Submit Now: Designing Persuasive Web sites

Your home page should answer the following questions:

  • What does this website or company do?
  • Who is this site for?
  • What can you do on this site?

The home page should also

  • show your logo
  • include a tagline

Write compelling content from the user's point of view.

  • Why should they buy? What are their needs/ what are their concerns?
  • Explain the benefits of registering or a member's only section before they register.
  • Establish online trust, provide assurances (safe shopping guarantee).  Explain your security, explain your privacy policy, company's credibility, don't make obvious mistakes.
  • Offer discount bundles, up sell.
  • Always display a confirmation page and your email.  Include support contact info, order number, order summary, shipping and/or billing address, payment method, FAQ link, return policy).
  • Encourage customer feedback - surveys, email…
  • Send acknowledgement email - include timeframe for formal response, phone number, real name.  Accumulate responses in a database and use them in an FAQ eventually.

Product Listing Page

    1. Brief description (and price)
    2. Integrate price anchoring (list options together with prices to push user towards particular packages)
    3. Buy It Now link
    4. Allow for sorting - name, brand, price, date, featured items
    5. Allow for comparisons
  1. Product Page

    1. Highlight features and benefits
    2. Provide lots of details
    3. Photos and image that provide answers
    4. User reviews
    5. Buy button
    6. Allow for navigation to next item in category
  2. Case Studies

    1. Let client speak by putting them front and center in case study
    2. Testimonials or quotations
    3. Name and job title
    4. Make client real
    5. Include images
    6. Problem, solution and result
    7. Include printable version
    8. Include call to action button (ex. Contact).
  3. Buttons

    1. Visible
    2. Clickable
    3. prioritize (make important ones stand out)
    4. use descriptive labels
    5. supporting text
  4. Shopping Carts

    1. Make it clear items are added
    2. Show shipping costs in cart
    3.  enable users to continue shopping
    4. Big submit order button
    5. Order confirmation page
  5. Forms

    1. Explain process
    2. Put cursor in first field
    3. Show progress
    4. Fix the tab order
    5. Integrate help
    6. Provide confirmation
  6. Contact Us Page

    1. Spell out email address, do not hide it in a link
    2. Let them know the response time
    3. State hours of operation
    4. Provide map with address
  7. Browsers

    1. Is it clear where users should start navigating to accomplish their goals?
    2. Can users tell what your site offers? Do they perceive your whole range of products and services?
    3. Do you make it easy for users to navigate through related content, products, or services? How do you encourage users to wander around your site?
    4. What educational material do you provide to help your users become confident evaluators?
    5. Is it immediately obvious to your users why they need your products or services? If not, how do you intend to make them aware?
    6. Does the site stimulate users to recognize unrealized needs?
  8. Evaluators

    1. How will you enable your users to quickly evaluate between options?
    2. How do you prove that your product or service is worth purchasing? Do you provide enough detail for users to want it?
    3. Does your content explain the features and benefits of your products and services?
    4. Are the right photos or images incorporated in your content to show off your products and services in the best possible light?
    5. Do you provide design tools or calculators to help users determine their own specific solution?
    6. Do you allow users to get a real sense of how your product or serv­ice works? Do you need to provide a demo?
  9. Transactors

    1. Do you make it easy for your users to transact at any time throughout the site?
    2. Do you allow your users to continue with a transaction that they previously started?
    3. How do you support users that already know what they want?
    4. Do you specify any requirements that users have to fulfill up front before they start the transaction?
    5. Do you provide guarantees or assurances to help users overcome any hesitancy regarding transacting online?
    6. How do you motivate your users to complete their transaction immediately? What sorts of incentives or disincentives do you incorporate?
  10. Customers

    1. How do you intend to draw your customers back to your site?
    2. How do you enable customers to solve their own problems or answer their own questions?
    3. How do you enable customers to vent and receive a quick resolution to their problems?
    4. How do you make it easier for customers to conduct the next transaction?
    5. What incentives do you provide customers to do business with you again?

Interview Your Users

  1. What would it take to get you to purchase this product or service right now?
  2. What problems or negative consequences do you want to avoid with these products or services?
  3. What features and benefits are most important to you about these products or services?

Bibliographical Information

Submit Now: Designing Persuasive Web sites

Written by Andrew Chak
Published by New Riders, New York, 2003

ISBN: 0-7357-1170-4