This article originally appeared as a Design and Usability Tactics e-newsletter.
By Jim Kukral
Browse your Web site as though you're a potential customer. Do you feel like you're wandering aimlessly, or do you have a clear sense of how to navigate the site? The difference can mean generating sales and/or gaining a valued customer, or never hearing from the visitor again.
Web designers and developers must learn how to convert casual Web browsers into loyal and frequent customers. The easiest way to encourage a window shopper to become a customer is to get the user to perform an action that you design. These specifically designed actions are known as call-to-action statements.
Call-to-action statements are designed to provide value to the Web site owner, as well as to the visitor. Types of actions may include:
Design easy, effective call-to-actions
A call-to-action is only effective if the user believes that the value they'll receive is greater than the effort they must exert to get it. In other words, don't make users work hard to act on your call-to-action statements.
In addition, most designers need to do a better job designing their call-to-action statements to monetize as many customers as possible. Here are a few ways to maximize the potential benefits of your call-to-action statements:
One advantage Web designers have is that you can control a user's online experience (to a certain extent) via a Web browser. Leverage this knowledge in order to design a page with call-to-action statements that fit within the visitor's comfort level. Both your company and the user will benefit.
Jim Kukral has spent the last seven years working in the trenches of Web design, development, and usability for Fortune 500 clients as well as mom-and-pop companies.