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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Jul. 9, 2008 at 5:28 am

Optimize Your Copy for Skimming and Scanning

July 9th, 2008

Bad Landing Pages from Sean DSouzaCopy is one of the most crucial elements of any E-commerce site. And while most discussions of Web copy focus on creating great copy, it’s also important to ensure your copy is formatted for the online world.

Great copy that comes in dense blocks of text often never gets the chance to convert visitors because it never gets read.

Most Web pages – as well as the copy on those pages – are skimmed and scanned before they’re read. Web visitors want to…

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FutureNow Article
Tuesday, Jun. 24, 2008

Information Overload: Why Less is the New More

June 24th, 2008

information overload image from broox at flickrA new report entitled Information Overload: We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us was written up recently in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Commissioned by Basex, it details how information overload, particularly task interruptions, costs the Enterprise $650 billion a year in lost productivity.

That’s a very large price to pay for having everything at our fingertips, all the time, in any format.

Our decision-making processes can’t always keep up with our choices. The same challenge…

...continue to read "Information Overload: Why Less is the New More"

FutureNow Article
Thursday, Jun. 5, 2008

What You Never Noticed About Google’s Homepage

June 5th, 2008

google split testing results

We all take the Google homepage for granted.

It’s so remarkably simple that (unless you’re, say, a blogger for a website optimization firm) it’s unremarkable; just a text box, two call to action buttons, and a few links that most humans don’t even look at, let alone use. That’s all.

But why? Why is it that the Google homepage has barely changed in the past decade? Are they obsessed with minimalism, or is there more to the story?

From its humble origins as…

...continue to read "What You Never Noticed About Google’s Homepage"

FutureNow Article
Thursday, Apr. 3, 2008

Big Impact, Small Changes on Amazon

April 3rd, 2008

image of Amazon boxYou probably didn’t notice, but Amazon just made it easier to quickly glance at the product you want and get all the information you need in order to buy.

All it took was few simple changes to the text on their product pages. By adjusting the size, color and font of the text and removing unnecessary words, they’ve cleaned up the product pages and made them easier to scan and skim.

Here’s what’s new:

• Font & Word Choice — Larger, color headline.…

...continue to read "Big Impact, Small Changes on Amazon"

FutureNow Post
Friday, Feb. 29, 2008 at 1:29 pm

PayPal Should Go Undercover

February 29th, 2008


PayPal recently announced a streamlining of its payment flow process that doesn’t require a PayPal account to use. In other words, you can “check out” via PayPal, reap the security benefits of the merchant store not knowing your financial details, and pay for your item without having created any long-term relationship with PayPal (although they wouldn’t mind).

Adding PayPal to an e-commerce site can sometimes result in lower conversions — which makes sense because you’re being taken away from the experience you were…

...continue to read "PayPal Should Go Undercover"

FutureNow Article
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008

Old Navy’s New (E-commerce) Tricks

January 15th, 2008

old_navy.jpgRecently, Old Navy redesigned their site, adding a lot of value with a few changes. The new site provides several good examples on how to improve e-commerce usability by focusing on ways to reduce friction in the customer experience.

So, let’s take a look at some of the changes to their product pages and shopping cart to get a better sense of what they’ve done a good job of so far, and share a few ideas for other changes worth testing…


...continue to read "Old Navy’s New (E-commerce) Tricks"

FutureNow Article
Thursday, Sep. 20, 2007

Netflix Bombs at the (Search) Box Office

September 20th, 2007

Netflix must already love me enough for paying each month and not mailing back my movies, but I’ve decided to help them in a potentially much bigger way. Recently, we noticed there’s some Giant Peach-sized “low-hanging fruit” to harvest on their homepage* — and it could be worth millions.

If only they’d do a bit of testing…

Click me to view Netflix The first problem appears with what seems to be a search bar near their top navigation. This is actually a Coupon Code box.

I’d like to…

...continue to read "Netflix Bombs at the (Search) Box Office"

FutureNow Article
Wednesday, Sep. 5, 2007

“Eyetracking, Heatmaps & Gaze Plots!” Oh My…

September 5th, 2007

All you heatmap lovers out there, Uncle Jakob (Nielsen) has a great new post for you. Today’s Alertbox features a topic near and dear to the Grok’s heart: the overuse of fancy words in Web copy.

These “dollar words” are truly excellent… at going over your audiences’ heads while keeping them from accomplishing their goals by taking the actions you’ve set out for them. Anyone who’s taken our Persuasive Online Copywriting course would agree; Jakob is singing our tune in his discussion of…

...continue to read "“Eyetracking, Heatmaps & Gaze Plots!” Oh My…"

FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007 at 4:25 pm — A New Low for Drop-down Menus

August 29th, 2007‘s site relaunch gives us another great example of how drop-down menus interfere with a site’s usability. For instance, the drop-down menu for the “Dogs” category goes down past the bottom of the page. Those who aren’t proficient in using the scroll wheel on their mouse won’t even be able to get to the options presented below the fold.

When designing for 1024 x 768 resolution, don’t assume that the browser window is completely open.

There are a couple of easy fixes…

...continue to read " — A New Low for Drop-down Menus"

FutureNow Post
Monday, Jul. 23, 2007 at 1:11 pm

Better “Usability” Isn’t Always the Answer

July 23rd, 2007
Marketing Optimization Blog
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