Why I’m not a hummingbird when I come to your site

I am constantly amazed at how people are watchful, vigilant even, of me as a visitor to their sites. Their wary eyes observe every single step I take, as soon as I land on their territory. They keep quiet, uncertain, relishing my first appearance. They try to get to know me, my habits, my temper, my drive. They are always looking for the answer to the Question, gnawing at their stats. How can we make him stay longer?

Now let me tell you, I’m not a hummingbird you can scare off by a feather. I’m a scar-faced war-beaten flesh-starved nubian vulture, for goodness’ sake. I know what I want, and if you don’t have it, I’m out of here. I’m not going to amble around your green pastures looking for my prey. No honey and milk can make me stay, when all I want is raw meat and blood.

Here’s a perspective. When you meet a person for the first time, you don’t start by asking them to answer a couple of questions about yourself. Then why are you popping a web survey up before I had a decent chance of taking a look at your stuff?

And here’s the news. If you want me to stay longer, be prepared to sacrifice time and effort. You may know the length and strength of my carnivorous beak, but if you don’t know my personality, how will you ever make your stuff attractive? Say hi. Get to know me. Contribute to the relationship. And maybe, one day, I’ll eat your vapid sprigs or twigs, thinking I’ve been a hummingbird all along.

Turning your site visitors’ needs into desires

You’ve spent hours formulating your content, days spreading it over digital media, months chasing the visitors and years adapting it to their needs. They come, but do not stay; they hear, but do not listen. It is never easy to reach the target group with your message. It takes an effort. Or two. Or a dozen.

Someone asked on Quora, “What is the quickest way you got quality followers for your blog?” However you define “quality followers”, you want old visitors to stay and new visitors to become old. Old visitors who stay.

What makes users stay is the experience, or the feeling of an experience. They come back for more, when their desire to consume your content outweighs their need to do it. Learn how to turn what your visitors (users, customers, followers, etc.) were once persuaded they needed to do into something they are convinced they want to do.

It is not primarily what your visitors consume that you should focus on. It is how they do it and what they feel when they visit your website. Nine times of ten you should optimise the flow, not the product, in order to give your target group as seamless an experience as possible.

Do you agree? How would you go about making it a pleasure for the visitors to return to your site? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Interaktion på en annan nivå

Utvecklingen av Webb 2.0 handlar om att ge användare mer och mer inflytande över innehållet. Men det finns folk som inte tar saker som alla lever med för givet och kommer på nya sätt att surfa och navigera genom att återuppfinna hjulet. Följande exempel (“klicklös” navigering, interaktivt typsnitt och röst- och rörelsenavigering) står för vad jag menar:

1. “Klicklöst” surfande

Idéen bakom projektet dontclick.it är enkel. Hela konceptet av att klicka är borttagen. Upplevelsen är spännande och definitivt ny! Idéen kommer inte att stanna för att förändra navigeringen av alla webbsidor på nätet, inte minst på grund av otillgänglighet av en Flash-baserad sida och att allt annat än webbnavigeringen i våra operativsystem beror på just att klicka fram sig någonstans.

Don't click it

2. Interaktivt typsnitt

Laikafont handlar endast om att ge användaren själv skapa ett sorts typsnitt som han/hon behöver. Genom att läsa av pekarens position på skärmen eller användarens position vid skärmväggen kan applikationen “förstå” vad användaren behöver för typsnitt. (via fubiz)

Laika font

3. Röst- och rörelsenavigering

Webbdesigner Andreas Lutz har skapat en portfolio med en tanke – att göra något innovativt, vilket han lyckades. Man navigerar webbplatsen med hjälp av rörelser (som är uppfattade genom webcam) och röst (som är uppfattad med hjälp av mikrofon).  (via bl a abduzeedo.com)

Andreas Lutz

Uppgift om sociala nätverk

Det är spännande att få den andra uppgiften i kursen Webb 2.0. Vi ska bland annat reflektera om vad sociala nätverk är för någonting, vem ska använda dem och vad det finns för positiva/negativa sidor med sociala nätverk.

Eftersom sociala nätverk och Webb 2.0 överlappar, har jag redan vidrört några punkter om sociala nätverk i mitt föregående inlägg om Webb 2.0. Det är ändå spännande att få reflektera över fenomenet. Hur påverkar sociala nätverk privatpersoner, företag och myndigheter? Hur använder de ovannämnda grupperna olika sociala nätverk?

Couple - xkcd.com

Uppgiften ska vara klar och inlämnad på slutet av november. Fram tills dess finns det mycket att läsa och förbereda.

Unsubscribing from the ISIC newsletter

This is a true story. About seven years ago, back in 2002, I got my first ISIC card and, quite rationally, I subscribed for their newsletter a couple of years later, when I had to renew it. To get the inside scoop of all the discounts for students, so to speak.
Now, when I am no longer a student in Latvia and at least three years since I had a valid ISIC card, I still get the newsletters from ISIC.lv. Not that I like getting them. It was just that there was no “unsubscribe here” link in their newsletters. Or their site, for that matter. The short of it is, their unsubscription service sucked. Until today.

Today I noticed their newsletter looked a little bit funny, because at the end of it they did indeed have a link to unsubscribe from the newsletter. I thought Why not give it a try and clicked the magic underlined phrase. Here’s when the magic ended. Below are the steps I had to take (and what happened between them) in order to remove my e-mail address from their database (still not sure if it’s removed).

  1. Get a regular newsletter from ISIC
  2. Click to unsubscribe
  3. Get directed to their site
  4. Read about the coming confirmation e-mail
  5. Get a confirmation e-mail
  6. Click to confirm the unsubscription
  7. Get directed to their site
  8. Read about the successful unsubscription
  9. Get an e-mail about the successful unsubscription

Talk about a company (?) trying so hard to please (??) the customers with over-explicitness and usability of their services!