas in the form of a web page.

Matthew Inman in an article on http://www.seomoz.org/ calls this the design curve. According to him the more the wrong kinds of people get involved with the process, the worse the design gets. Continue reading