The Unpredictable Website Visitor and How to Capture Their Attention

Woman looking off to the side.

The Unpredictable Website Visitor and How to Capture Their Attention

Keyword searches and browsing strategies tracked by analytics may be frustrating because searchers can’t be counted on to behave as you want them to.

Humans are unpredictable and spontaneous, and trying to plan to rank in the top position on a topic for unpredictable people is not something I ever thought was rewarding. Making the landing stick, however, is.

An eight-year research study of a software tool created for educators found that of the three types of ways their users searched for information, it was the case studies that were the most sought after. Not the keyword matches. Not browsing patterns. They watched how teachers searched for information and what they wanted most were actual stories of experiences, or case based searches. We solve problems by asking for solutions and advice from others.

  • We learn from each other.
  • We want to be engaged with the topic.
  • We look for meaningful experiences.
  • We return for more, when the experience feels good.

This is what led to conversions marketing practices, persuasive design and customer experience design practices, to name a few. It may surprise you to learn how many websites are built and promoted without any homework done on who it is intended for.

Marketers looking for the holy grail of rank and conversions need only to grab a bench and ice cream cone and people watch. Listen to what they ask their cell phones.

Everybody has a story to tell.

Clothing on a rackYears ago I wrote an article about why ecommerce user experience design was not ready for my daughter and me. It was probably about 15 years ago that I wrote it because she grew up and has her own money now. Back then, my wallet and I went to the local shopping mall with her and I marveled at the experience. The storefronts were enticing, with unique displays. In my mind, I ran that by most ecommerce websites and of course, none of them were anywhere as alluring as the storefronts in the Mall.

Inside each store, every item had a price. The sale items were easy to find and were grouped by size. Even today when I perform site audits, prices are hiding and finding products takes a very long time because of page load times, poor category searches and the inability to put something over your arm and carry it for your daughter until she decides what to keep. Emulating real life is user experience design that rocks.

I wrote about the sales girl behind the counter in one of the shops where my credit card was celebrated with great joy. The young woman was chewing gum, had a short hair cut where every hair was parked in an exact spot on her head. Her long, perfectly manicured painted nails tapped the counter as she folded my daughter’s clothes and placed them inside the bag as if it was a new puppy scared out of its mind. Her makeup was expertly applied, from the bright red lips to eyeliner that curled half way around the side of her face. I adored her.

When we left the store, I marveled at just how FUN that shopping experience was and to this day, no ecommerce shopping has ever come close to it. The shopping malls are closing and future generations will never experience the human experience of  buying a crop top with no back and skinny jeans.

User experience web design that brings joy, laughter, relief or empathy connects with your visitors.  It is the purest and most difficult to achieve secret to conversions.