I was at World Usability Day on Thursday and saw Dr. Susan Weinschenk of Human Factors International speak about emotional engagement and generational effectiveness. First, I'll run down her "principles of persuasion," then I'll give you a brief run-down of her speech and the break-out session she ran. Weinschenk gave 4 principles of persuasion. I'm sure there are more, but her's are pretty darn good:
- Reciprocity - In short, ya give what ya get
- Social validation - People want to do what other people are doing
- Authority - People want to do what they're told
- Attractiveness, similarity, liking, association - kind of speaks for itself
We didn't spend too much time on emotional engagement, but it was a great exercise to take a step back and look at a website only from the user experience. You take all the marketing bullshit and throw it out the window; just focus on whether Grandma could get what she wants out of the website.
World Usability Day this year was focused on healthcare and for emotional engagement we looked at Johnson and Johnson's Access2Wellness.com site. We followed several steps in applying for this program, looking for triggers that move you forward - like current content, advice from knowledgeable sources, and impartial/independent information - or roadblocks that stop you from moving forward - such as unexpected actions, needing to leave the site for content, and jarring interactions. With Weinschenk's help, we also looked for persuasion triggers and roadblocks like an obvious call to action (trigger) and an interrupted flow of action (roadblock).
In terms of generational effectiveness, we searched for type-2 diabetes information on MSN's health site from the perspective of a baby boomer as opposed to a "net gen," which covers tweens and about anyone younger than 25. This was a little more complex because, while we were still searching for triggers and roadblocks, some of the things that boomers like, net gens don't, and vice versa.
Of course, these are generalities, but as marketers, we swim in generalities everyday. Some examples given:
- Automatic video - boomers hate, net gens like
- Randomness and unpredictability - boomers hate, net gens like
- (Multiple) navigation bars - boomers like, net gens hate
- Website consistency - boomers like, net gens hate
We joked around about the generalities, but in the end, there's a reason they are generalities. No value judgment included, but it should surprise no one that boomers move more deliberately through websites while net gens bounce around. So as online marketers, it's our responsibility to know our audience and try to build the most accessible and enjoyable website geared for the target audience while not completely turning off others.