As featured on Friday's home page of Internet Retailer I'm proud to announce that Future Now has completed the 2004 Online Retailer Study for Customer Focused excellence. A report that measures how well a website meets a customer's needs from the time a shopped identifies a product to be purchased.
Just a hi-light of a few articles you may have missed over the last week or so.
First, Bryan Eisenberg's most recent ClickZ article debunks one of the internets biggest myths... Price Is Not King. Sometimes trying to win the price game will get you nothing but a bunch of parasitical customers who latch on and feed on your profits. Bryan shows the alternative to offering the lowest price on your site by increasing your sites personal experience factor.
Our bud and web analytics guru Eric Peterson recently released some data indicating that companies that have at least one full time staffer analyzing site metrics got a greater value and better conversion rates out of their web analytics. It just makes sense, when someone is around to analyze , parse, and recognize patterns in the metrics each and every day you will likely end up with more actionable changes to implement. Once those changes are implemented, your staffer can them monitor the difference and tweak further and further, After all you web site should be dynamic, always being optimized for conversion.
It's a quiet day on the road (right now in Brooklyn prepping for our Persuasive Online Copywriting Workshop ), so we wanted to take a few moments and give a shout out to 3 fine ladies who are also our blogging friends.
Again, seats will be limited. We wanted our faithful blog readers to get first dibs.
You Will Learn Exactly How To Increase Your Conversion Rate
During our two day workshop we’ll work hands on with you to guide you on how to implement techniques that will boost your conversion rate to its maximum, and streamline the shopping experience for your visitors.
The workshop will be January 12-13 2005 in our cool new digs in Brooklyn's Red hook district.
If you are planning a site redesign in 2005 you should clear the calender and come to the workshop.
Bottom Line: Miller's Magic 7 has NOTHING to do with building a persuasive website. Don't let your website design decisions be bound by outdated science.
Miller's Magic 7 has been bandied about in web design circles for years, and many site designs have been conceived under the premise of George Miller's 1956 article about the ability of humans to retain in a total of 7 plus or minus 2 items in working memory.
In his most recent ClickZ article Bryan Eisenberg lays out the case warning against using Miller's Magic 7 as a guiding design principle.
Debunking Miller's Magic 7
George A. Miller penned a research paper in 1956, "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information." It was groundbreaking in its time. In it, Miller hypothesized the human working memory can hold up to seven bits of information, plus or minus two, at once. Often referred to as "Miller's Magic 7," that theory is the basis of many Web page design decisions. Below, some modern day extrapolations and design conclusions rooted in Miller's research:
• Give users only seven links (choices) in the active window.
• Give users only seven items on the menu bar.
• Give users only seven tabs at the top of a Web site page.
• Give users only seven items in a pull-down menu.
• Give users only seven items on a bulleted list.
Many advances have been made in understanding human memory since 1956. Why does Miller's Magic 7 survive in light of current science? We can't concede that maximizing this informational processing "capacity" is necessary on a Web site.
I want to offer a more current and commonsensical approach to these design element "conclusions." No designer should be bound by a meaningless number rooted in dusty science.