It Isn’t Beautiful if it Doesn’t Work Beautifully

beautyqueen

The digital graveyard is littered with landing pages, emails and websites which chose form over function. Too vain to give up a little beauty for the more tried and true UX experience, they are beautiful to the point of invisibility; once upon a time internet beauty queens. I realize this may be a little harsh, but it’s a true challenge to balance the desire for beautiful design and the necessity of coming up with digital tactics we know convert.

We employ artists at Kaleidico. In fact, almost all of us, in one way or another, have artistic pursuits. We are writers, painters, and filmmakers, often finding some necessary actions offensive to our delicate artistic sensibility. However, it is a sentiment we know must be suppressed in the face of undeniable patterns and common human behavior on the web. It is why we live and die by a motto at Kaleidico that our art department loathes, but respects:

“It’s not beautiful if it doesn’t work beautifully.”

We’re Just a Bunch of Little Alberts

After years of creating digital experiences designed to generate leads and convert sales, we know there are simply inescapably-conditioned behaviors to which users consistently respond. In fact, people seldom even know exactly what they want from digital design; they merely react to that which they are most accustomed or conditioned. It’s not rocket science, it’s basic psychology.

Do you remember high school psychology class and the rather cruel, but scientifically illuminating Little Albert experiments? If you don’t remember that, you most certainly remember Pavlov’s dogs, right? Well, the principal is essentially the same. Little Albert was never afraid of white rats, but each time he was exposed to one his tormenters would unleash a horrifyingly loud noise, thus scaring the crap out of him. Repeating this process over time – white rat, loud noise, white rat, loud noise – eventually the rat itself would make Little Albert pee his pants with fear despite never again actually hearing the accompanying noise. This is how internet users behave (for the most part and unbeknownst to them), like a behaviorally-conditioned nine-month-old boy.

What’s the Connection to Digital Marketing and Design?

Blue button, orange button? Email sign-up widget or pop-in? Send to my email list once a week, or whenever I have an offer? My forms should have 3 fields, or 6? The list of tiny, incrementally important digital marketing and design decisions go on and on. Many of our clients cringe when we suggest using pop-ins or slide-in widgets for email capture, or shirk at the suggestion that a button and call to action is a requirement in every email communication, always citing “brand integrity” or the “look and feel” in their defense of design driven by art as opposed to behavior. The fact of the matter is the numbers never lie.

Every Audience is Different… So Test, Test, Test

Like I said, the numbers don’t lie – but behaviors are never identical. Similar, but not identical. This is why any digital marketing strategy should always follow the same formula: create, test, optimize, scale. Rinse and repeat. However, to get yourself closer to converting users and growing revenue, do yourself a favor and start from a place of previously tested and proven digital marketing design approaches.

The proof is in the… Website

Where’s the beef? A valid question. Since I don’t know exactly what kind of digital marketing tactic or strategy you’re trying to create, I have assembled a quick list of some of the internet’s best-converting landing pages. Notice the similarities and don’t be afraid to copy them. The one recurring theme you will find, in the words of one of our favorite internet Gurus, is “less is less.”

Dropbox
Dropbox
Shopify
Shopify
Quizzle
Quizzle
Qualaroo
Qualaroo
Squarespace
Squarespace