[ ] Does it cure rather than prevent (people pay exponentially more to cure a problem they have and live with rather than imagine a problem they might then want to prevent) but it doesn't have to be a physical ailment, it can be the cure for an unpleasant emotion like guilt.
[ ] Helps me think less (The book Don't Make Me Think acknowledges users and buyers as cognitive misers, continually looking for short cuts, three simple steps, etc)
[ ] Makes me look smart Seemingly contradictory, [blank] For Idiots books on a desk isn't conducive to pay raises or continuing employment. What we're talking about here has to do with improving image. Most of the atrocities committed with Flash and PhotoShop are due to the hyperventilatingly image conscious. People who believe their own PR are especially interested in image. Substance ...not so much.
[ ] Does it secure or improve status, especially through belonging to a group. Nine tenths of Web 2.0 is the bandwagon effect of belonging to the "in crowd." The discussion surround what exactly Web 2.0 is demonstrates how you can get away with the Emperor's New Clothes con. You can hint that asking what "it" is would indicate you're on the outside trying to get in. Don't underestimate inner circle status: where the grass is always greener, life's hurdles are lower, and everybody knows your name.
[ ] Ensures I'll keep what I've got this is the Nobody Got Fired for Buying IBM effect. People don't buy because they feel dealing with you will threaten their job -- even when your offering is superior in features on paper. Dead links to a start-up that no longer exists is not really payment to a designer trying to "improve their portfolio." Understand people value the bird in the hand over two in the bush. Something Blu-Ray still hasn't figured out is Louderback’s Law: Unless a new technology includes breakthroughs in at least two different dimensions — without adding hardship along the way — it will not supplant and older, established one. People evaluate offers with a risk/reward calculator. Most developer or service provider "solutions" are great big problems on the customer side because people don't understand risk/reward ratios. Reduce risk a little or increase reward a lot, better still do both.
[ ] Does it confirm a world view. It doesn't have to be your world view to confirm "a" world view. People love to be right -- no matter how disastrously wrong they are. People hate the inconvenient fact -- one reason user testing is much touted and little performed. More than self image, think of World View = (Self Image + Group Status) x Thinking Less. Despite what they might say, people operate as if their model of reality is reality. Consequently offers which violate the target market's world view seem unreal or, more to the point of selling stuff -- in-credible. Better to make one claim which is completely believed than dozens of incredible claims ... a point seemingly lost on web copywriters. Also, showing you understand their world view relays to customers you understand them.
While this list is okay for the sales part, there is a missing element which relates to marketing (it isn't really a part of the checklist above).
Let's say you are a developer making a, let's call it a schedule planner. One thing you could reasonably conclude about users is they want to schedule a meeting.
This is not wrong, but not user focussed. It's not developing product from the "what's in it for me" perspective.
When you actually watch what users do with these schedulers, what you see is telling. It's so easy to schedule a meeting the user's schedule is crammed full of -- you guessed it -- meetings. So much so, users (I'm talking about real, observed user behavior) schedule meetings with themselves just to get work done.
I would suggest users do not want to schedule meetings. What's in if for me? Avoiding nonproductive meetings and managing the time within the meeting to be more effective. I want meeting elimination as well as scheduling. I want to design a better meeting -- not have one I have zero control over.
There are simple, programmable features for this. Very, very few understand or make use of them. A marketing opportunity going to waste.
The point is, you can design things with a what's in it for me slant and, thus, multiply the effectiveness of the what's in it for me copy.
Edited by DCrx, 07 July 2010 - 12:55 PM.