Transcript: Ask the UXperts — Designing for Conversion with Aleksander Czyż

Transcript: Ask the UXperts — Designing for Conversion with Aleksander Czyż

Aleksander Czyz
Summary:

“Ask the UXperts” is a casual chat-based session featuring a different expert each time. It is One Hour. One Expert. All your Questions Answered.

In yesterday’s session we picked Alexander Czyż’s brains about designing for conversion. Here’s a transcript of the session.

By now you are probably familiar with the concept of Ask the UXperts, but for those of you who aren’t, it is a casual online chat-based session featuring a different expert (talking about a different UX related subject) each time. One Hour. One Expert. All your Questions Answered.

The star of yesterday’s session was Aleksander Czyż, CEO of Attensee (a great visual heat mapping style tool that aims to increase conversion) and we discussed designing for conversion and some strategies to make the most of the few seconds that the average user will spend on your site. It was a really interesting session and I learned a lot about just how little time people actually spend on a site, and what we need to do in order to grab their attention.

Things got even more interesting when the pictures of scantily dressed women were introduced into the chat, but you’ll have to read the transcript for more on that.

Here is a list of resources that Aleksander offered up during the session the session. I highly recommend that you check them out, especially the NN/g study.

 If you were unable to make the session (or if you’d just like to revisit what we discussed or check out some of the resources mentioned), you’ll find the full transcript below. If you’d like further information about future sessions, make sure you join our community where I’ll keep you in the loop.

The next session in the Ask the UXperts series will take place at 5pm on Monday 30 June PDT (check your time zone here) and will be with Donna Spencer who will be answering questions on Information Architecture.

Aleksander 
Hello everybody
 
My name is Alex, I run Attensee.com
 
Which is a tool for increasing conversion by checking where are your users looking at during the initial time the website
 
Also, I’ve used to work in an Research&Design agency as a researcher and at UsabilityTools.com as a marketer
 
so you can think of me as a guy who’s interested mostly in conversion, but at the same time understands how great user experience can influence sales
HAWK
Aleksander Czyż:
Can you give us a brief rundown on the concept of designing for conversion? Is it about placement of items on the page?
Aleksander 
awesome question for a start Sarah!
 
so
 
Designing for conversion is all about keeping in mind the persuasive aspect of the creations we’re working on
 
while we still keep the user in the center, we cannot forget that the biggest objective of the user
 
is actually to get to know our offer. The value of the product we’re designing
HAWK
Are there specific rules to keep in mind?
Aleksander 
And it refers to the sites we’re designing (with all the sales copy, illustrations etc.), as well as to the product itself – then we’re talking about user onboarding
 
yes!
 
First of all
 
I believe that in order to start understand the whole concept behind it
 
first of all we have to get that people are not reading the websites we’re designing
 
they’re scanning them
 
According to the research made by Microsoft some time ago (I can send you a link, just please gimme a sec)
 
the more time people stay on your website in the initial time of 10s
 
the more likely is that they’re going to stay longer to get to know your product better, register and eventually -convert!
 
http://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-long-do-use… – Here’s a link to the research
 
so
 
once we know this fact
 
we should start treating the attention that people are giving us like a currency
 
there is no coincidence in saying “to pay attention”
 
if we spend money on SEM advertising
 
what we’re buying is people’s attention
Terry
Hi Aleksander! Love that last bit. What do you find gets people attention? Is personalization anything anybody cares about anymore?
Francisco
So in others words is better to code thinking in Ux first
Aleksander 
so once we got it, we should definitely utilize it effeciently
 
nice question Terry
 
Personalization is a great thing, but it’s not the level of attention I’m refferring to
 
It still works and it will always work I believe
 
it’s just a great way to write a copy, no matter if it’s a B2B or B2C market
 
but what grabs attention is the design really
 
with a great attention economy
Terry
Agreed. I was thinking of Amazon for some reason and how they integrate that in the design.
 
Do you find what catches attention on the first time visit doesn’t in subsequent ones?
HAWK
Francisco makes an interesting point. Should we design with UX at front of mind, or can that be retrofitted…
Aleksander 
good example of personalized copy
 
I believe that attention economy should be included into the UX thinking
 
because if we look at the the Garrett’s diagram – http://myklebrossette.com/Nolaux/elementsofUX.jpg
Francisco
(Ok thank you)
Aleksander 
we can see that
 
at the bottom
 
the foundation (!) consists of two elements
 
user needs and our business goals
Terry
Sure but we still would have to know exactly what people’s intentions are when they visit, don’t we? We can grab visual attention but does that translate into click conversion?
 
Aleksander, I like that – user needs is a big one.
Aleksander 
Yes, that’s why we try to get as much targeted traffic as possible to the website
 
but please imagine a situation when somebody IS a potential prospect of ours, but don’t get what we’re offering and leaves in 5s
 
yes, yes. Let me get to that Sarah :)
 
Sorry, my responses are longish :P
 
before he/she reads our offer and clicks the CTA button
 
he has to be persuaded
 
… and the means of persuasion we use on our site have to picked and used smart
 
so the user’s attention will be used efficiently
 
I can give you an example of the client I’m working with right now
 
It’s a site which sells tickets for musicals for foreign turists
 
we’ve made some tests with Attensee
 
and found out that people think that it’s a DVD selling e-commerce site :)
 
just because the musical posters were the most visible elements on the whole website and they all had hollywood adaptations (Lion King etc.)
 
there are many ways to test this kind of behavior
HAWK
Powerful testing!
 Aleksander
5-seconds test are the most popular I believe (and great by the way!)
 
there is also eye-tracking
 
but no every company can afford it and it takes a lot of time to conduct it
 
still, it’s the most accurate way of testing user’s attention distribution over a website
Terry
Nice, I agree with you the short first impression tests are great and with the right prompt, it is indeed powerful testing.
 
Eye tracking?
Aleksander 
yes
 
thanks to ET we can see what are the biggest attention-grabbers
 
as designer
 
as designers* we have to make sure that people will see the elements that make them believe it’s a giving page, not a taking page in the very initial time of their visit
 
and to be honest with you, most of it happens at the above the fold section of the website
Nadia
what are some of the design elements that come across as giving?
Aleksander 
the less cluttered it is, the more probable people will dig in and read moer
 
more*
 
value proposisiton
Terry
Great question Nadia
Aleksander 
FUD (Fears Uncertainties Doubts)
 
features list
 
social proof
 
(testimonials, tweets, company logos)
 
these are all means of persuasion that the most important ones
Nadia
Can you expand on FUD?
Aleksander 
yeah, you can that it’s another name of the good ol’ FAQ
Nadia
cool
Aleksander 
so basically, we personalize (thanks for bringing this up Terry)
 
and try to imagine the questions our users might have just when the come to our website
 
and we want to answer the most we can of them instantly
 
Gimme a sec, I will send you an interesting link
 
regarding all of those elements
 
HAWK
Thanks :)
Aleksander 
I really recommend reading in to more of Christoph Janz posts
 
not really a blog for designers, but helps to understand the business perspective :)
HAWK
So the key points are to imagine what the user will want to know, display those in such a way that they will be the first things that are looked at, and to ensure that the page gives a vibe of giving rather than taking.
Aleksander 
it’s the guy behind a major VC based in Berlin
 
yes!
 
and it’s nice you’ve summed it up
 
because
 
This has actually a name
 
and it’s called Attention Mapping
 
What we do is we put those elements in hierarchy
 
and once we have a hi-fi mockup ready
 
we can test it
 
to see if the design is working the way we mapped it
Terry
Very nice
Aleksander 
meaning – the elements we’ve chosen as the most important are seen at first glance
 
That’s what you can do using Attensee by the way :)
 
sorry, don’t mean to be a salesman here
 
just spreading the word ;)
HAWK
Feel free to get a plug in!
 
We appreciate you taking the time to do this session
Aleksander 
no problem Sarah, it’s a pleasure and a great opportunity to meet some interesting people
HAWK
So in an ideal world all this takes place in a user testing phase
 
Do you think it’s best that that stage happens up front, or once the design has been established?
Aleksander
I believe it’s a constant thing
 
Yeah, but let me tell you something more about it
 
Always be testing!
 
that’s an idiom I follow
HAWK
Does peoples’ behaviour change over time?
Aleksander 
that’s a name of the book I’d like to recommend to you guys – http://www.amazon.com/Always-Be-Testing-Complet…
HAWK
They don’t consistently consume the site in the same way?
Terry
Great philosophy!
Aleksander 
the human attention span changes over years and is getting lower and lower
HAWK
We can’t afford for people to spend less than 5 secs on our sites!
Aleksander 
yes, indeed
Terry
Sarah, do you mean if the visit several times their attention span is shorter?
Aleksander 
and getting back to the question – testing at the UX phase is one thing
 
no, we’re talking just about the initial visit
Terry
ok
Aleksander 
which is very important, because that’s the time when users make the statement in their minds (I’t a giving/taking page)
 
another thing is a constant optimization
HAWK
Yeah, I was curious as to why we’d need to keep testing. That would mean the assumption is that people’s behaviour is changing over time.
 
Matthew Magain: Hey Matt. It’s a small turn out, but we’re talking about some awesome stuff.
Aleksander 
The fact is that constant testing is broadly known and used
 
it’s a/b testing!
Matthew M.
Sorry I couldn’t be here earlier!
HAWK
np
Aleksander 
Hi there Matthew!
Matthew M.
Hi Aleksander, thanks so much for giving us your time :)
HAWK
Aleksander Czyż: So, constant optimisation…
Aleksander 
.. but using a/b testing for testing uesr’s attention is not a really precise method to see what gets people attention
 
it tells you what converts
 
but cannot tell you why
Matthew M.
I was hoping to ask Aleksander what tools he uses to track his tests (as compared to conducting them). Spreadsheets? Something else? Sorry if it’s been asked before
Aleksander 
actually, Attensee is all we use to track those :)
 
You can compare different variations
Matthew M.
Ah right. So it keeps an archive of previous tests that you can compare? Nice.
Aleksander 
and monitor the “Design Effectiveness Score” over time
 
yes
Terry
Aleksander, have you gotten people to track an entire journey with Attensee?
Aleksander 
no, it doesn’t work like that
 
(yet)
 
you can test single designs and check what is seen and not seen on them
Terry
ok
 
It would be interesting to see entire journeys though
Aleksander
yeah, we’re going to implement it pretty soon
Terry
Keep us posted!
Aleksander 
kind of like remote usability testing (vide Loop11) but with a focus on user’s attention
 
I will :)
 
let me just tell you one interesting thing about A/B testing
Matthew M.
So Aleksander is Attensee focussed on collecting qualitative data as well (e.g. comments, questions/answers of participants) or just quantitative data?
Aleksander 
both
Terry
Good question Matthew, I was wondering about that as well
Aleksander 
We combine behavioral data (shown in a form of heat maps and paths visualisations) with declarative surveys
 
and the best thing is
 
that you can then filter the heat maps by the answers you got from the surveys
 
soo
 
you can see how males and females look at the same website if you ask the respondents about their gender
 
let me show you smth interesting guys
 
 
This is how women looked at the image presented
Matthew M.
I can guess where this is going!
Aleksander 
 
And this is just men
 
:D
Terry
LOL figures…
Matthew M.
No real surprises there. Ha
 
So here’s a question—what advice do you have for people when choosing which goals to focus on? Should you start with an easy win—Facebook Like, follow on Twitter, email signup—or just jump straight into converting them to transact?
Aleksander 
I can’t say that’s an actionable insight, but the test was real fun to conduct
 
great questions Matt
 
and it depends on the subpage
 
home page – I suggest value proposition, CTA button and the value proposition booster (list of features etc.)
 
all the elements that aggregate for the AIDA cycle (Attract, Interest, Desire, Act)
 
for the blog part of the page for example, I’d focus more on social media buttons
 
and all the lead magnets (blog subscriptions, giveaways, freebies, webinar registrations)
 
because if people land on your home page they’re probably looking for a solution like yours and you have to be able to present your offer in the fastest way possible
HAWK
Yeah, good call
Matthew M.
I’m definitely going to go through the transcript of this chat when it comes online to read through your advice and resources.
 
Thanks Aleksander
Aleksander 
if they land of your blog – they’re looking for a valuable content and if they like it – for a way to share it and get more of the good stuff
HAWK
It’s been incredibly interesting
HAWK
Huge thanks to Aleksander because it’s the middle of the night for him right now!
Nadia
damn, thanks aleks!!
Aleksander 
:) No problem
Aleksander 
it was a great pleasure
Sarah Hawk
Written by
Sarah Hawk
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