Creative Director Matt Weaver, explores one of the 10 factors in our new PulseCX digital Customer Experience benchmarking tool.

Crickey! Possibly the most subjective factor in PulseCX, our new digital Customer Experience benchmarking tool. How do you evaluate what is attractive and delightful? After all what is ‘beauty’ when ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’?

There’s lots of research saying that people trust ‘attractive’ websites more. Such as a study by the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab that concluded that 46% of site visitors say a website’s design is the #1 criterion for discerning the credibility of the company.

In fact, people trust ‘attractive’ everything more. Attractive people make more money, are more successful and just have it better. We like attractive cars, houses and clothes. The same goes for your digital experience. Our offline behaviour and inclinations translate to our online existence.

If you’re reading this now, we’ve passed an important challenge facing attraction. People form aesthetic reactions in less than 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) after exposure. Yep, you can lose a potential customer in less than the blink of an eye.

 

Is delight overrated?

 

Delight is a word used to describe pleasurable moments in our experiences with digital products. These delightful interactions can make an experience more engaging. Providing a powerful way to encourage visitors to empathise with your brand. But where exactly does delight fit in? When visitors arrive? After they determine they have arrived at the right page (orientation)? When they scan content to see if it is readable and legible? After they determine a route decision in the navigation system? 

The answer is simple: At every stage in the user-journey. 

 

The power of design 

 

The design of a product can be informed by a few elements that can help make it both attractive and delightful from not only an aesthetic viewpoint, but also from a functional viewpoint. Yes, ‘Form and Function’ are inextricably linked to ‘Attractive and Delightful’.

You’ve worked hard to identify what your audience wants and created some great content to attract and delight them. But we have to make sure that your site doesn’t turn off its visitors with a poor customer experience.

 

Some pointers

 

Keep it simple

Minimal site designs, as shown here for Bang & Olufsen, will often out-perform more complex designs. The reason less “visually complex” websites are considered more beautiful is partly because low-complexity websites don’t require our eyes and brain to work as hard to decode, store, and process information. Cognitive fluency at play again.

 

Colour

With so much noise online, it’s important to ‘stand out’. One approach is to use a multitude of bold colours to quickly captivate your audience. Doing the polar opposite is also a valid option – a truly reductive palette as adopted by Mailchimp can give clarity to navigation, and offer a consistency of brand language.

 

Size matters

Visual hierarchy matters. One large image is usually better than a bunch of little ones; one column instead of three; more whitespace (we always think you should use more Whitespace!) instead of more “stuff.” Don’t add copy or images unless they communicate something your customer cares about.

 

Copy

In a world where people don’t read every word, follow simple guidelines for scannable text.

  • Highlighted keywords 
  • Meaningful subheadings 
  • Bulleted lists 
  • One idea per paragraph 

And the most important one... 

  • Half the word count (or less) 

 

No cheese please

Avoid cheesy stock photos. Nothing says “I’m fake” like suits shaking hands or smiling customer service people with a headset on. DON'T DO IT!

 

Micro animations

Micro animations are small animations designed to direct the user through tasks as they interact with a digital product. They integrate seamlessly into a product’s UX and improve customer pathways. Who doesn’t enjoy Wetransfer’s animated rejoicing once completing a task. Micro animations are small but powerful.

 

Be appropriate

Desktop screens have lots of space for extensive menus or mega-menus. Unfortunately, you can’t squeeze all of that information onto a mobile screen. The solution is to make search more prominent. Searching is faster and easier than navigating deep menus on mobile. Making the experience more delightful. Make sure your site is also optimised for mobile. Help your users by making navigation “thumb-friendly.”

 

In conclusion

 

People will judge your business by the way your website looks, whether that’s fair or not. They will form a prejudice against you (including positive ones) in a matter of milliseconds. If it doesn’t attract or delight, you’re in trouble. It takes a lot of work to attract someone’s attention and if you’re not ready to delight your customers, you won’t be able to keep them.

How attractive and delightful is your site compared to your competitors and how could you make improvements quickly? Contact Managing Partner Phillip Lockwood-Holmes on phillip@whitespacers.com to explore how the PulseCX Benchmark could help you find out.