In part one we discussed the different levels of our brain and how to sell to the Neo-cortex – human brain (If you want to read part one you can find it here) and in part two we e covered how to sell to the The limbic system – monkey brain (If you want to read part two you can find it here).
The Cerebellum (lizard brain)…
…controls movement. action and body functions. You don’t have to think about breathing because your lizard brain takes care of it for you. It’s also real good at telling you when to eat, have sex and run.
Technically speaking the monkey and the lizard don’t ‘think’ — at least not in the sense of rational and logical thought. While they do process, they are a lot more action and emotionally oriented. They’re big on doing. And given the right stimulus they will walk us to the fridge to make a sandwich.
Tips you can use in your designs to help the lizard brain make a decision
The Lizard brain played a very important role in life when we were being chased by predators who viewed us as a tasty snack. It quickly assessed situations and made us feel different emotions dependent on whether it was safe or hostile situation. This part of the the brain is still processing situations for us all the time so it is vital to make sure our users feel safe. Here are a few tip I’ve used to achieve this in past projects:
KISS - No we don’t literally have to kiss the user but sticking to the analogy Keep It Simple Stupid, throughout your design process should help you create an environment the user feels secure. We feel insecure when we are on unfamiliar ground so try to help the user feel like they are somewhere they can easily navigate. Some examples on how we can do this is to use “F Pattern” eye tracking studies which indicate typical patterns and help to form a foundation for hierarchy. Clear ‘Call to Action’ buttons - Make it nice and clear, what it is we want the user to do and distinguish it from other elements on the page.
Even Blenders are prone to over-complication
Big and beautiful images - It’s said pictures can tell the story of a thousand words. Let’s get this straight. The image on your product page is the star of the show. It should be enticing, zoom-able, easily accessible and of a high crisp clean quality. The product image is a very important part of the decision making process (as in this case study by the Nielsen group ).
The future of online shopping? Concept retail iPad app using big imagery and motion. – by Jesse Roston
Scarcity - It has been scientifically proven that people pay more for stuff that is about to disappear. Airlines often follow this principle to sell their last few tickets. Don’t give your customers unnecessary time to mull over the purchase. Create a sense of urgency to make them act now. Your scarcity weapon could be the last day of offer, last 2 hour of free shipping or last 3 items in stocks. Create your own arsenal.
Gamers queuing outside the store to make sure they get a PS3 console before they all sell out
Spend time with your product description to invoke base emotions - During the 1890s Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov was looking at salivation in dogs in response to being fed, when he noticed that his dogs would begin to salivate whenever he entered the room, even when he was not bringing them food. This was because they dogs associated him with food. We have these same triggers with certain words and it’s the reason the best restaurants write things like succulent, juicy, melt off the bone prime steak marinated in a rich creamy garlic and fresh herb fused sauce, instead of steak in garlic and cream sauce.
M&S have done some great examples of this, listening to this ad with your eyes closed still gives you an amazing picture of food that will make your mouth water. This reaction is in no way limited to food so try and be creative.
M&S Food – Easter TV Ad – Marks & Spencer 2012
Delivery message – Make a brief statement about the delivery so the user feels assured, then link off to more content. Ideally, the brief message should consist of the cost and the standard time to deliver to assist users who want their products immediately. This message reduces shopping cart bailouts by introducing the cost at the right time.
Choice - We think we want lots of choice but choice makes us unable to take action. If we think we can get something right away this will motivate us to act.People choose the product listed first.In a nutshell, choice paralysis refers to the act of giving customers so much choice that they effectively shut down and do nothing. An example might be a menu system with 20 links in each menu. Another example might be a clothes website that sells 60 varieties of what is essentially the same t-shirt, but with very minor variations between each.
Feeling like a kid in a candy store is only good if its something your enthusiastic about buying.
Danger food and sex - You can get attention by making something change or warn you, showing food, implying sex and by using the word YOU. The job of your old brain is to constantly scan the environment and answer the questions: “Can I eat it? Can I have sex with it? Will it kill me?”
That’s essentially what the old brain cares about, food sex and danger. When you think about it, this is important. Without food you’ll die, without sex the species won’t continue, and if you are killed the other two questions don’t matter. So animal brains developed early on to care intensely about these three topics. As animals evolved they developed other capacities (emotions, logical thought), but they retained a part of their brain to always be scanning what is going on for these three critical questions.
In part one we discussed the different levels of our brain and how to sell to the Neo-cortex – human brain (If you want to read part one you can find it here) and in part two we will be covering how to sell to the The limbic system – monkey brain.
The limbic system (monkey brain)…
…controls emotions and a whole lot more. Your monkey brain patterns your emotional responses and helps guide you through social interactions. This is where our primate social behavioral patterns are rooted. It could be said these patterns are less about ‘psychology’ than they are about the hard-wiring of the humans to behave the way we do. This part of the brain ios more likely to be the voice in your head that say buy shouldn’t I buy one? All our neighbours have one. And is also the voice that makes you sign a birthday card being passed around work of that person you hardly know because ‘everyone esle is signing it’.
Tips you can use in your designs to help the monkey brain make a decision
Social proof - Here, Booking.com shows how many people are looking at this hotel, and who has booked in recently.
Nakedwines.com one of my favourite social shopping sites
Product reviews – As long as consumers can easily read and follow the comments, this section will do its job. There are many extra functional tools that can be used such as ‘was this review helpful?’, but in the early days, keep things simple.
Amazon Website showing off it’s vast amount of user reviews
Brand Products - It’s not always possible to predict what the next customer will be looking for, but it doesn’t mean that you should place all your products directly on the home page. What you can do is have the most eye-catching and interesting offers readily accessible. This trick makes a huge difference for retailers who have a huge product catalog.
If you have branded goods on sale, then display them upfront. It’s a great attention-grabber especially with first-time visitors who don’t know what exactly they are looking for. Moreover, there are many large retailers which provide an opportunity to ‘shop by brands’. Customers can find what they need through more targeted and effective channels like those practised in the following 5 websites.
JD Sports Website Homepage making use of branded products to draw the user in
Item ratings - A good place to start is an average review score towards the top of the page. This allows the shopper to make a quick judgement, while the number of reviews left is useful additional information.
NerdRating.com Website Concept by Paris Vega showing off a good use of rating stars
Ever wonder what makes one online store more successful than another selling the same exact products or service?
We all feel like we have complete control over the buying decisions we make. However we are all prone to follow similar patterns, more than we like to admit. The reason for this is due human hard-wiring in our DNA that can go back thousands of years. We have all evolved from primitives that had in built instincts that helped them survive. It’s these instincts that can drive us and affect us in the levels of our brain more than we are consciously aware. This is why designs can require considerable thought, work and ongoing effort that can interest the user and the way their brain works even if they don’t know how they are being effected themselves.
The levels of our Brain
Every moment you are awake you walk around with a human, a monkey and a lizard. No I’m not saying your Dr. Dolittle. Nor am I insulting your partner. These are basically analogies of the different levels of our brain giving us three different ways to have to give the user what they need in order to make a decision.
A useful rule of thumb goes:
Limbic system = monkey brain Neo-cortex = human brain Cerebellum = lizard brain
Each of these levels handle different jobs.
The Neo-cortex (human brain)…
…controls rational thought, speaking and other higher brain functions. It makes rational decisions such as I won’t buy that one it’s out of the budget range I set last week for myself. The neo-cortex (human brain) seldom totally abandons us. This is why even someone who is exceedingly drunk can still talk. But that doesn’t mean we are functioning in that part of our brain. Or that our behaviors are rational, logical or even under our conscious control.
Tips you can use in your designs to help the human brain make a decision
Show The Advantages Of Your Products - A list of product categories or a grid of them can be the perfect thing to help your online store.Special deals and new arrivals are also good to coax the common web surfers to buy. You probably know that there is a huge chunk of online surfers who don’t know what they want exactly; they just want to hang around. Your goal as an online seller is to tap into that market and show them what they are missing out on.
A mock showing off the benefits of the new Azera by www.dfy.co.kr
Product size copy – Below the benefit copy make a statement explaining the sizing of the model wearing the garment (assuming it is an apparel site using a model): height, chest size, waist size, and the size of the garment he/she is wearing.
Size guide - Have the size guide as a link directly above the size options. As the eye of the consumer fixes on the buying area it begins to work down from top to bottom. If a consumer is unsure of their size it is best to educate them on the sizing before they are asked to select a size.
Specification - In most cases users will have set themselves specifics they want a product to have/achieve before they have start shopping. If it’s a washing machine or a stereo the user will have set features they are looking for to meet their requirements. Therefore it’s important we make these things easy for them to find. No easy feat considering we might not know what specific feature the user is after.
Clear Pricing and highlight any savings – A user will have a set budget in mind when shopping for an item. This is by no means set in stone and can be swayed either way depending on how passionate the customer reacts to your product but they do need to be able to clearly see what the cost of the item is and also any savings available to help them bend logic and justify what their Lizard and monkey brain is telling them to do. Ie.” I know these shoes are £3000 pounds and that’s ridiculous but they are so pretty I have to have them, and I’m saving £500 with this offer and that’s good right?”
Without the ability to touch, hold, smell, taste or otherwise handle the products they are interested in, potential customers have only images to interact with. Ultimately, the softer, tastier, flashier and more attractive your products look to shoppers, the more confident they’ll feel about purchasing from you and the better your conversion rate will be.
2. Simple rollover images on a lister page giving users that little more information as they need it.
Having the ability to put the right type of image in front of the user at the right time is a powerful tool. Users rolling over an image are likely to be interested in knowing a little more about what they are seeing. A perfect opportunity to use that to your advantage if you know what they want to see,
I’ve watched countless videos of users following the same behavior on e-commerce websites. Customers love to see the dials and displays of products they’re interested in just like they would in real world situations. Giving them an opportunity to have a closer look at the things that interest will pay dividends.
Dedicating space to images of products the user can have an emotional response too will help you sell. Decisions are made based on emotion as well as reasoning selling to one and not the other will cause you problems.
Thomas Bogner, the designer behind the beautiful iWatch Mock-Up created this short animation to show off his design but why did he create an animation instead of just showing a flat design?
To see this as a static picture simply wouldn’t have done the design justice. Thomas understands that transitions are an integral part of the design and need just as much love and attention as the rest of our design and should involve less of us holding up printed a4 paper making swooshing noises mimicking the movement we envision.
No longer can we think of user interfaces as static designs and add the magic of interaction later on. Instead, we need to embrace the interactive nature of the Web from the very beginning and think of it as natural constituent.
So your discussing the progress of your project and when you come to the part were you explain your animation and you get a response which is something along the lines of ‘yeah but the animation is just something fancy and not needed, surely it can do the same thing without the animation so lets not do the animation bit.
Kill them!! – only joking, a good explanation is needed here to help your client understand that the animation is to help the user understand what has just happened when he clicked or interacted with something on a page. Below shows a user moving from the home screen to the contact screen:
So if you compare this with the animated transition here:
The user can understand the journey a lot more with the animation. Without the animation it took users over a minute to understand what had actually happened. Abrupt changes in an interface are hard for users to process. Don’t leave them in the dark; always show what’s happening. Nothing feels more unnatural than a sudden change, because sudden changes just don’t exist in the real world.
If you need some inspiration on how to transition your work take a look at these sites.
The point is not to show the coolest and fanciest interaction techniques, but rather use the techniques available to highlight how small interaction details can significantly improve the user experience.
If we are to design better ecommerce pages, we need to challenge what we currently do and see how changing interaction patterns can potentially ease our customers lives. Let’s not recreate whats already been done but always explore new technologies available to see if any can improve how things are currently done.
Quisque ullamcorper enim vel tellus rhoncus et fermentum diam congue. Phasellus eu turpis lorem, id gravida nunc. In bibendum nulla vel quam pretium a fringilla erat ornare. Etiam hendrerit quam sed orci congue posuere laoreet urna condimentum. Nam vestibulum gravida semper. Maecenas ac nunc purus, et aliquam urna. Curabitur quis tellus vitae dolor tristique egestas. Fusce metus sem, accumsan vel auctor non, laoreet eget nulla. Donec lacinia elit ac nulla hendrerit at tincidunt justo facilisis. Praesent vel risus ut urna vestibulum fermentum. Pellentesque sollicitudin cursus blandit. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Maecenas sed nulla sed lacus elementum dapibus. Praesent hendrerit semper tempor. Integer sollicitudin ultrices mattis.
Donec nec facilisis nisi. Vivamus tempor feugiat velit gravida vehicula. Donec faucibus pellentesque ipsum id varius. Ut rutrum metus sed neque ultricies a dictum ante sagittis. Proin in facilisis diam. Sed placerat imperdiet purus, id sollicitudin magna pretium sit amet. Vivamus orci dolor, iaculis at volutpat eget, fermentum vel quam. Nullam non neque urna, ut ultrices nisi. Nulla convallis aliquam tortor, a imperdiet massa aliquet vel. Cras eu ante turpis, ut ornare mauris. Maecenas orci erat, ullamcorper at semper in, sodales ac diam. Sed eu eleifend felis. Praesent fringilla, arcu id interdum egestas, ante lorem blandit leo, ac imperdiet velit sapien ac metus. Proin lectus sem, pellentesque eu consequat sed, pulvinar ut risus. Pellentesque ut rutrum mauris. Nunc id ante libero. Vestibulum luctus lectus nec neque tempor quis congue purus consequat.
Mauris suscipit porta commodo. Pellentesque mattis interdum nibh sit amet sodales. Curabitur euismod sem in dui cursus et faucibus leo dignissim. Integer non porttitor leo. Integer luctus adipiscing dui nec tempor. Pellentesque convallis ullamcorper dui ornare mattis. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Donec tincidunt urna in est sodales tempor. Integer libero nunc, auctor a tristique ut, scelerisque ut felis. Phasellus quis magna nisl, id sagittis dolor. Nunc interdum arcu at ligula imperdiet rhoncus aliquam massa posuere.