7 principles of persuasion (website usability)
Posted by Richard Pentin on August 3, 2011
I’m in the process of reviewing the web strategy for one of my clients with a particular focus on improving usability to increase conversion. Our Senior User Experience Architect, Lynda Elliot (@lelliott0505) shared this video by Dr Susan Weinschenk which is worth posting as it contains a few useful nuggets. I particularly like her overarching point that we tend to focus on creating online functionality and a user experience so that visitors ‘can do’ a particular task. But that’s not the same as ‘will do’ where they are made to feel more inclined to undertake the task, or ‘still do’ where repeat visitors come back again to complete different tasks. To influence ‘will do’ and ‘still do’ behaviour you need to work harder to inject persuasion, emotion and trust.
She proceeds to outline 7 principles to help improve engagement and encourage ‘will do’ and ‘still do’ behaviour. I particularly like Principle #1 around the danger of providing too much choice as it can be counter-productive; principle #2 around the importance of social validation; and principle #6 around storytelling to get your message across more convincingly. There’s a lot more documented around weapons of persuasion than this but I like the way this is articulated (or should I say spelt out!)