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.
- A study by Jakob Neilsen into how long users stay on a web page
- Jesse James Garrett’s Elements of User Experience
- A post by Christoph Janz on how to make your website market itself
- Always be Testing a book by Bryan Eisenberg & John Quarto-von Tivadar
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.
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
Can you give us a brief rundown on the concept of designing for conversion? Is it about placement of items on the page?
awesome question for a start Sarah!
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
Are there specific rules to keep in mind?
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
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
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
Hi Aleksander! Love that last bit. What do you find gets people attention? Is personalization anything anybody cares about anymore?
So in others words is better to code thinking in Ux first
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
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?
Francisco makes an interesting point. Should we design with UX at front of mind, or can that be retrofitted…
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
(Ok thank you)
we can see that
at the bottom
the foundation (!) consists of two elements
user needs and our business goals
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.
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
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
Nice, I agree with you the short first impression tests are great and with the right prompt, it is indeed powerful testing.
thanks to ET we can see what are the biggest attention-grabbers
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
what are some of the design elements that come across as giving?
the less cluttered it is, the more probable people will dig in and read moer
Great question Nadia
FUD (Fears Uncertainties Doubts)
(testimonials, tweets, company logos)
these are all means of persuasion that the most important ones
Can you expand on FUD?
yeah, you can that it’s another name of the good ol’ FAQ
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
http://christophjanz.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-4… – there you go guys
I really recommend reading in to more of Christoph Janz posts
not really a blog for designers, but helps to understand the business perspective :)
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.
it’s the guy behind a major VC based in Berlin
and it’s nice you’ve summed it up
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
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 ;)
Feel free to get a plug in!
We appreciate you taking the time to do this session
no problem Sarah, it’s a pleasure and a great opportunity to meet some interesting people
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?
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
Does peoples’ behaviour change over time?
that’s a name of the book I’d like to recommend to you guys – http://www.amazon.com/Always-Be-Testing-Complet…
They don’t consistently consume the site in the same way?
the human attention span changes over years and is getting lower and lower
We can’t afford for people to spend less than 5 secs on our sites!
Sarah, do you mean if the visit several times their attention span is shorter?
and getting back to the question – testing at the UX phase is one thing
no, we’re talking just about the initial visit
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
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.
The fact is that constant testing is broadly known and used
it’s a/b testing!
Sorry I couldn’t be here earlier!
Hi there Matthew!
Hi Aleksander, thanks so much for giving us your time :)
Aleksander Czyż: So, constant optimisation…
.. 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
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
actually, Attensee is all we use to track those :)
You can compare different variations
Ah right. So it keeps an archive of previous tests that you can compare? Nice.
and monitor the “Design Effectiveness Score” over time
Aleksander, have you gotten people to track an entire journey with Attensee?
no, it doesn’t work like that
you can test single designs and check what is seen and not seen on them
It would be interesting to see entire journeys though
yeah, we’re going to implement it pretty soon
Keep us posted!
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
So Aleksander is Attensee focussed on collecting qualitative data as well (e.g. comments, questions/answers of participants) or just quantitative data?
Good question Matthew, I was wondering about that as well
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
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
I can guess where this is going!
And this is just men
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?
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
Yeah, good call
I’m definitely going to go through the transcript of this chat when it comes online to read through your advice and resources.
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
It’s been incredibly interesting
Huge thanks to Aleksander because it’s the middle of the night for him right now!
damn, thanks aleks!!
:) No problem
it was a great pleasure