Table of Contents
IntroductionPaul Boag introduces the course which will demonstrate practical writing, marketing, design, and optimization techniques to increase conversions and avoid dark patterns.
PsychologyPaul explains how people make most decisions using two systems. System one is a faster, automatic, intuitive and emotional way of thinking. System two is more effortful and deliberate.
Dark PatternsPaul defines dark patterns as user interface elements that have been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things they might not otherwise do. Dark patterns can manipulate the user psychologically by using techniques like scarcity or by visually emphasizing a favorable action item.
Reasons Against Dark PatternsPaul believes the business reasons to avoid dark patterns are more compelling than the ethical reasons. When users recognize they are being manipulated, it can undermine a brand. Unhappy customers can increase a business's expenses in other areas like support or merchandise returns.
Addressing Objections & RisksPaul explains the psychology behind risk taking and the various ways businesses can help users manage their risk. When a risk is accompanied by the benefits or assurances that the user is in control of the risk, it will increase the likelihood of a conversion.
Reducing Cognitive LoadPaul shares examples on how cognitive load can affect a user experience. Confusing navigation or inconsistent interactions will cause users to make mistakes and leave them with a poor overall feeling with the website. Removing unnecessary items and designing for maximum visibility reduces cognitive load and leads to better outcomes.
Establishing TrustPaul stresses the importance of being open and honest with users. Utilizing social proof like adding testimonials from known sources, producing authentic content, and building a community of users helps build trust and strengthens a brand.
Performance Impacts ConversionPaul discusses how a websites conversion rate is impacted by performance. Optimizing image/css/js files, using a CDN, and minimizing web fonts are all strategies that will increase performance.
RecapPaul summarizes the four psychological principles and answers audience questions about graphic design and where to find more information on dark patterns.
Three Crucial QuestionsPaul explains that content development starts by asking three crucial questions. Who are the users? Where does the website sit in their journey? What do you want them to do next?
Creating a Value PropositionPaul demonstrates how to ensure a value proposition aligns accurately with the customer's profile. Translating the value proposition to a website consists of writing a strapline, listing the benefits, and describing the delivery.
Writing Compelling CopyPaul breaks down the strategy for writing compelling copy. Establishing a content hierarchy will help capture attention with headlines while still providing an action item for users who want more detail. A discussion about how to recognize dark patterns is also included in this segment.
Compelling Headlines & Scannable ContentPaul shares tools and techniques for headline writing and creating scannable content. Tools like Grammarly or Hemingway are helpful for flagging the overuse of adverbs, passive voice, or sentences which are hard to read. Content with a more human feeling will be easier for users to scan.
Simplifying ChoicePaul explains how offering too many options can lead to a decrease in conversions. Simplifying choice will easy the decision making process for users.
AudiencePaul discusses why understanding and representing the target audience is important when developing content. When users can see themselves within the content of the site, it creates a stronger bond with the brand.
Recap & Website CritiquePaul summarizes the process of content creation. The focus should be on the user's journey and the value proposition should be centered around the user. A critique of the Frontend Masters and Stripe websites are also included in this segment.
Leading the User's AttentionPaul demonstrates how the content structure and design can guide a user's eye around the page. Correctly structured content blocks make page scanning easy and comfortable. Imagery can also be used to draw attention to calls to action or other important elements on the page.
Create Compelling Calls to ActionPaul explains how simplifying and prioritizing calls to action lead to an increase in conversions. Utilizing negative space, color, and size will draw the user's attention. When a call to action is more complex, it should be broken into smaller steps.
Keep Users Engaged with AestheticsPaul shares examples of website using various styling to shape the user's perception. The messaging a brand wants to communicate can be expressed through the color, animations, or language used on a website. Emotions like humor can be effective for conversions when used appropriately.
Web Quality Assurance "Checklists"Paul shares his thoughts on following checklists to improve a website's content. Two higher educations websites are also critiqued in this segment.
Optimization & Testing
Optimizing for Conversion & User TestingPaul emphasises the importance of A/B testing. Content that can be tested includes brand keywords, visual hierarchy, and calls to action. Initial usability testing on a current website or a competitor's website will give early insight and provide better benchmarks for future testing.
Tools for Usability TestingPaul outlines various usability testing tools and techniques. Tools include the five second test, first click test, brand keyword surveys, and eye tracking.
Maximizing Conversion & AB TestingPaul explains that maximizing conversions after launch can be done by finding problem pages, diagnosing the exact problem, and testing potential solutions. The differences between A/B testing and Multi-variant testing are also covered in this segment.