Has anyone noticed Gmail interface lately? It amused me greatly and irritated me too when, Gmail made changes to the interface. Earlier, they used to have the ‘sign out’ button on the right hand top of the page. It was much easier to find. Now, you have to click on a drop down menu, which has only one drop down option, which is ‘sign out’. I started wondering as to why Google, which prides itself on its minimalistic, simple, easy look, has resorted to this. The answer came upon me of a sudden one fine day. Of course, silly, it is meant to make exit difficult. Is it possible, that people will spend more time on the Gmail page because of it? I think it is very much possible. If you count the total extra time spent on their pages, it can add up to a huge amount. Remember that time spend by users on a web page is an important criteria to assess stickiness.
Small changes in user interface can make huge difference to your website. Analyzing and manipulating User behavior is extremely important. You may have noticed that some websites have a small ‘Log out’ button in some vague corner? This obviously makes, logging out a difficult proposition. I am just giving some examples of how, web designers increase stickiness. Some of you may feel such tactics are unethical, as if you are cheating the visitor. I bow down to such sentiments. But if you are a professional, you aim must be to creatively influence the behavior of prospective customers.
Never let a visitor go
I love the user interface of EBay and Amazon. They give you so many options and alternatives that you are forced to remain on their website. If you search for a product, they not only display the right product but also suggest alternatives. You are also nicely nudged towards buying stuff, which you were not looking for in the first instance. I am not suggesting that visitors will simply buy because you coerce them to. It doesn’t happen that way. Finally your product must speak for itself in terms of value.
The ‘Buy’ button
On some websites you have to search for the ‘Buy’ button. Wonder what the web designer was thinking – to me this is a monstrous blunder. Whether you do anything or not, splash that ‘Buy’ button everywhere on all web pages and that too prominently. This should be easily accessible to visitors, whenever they have the urge to buy. Remember that selling is the sole purpose of your website, not entertaining and enlightening others.
User behavior can and must be manipulated. Even the big guys like Google don’t miss a single trick in the book. Keeping visitors on your website for as long as possible must be every designers endeavor. Ultimately every small change to your website adds up to something big. Never let a visitor go without buying.
Nitin Aggarwal is the owner of the company Offshore Ally. It is the house of competent virtual assistant and SEO link builders services. Nitin is a blogging enthusiast and loves to read/write about new SEO strategies, social media, blogging, SEM etc. Connect with him via Twitter.