In our last installment of “The ‘Magic’ Tricks of Web Design,” our Big Red SEO web design team talked about two common principles, Visual Hierarchy and Divine Proportions, that work like magic to enhance the look and visitor experience your website provides. Today we’ll go back behind the curtain and reveal a few more secrets to polish your website and up your conversion potential!
3. Decisions, Decisions—Understanding Hick’s Law
This is a pretty easy principle to understand, and anyone who’s ever frozen up in the store aisle contemplating which of a hundred varieties of toothpaste to get can relate. Hick’s Law simply states that the more options one has, the longer it takes to make a decision. This also relates to the Paradox of Choice—that is, the more options a person has to choose from, the more likely it is that he’ll choose nothing at all.
How does this relate to web design? It’s generally thought that giving a visitor to your site more options is a good thing as individualized experience increasingly becomes the name of the game. Keeping Hick’s Law in mind, though, too many options can also be a bad thing. Our Big Red SEO web design team always advises our clients that a customer should know exactly what to do on their site, and that means her visit should start simply, with one or two options (such as signing up for an email offer or learning about a product). Having too many distracting options right off the bat can derail her visit before she ever enters the sales funnel.
What does Hick’s Law mean for e-commerce companies where options are part and parcel to their business models? It means that we need great filters! If your company has a vast catalogue of products, you should integrate more specific filters to pare down your product list so your customer can find exactly the kind of product they’re looking for. In the end this aids in easy decision-making.
4. Fitt’s Law of Size, Distance, and Ease of Use
Another idea that sounds like common sense but is easy to overlook is Fitt’s Law, which states that the bigger and closer an object is to you, the easier it is for you to use it. You see this principle in action whenever you use a service like Spotify, where the ‘Play’ button is designed to be larger than other buttons in the dock. Why is this? Making that button larger than others causes it to stand out (as it’s higher in the visual hierarchy), and the enhanced surface area makes it more likely that you’ll successfully hit it, which is the main thing Spotify wants you to do.
While this law is certainly subject to diminishing returns (having a ‘Play’ or ‘Buy Now’ button that takes up half the screen, say, would be a bad thing), it is effective when used subtly in conjunction with other nearby elements on the page.
Fitt’s Law is also related to the rule of target size, which says that a button should be sized according to its frequency of use. After you track which buttons most people are clicking on your site, Big Red SEO suggests that you make those popular buttons bigger relative to the buttons around them.
Contact Big Red SEO Today at (402) 522-6468!
Our web design team at Big Red SEO hopes that you find these principles useful in developing the look and feel of your websites. If you follow these principles, your can turn your site into one that appeals to customers on all levels, in usefulness, aesthetics, and end-user psychology.
Big Red SEO is a full-service web design and SEO company in Omaha, Nebraska, specializing in creating websites that can send our clients to the top of search engine rankings in Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. From designing your site to developing SEO friendly content, we make sure that your websites work for you to grow your online presence and make your business more visible to potential customers. Give us a call at (402) 522-6468 to get started today!