How Design Impacts User Experience: Reducing anxiety by infusing your page with value
In the age of free content, how can you capture leads and foster a relationship with people that consume the articles, videos and updates on your site?
Site design and the quality of content you produce can strongly influence the way that people engage with your site.
Using an example from the Harvard Business Review, we can see an example of a layout infused with value for the user.
First, the Harvard Business Review lets users read up to five articles before asking for a commitment. This allows visitors to get a sense of the breadth and quality of content so they can ensure that they’re getting a valuable experience.
Let’s review the overall look, feel and strategy of its registration process and design as well as examine how it impacts the visitor throughout the registration process.
After reading the fifth article, the user is given two options: Register for free in exchange for more information, or subscribe to the all-access version.
Let’s take a look at how the page is laid out.
First, look at the white space.
Can you feel the fresh air?
S – p – a – c – e
The simplicity of the page creates a “no pressure” feeling and lets the visitor know that they aren’t seeing an ad or being urged to make a decision.
However, you can clearly see the two defined calls-to-action, separated by a thin gray line.
Both sides indicate some level of value. However, the paid option has an image and lists several more bullet points worth of advantages over the free option.
When you land on the page, you’re immediately hit with the value that you’ll get. The white space is still present, however. Since you’ve selected an option, it’s clearly a one column page with a simple eye path.
The value of registering is clearly communicated at the top of the page. However, the form is interrupted with an option to switch to the paid version before asking you to sign up. It also lets you enable social sign-in for a (nearly) friction-less registration.
The form fields are simple: Last name, email and password. The user is not giving up any unnecessary information to create a free account, such as billing address or credit card information.
Behind the wall
Once you have entered your information, a light blue ribbon appears to take you back to the article you were reading when you were interrupted, but you also have the option of fleshing out your profile and preference a bit more.
Because of the use of white space on the page, the form looks easy, and the simple add buttons look like they’ll keep you on the same page, so you can navigate back to your article at your leisure.
It also gives you the option to add more information about yourself, with the promise of suggesting content tailored to your position and company. The way that it’s positioned on the page, though, makes it feel more like an option for highly motivated registrants. However, the promise of delivering value is still present.
My top takeaways from this example
Here’s what I loved about the experience that the Harvard Business Review provided for its customers:
- White space lets visitors breathe and reduces page friction
- Clear, concise and direct messaging guides your audience through the process
- Infusing value near the calls-to-action reduces anxiety
What else did you notice? Feel free to let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.
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