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The "what's In It For Me? Checklist

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#1 DCrx


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Posted 07 July 2010 - 12:24 PM

[ ] Maximum money in minimum time (it's not enough to increase wealth, it has to appeal to the lazy ...the impatient)

[ ] 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 - 12:25 PM.

#2 iamlost


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Posted 23 August 2010 - 03:56 AM

Are you writing copy from the reader's "point of you"

Interesting perspective on the synthesis of the needs/wants/desires (each quite different beasts) of the user, the design of the 'thing' and copy about the 'thing' - or what I would sum as Marketing.

Marketing is a customer (not quite synonymous with user) driven process (yes, it is a process, not a department nor an activity): to identify the customer, to attract the customer, to engage the customer, to satisfy the customer, to service the customer, to retain the customer, etc. The single common denominator being the customer.

And the obvious force behind the increasing switch in mainstream emphasis from supply side (the 4-P's: product, promotion, price, placement - coined by E. Jerome McCarthy, PhD, in 1960 ) to demand side (SIVA: solution, information, value, access - proposed by Chekitan S. Dev, PhD, and Don E. Schultz, PhD, in 2005) in marketing theory.

Note: what is intreguing is that they both describe the same things but from different perspectives. I recommend understanding both viewpoints.

Note: I've simplified things geatly. :infinite-banana:
For a slightly more detailed history see Marketing Operations - Richard Adams

And by implicit definition the process needs to be two way. The 'thing' (product/service) needs to provide a solution to the customers' needs/wants/desires to succeed longterm if at all. Unlikely without some form of customer input/feedback.

Much/most/all of DCrx's examples are simple basic human nature: something for as little as possible. And that human - customer - valuation premise is why people still fall for scams or pay high for cures rather than effort high for prevention.

Best practice marketing is user-centered design (UCD). Rather than the movie idea 'if you build it they will..' (no, they probably won't) it is 'if they want it you'll build it'.

It is even being standardised:
Note: as copies of the actual standards require payment (and are hard slogging) I've linked to an overview from usabilitynet.org:
* ISO 13407 Human centred design processes for interactive systems

There are four [iterative] user centred design activities that need to start at the earliest stages of a project. These are to:
* understand and specify the context of use
* specify the user and organisational requirements
* produce design solutions
* evaluate designs against requirements.

* and an article (same source) by the Chair of the responsible development sub-committee
Usability or User Experience – what’s the Difference? - Tom Stewart, 8 April 2008.

Thinking ‘user experience’ for consumer oriented products should encourage us to look at such issues as aesthetics, branding, packaging and support; at work it should encourage us to think more about work organisation, job design, training and support.

See also:
* What is User-Centered Design?

* User-Centered Design and Web Development
Note: Cre8's link obfuscation mangles the link due to a space so posted unlinked - if interested you will have to copy and paste.
http://www.stcsig.org/usability/topics/articles/ucd _web_devel.html

* User-Centered Design
Start page for a lot of information from usability.gov.
See especially: Questions to Ask at Kick-Off Meetings PDF file, 160KB

#3 DCrx


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Posted 24 August 2010 - 06:18 AM

The reason I use captology and desirability -- not UX -- is they are specific processes with well established methodology. UX is the Web 2.0 (or branding) of design: Everybody uses it to mean whatever they want.

User Experience is like the word content, devoid of responsibility or quality or implication of intentional result. The term user experience seems all too conveniently designed for sucking up credit whilst avoiding responsibility.

UX, as practiced, is still usability with title inflation. All I see is the power grab, not the difference in process.

Far worse, a "user experience" is too often said to have happened without any user required. Many have devolved into pre-usability, no-test, "We speak for the user" user centric in name only.

Flashers have latched onto user experience to justify their user oblivious antics, with Jquery and Mootools close behind. Used to be branding justified jettisoning usability -- now it's UX.

That's what happens when there is more job title than process.

As for the "user," a site visitor is a user before she or he becomes a customer. User spans the researcher, suspect, prospect, customer, fan spectrum. Fail the user, you fail the customer that user may become.

"Thing" is also useful because products can have service components and services can have product components. This can even extend to the UX design of the web site as a service platform a product manufacturer can provide.

Edited by DCrx, 24 August 2010 - 06:42 AM.

#4 A.N.Onym


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Posted 27 August 2010 - 08:21 AM

Seth Godin also suggests selling the problem, which is another way of saying to focus on solving a problem, I guess:

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