7 principles that make your website more engaging

[ Silence ]>>If you plan or design websites,
then you know how important it is that the website be easy to use. Can they find the information
they’re looking for? Can they find the button they need to press? We call this the can-do factor,
but can do is not all there is. What about will do? They can find the button,
but will they press it? They can find the information,
but will they act on it? And then there’s still do. Will they come back? Will they be loyal? If you follow a user center design
process, you’ll design a website that answers the can-do question, but if you
want to go further and answer the will-do and the still-do questions, then you’re going
to have to dig a little deeper and apply some of the new principles and research
around persuasion, emotion, and trust. I’m going to share with you seven principles
that will make your websites more engaging, that will take you from can
do to will do and still do. Number one, if people have too many
choices, they won’t choose at all. One of my favorite studies in this area is by
Sheena Eingart, and Dr. Eingart set up tables in grocery stores with jars of jam. And some of the tables had
six jars of jam on them, and sometimes the tables
would have 24 jars of jam. And she was interested in finding
out if the number of choices that people had affected their
decision and their purchasing process. What she found was that the tables
that had six jars of jam on them, 40 percent of the people coming
by would stop and taste the jam. On the tables that had 24 jars of
jam on them, more people would stop. Sixty percent instead of 40 percent would
stop and taste the jam, but there’s a surprise when you look at how many
people actually purchased. When the tables had six jars of jam, 30 percent
of the people actually purchased a jar of jam. When the tables had 24 jars of jam, even
though more people stopped, only three percent of those who stopped actually purchased. And what we know is that people will
tell us they want lots of choices. If you ask people how many choices do you
want at the website, they’ll tell you, oh, show me everything, but we now know
that they may want a lot of choices, but if you give them too many choices,
they’ll freeze and not make a decision at all. Principle two is that of social validation. What we know is that when people are uncertain,
they’ll look to others to decide what to do. This is why ratings and reviews
and testimonials at websites are so powerful, especially if people are unsure. And the more information that you can have
in the ratings and reviews, the more powerful and the more influential
the rating and review is. Research even shows that ratings
and reviews from other people that I consider my peers
are the most influential. They’re more influential than, than
reviews or testimonials from experts or recommendations from the website itself. A third principle is the principle of scarcity. So if something is unavailable
or not very available, if it’s scarce, it’s seen to be more valuable. So on a website when it says only four
more days to order your plane tickets, or only three items left, those are
signals to our brain that we better hurry up because we’re going to miss out. And actually our unconscious
brains are very sensitive to messages that have to do with losing. Fear of loss is a trigger that
will cause us to take action. Four. Our conscious minds are very
sensitive to food, sex, or danger. Those will definitely get our attention. It’s not always appropriate to use images
of food, sex, or danger on a website. So you might not be able to make use of
that, but if your website that you’re working on does lend itself to any
of those images or messages, that will be a very powerful trigger for action. Five, the power of faces. There’s actually a special part of the
brain called the [inaudible] facial area, and this is a part of the brain
that only processes human faces. Our brains are predisposed
to pay attention to faces. If you have pictures of people at your website,
you want to make sure they’re looking right at the camera because research
shows that people focus on the eyes. Six, stories. There’s research that shows that the brain
processes information best in story form. And seven is commitment. Start by asking people for
very small commitments. Those small commitments can grow over time, and then they become more
and more loyal to your site. And that makes seven. If you’d like to download and
print a copy of this drawing, please go to www dot human factors dot
com slash pet, P-E-T, poster dot asp. [ Silence ]

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43 thoughts on “7 principles that make your website more engaging

  1. Thanks for a great presentation Susan!

    I take it the example is the same as in your book (Neuro Web Design – which I truly recommend); the 6/24 jars of jam are different varieties?

  2. @esben1983 thanks for your compliment and recommending my book. Yes it's different flavors of Jam – Susan

  3. Excellent video Dr. Susan! thank you for show us this… I'm kind of new in this field, but I'm really enjoying all what this involves 🙂 now I have to read your book

  4. Fantastic Susan! The animated drawing commands your attention and you do a great job of telling the story for each principle. As the previous reviewer mentioned, it's sometimes difficult to "teach" these principles although you live and breath them everyday. This will be a great tool in trying to fill that gap.
    Thanks again!

  5. Love the video and information shared – appreciate the seven principles. Susan, when do you expect to add the transcript & captions for the video? In addition to adding SEO juice for search engines, adding captions & transcripts allows people with vision and hearing impairments to learn about your principles.

  6. Most of these tips are either design principles or UX tips. I thought a lot of people (who were web designers & developers) knew this already? Apparently I was wrong.

    You can learn a lot from this video, though. I never knew why the reading format was the best to use, until she explained. And I always knew that social validation was the best resource to choose from when designing websites, but I never understood why either. But like I said; this video is great. Thanks Dr. Weinschenk.

  7. This is beautiful. Unfortunately, every dirt-bag internet marketer uses these – thanks Dan Kennedy! So much for this being the province of PhDs, and come to think of it, most good sales people know this too 🙂

    Oh, the wordpress plugin world is full of plugins that can collect (and fake) reviews, Facebook Likes, and now Google +1s. Authenticity/Trust through use of staff/owner voice, photos, etc… on website is important unless you are unattractive and uninteresting people! Good luck!

  8. I really appreciate this video. Yes, as others have pointed out, these points are not new in themselves. But it can be extremely difficult to communicate them to people and I think this video does an excellent job.

    I'll certainly be sharing it with my clients.

  9. This is a great video. So many people focus on how their website looks (bells and whistles) that they forget about the most important thing…how it performs! Great stuff!

  10. So graphic presentation. Been great ! Making easy to anderstand thougouth the 6th principle: "Process best in story form".
    Thks lots

  11. Excellent video – it's already affected the design of my latest project (I might make every client watch it…)

  12. One of your company's other videos explained that having several of these persuasion techniques at the same time can actually have worse results, can you address that?

  13. WOW! Whoever you paid to create this… you need a refund. Was the audio recorded in a huge cavern? You need a sound-treated room with the microphone placed CLOSE to the person speaking. As important as this would seem to be to you, I'd have thought you would have wanted excellent quality. This is what I have to judge your company on, and I am NOT impressed.

  14. I'm on the second minut of this video and I allready start clapping. This is so intelligent and easy to understand that I am just thrilled. Bravo

  15. Question about the jam study in Principle 1. Were these 6/24 different types of jam or 6/24 of the same type? Does it matter?

  16. Here's a summary:
    Principles to make your website more engaging with Dr. Susan
    1. Less choices sells more than more choices
    2. Social Validation: people are uncertain they will look to others to help them make decisions. This is why ratings and reviews and testimonials are so powerful. The more ratings and reviews the more powerful the ratings are. Peer reviews are more influential than reviews from experts or website recommended reviews.
    3. Scarcity: Less available more items seem to be more valuable. Ex: only 4 more days to order your plane tickets. Only 3 bottles of wine left. Our unconscious minds are very sensitive to messages about losing.
    4. Food, Sex or Danger: our minds are very sensitive to these things. These can be powerful triggers for action.
    5. Power of Faces: Fusiform Facial Area (FFA) an area of the brain that ONLY processes human faces. Our brains are predisposed to pay attention to faces. If you have pictures of people on your website you want to make sure they are looking right at the camera. Research shows that people focus on the eyes.
    6. Stories: Brain processes information best in story form.
    7. Commitment: ask people for small commitments to build up trust and work into larger commitments down the line.

  17. – "Will you go out with me?"
    – "Sure."
    – "Marry me?"
    – "Ok."

    Hold on a minute here Susan. That doesn't sound quite right… 🤔

  18. You are really a nice teacher…
    Who can teach easily using simple words…
    I am really thankful to you…

  19. Hi , could you please let me know how did this video ? Is it an actual drawing fastforwarded

  20. I never noticed how big the room you recorded in was. We watched this in class, thanks! makes for an easy exam question 🙂

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