November 29th, 2005
We’ve been spending a lot of time looking at how designs can best entice users with their content. Specifically, how can design teams get users to pay attention to their site’s valuable information when that content isn’t necessarily what the users are seeking?
As we’ve tested sites to see what strategies designs use to entice users with content, we weren’t surprised that the sites frequently feature advertisements and promotions for important content on the home page. The rationale for this design choice is clear. For users, the home page is the entry point for the site, so it makes sense to include content to entice them right away.
Users encounter featured content on the home page all the time. For example, users who visit Citizens Bank’s site, see an advertisement for home equity credit prominently on their home page. This one advertisement alone takes up approximately 50% of the real estate on the page.
Users who visit Merrill Lynch’s site see an advertisement for the company’s new Business Investor Account.
One of the most surprising findings from our research is that users very rarely click on featured content on the home page. Why? Because when we watch users look for content on sites, they’re on a specific mission. Many of the site’s users might actually be interested in the accounts and credit lines available at Citizens Bank or Merrill Lynch, but they aren’t interested in that information — or looking for it — until after they’ve accomplished what they came to the site to do.
This is where the concept of seducible moments play a role. By observing users in usability tests, we’ve seen that there is a specific moment where designers have the best chance of enticing a user to pay attention to a promotion or advertisement. These moments typically come after the user has completed their task on the site. Jared wrote an excellent article about seducible moments, looking in detail at how Sears and Dell tackled the problem of enticing users to their featured content.
How have you had to deal with enticing your users with your important content? Have you taken advantage of seducible moments? We would like to hear what strategies you’ve tried and how they’ve worked for you.Tweet