BOOK: Designing for the Social Web by Joshua Porter 04

Following excerpts are not as structured as a serious composition should be, merely combining the selected sentences I took from the book and translated back to English.

<< Previous Chapter 3: Sincere Conversation

Selected excerpts from Chapter 4: Bringing people to sign up

The users who consider the web service to be useful, they will show appreciation toward the developer who invested so much time and energy.

Usually it takes only 8 seconds for a new user to make a decision to sign up.

Even for the already signed up users, the continued process to keep them interested and persuaded is crucial.

The issues about persuading people to sign up:

  • First impression doesn’t change easily. Decision to become a loyal user is done when he or she saw the web service for the first time.
  • So many questions without opinions. Answering to their questions is the opportunity to talk about the web service.
  • A watchful latent user is becoming an active user at this point
  • The critical decision is made. To the general users, decision to use your service is not as important as success of the service.

The categories of users:

  • The users who are ready to use the service. They know the value of the service and willing to accept some difficulties in using the service.
  • Interested, but not assured users. They need to have an opportunity to find about the value of the service.
  • The fact-finders. They want to examine the service objectively based on the opinions of others. Provide them with the good instructions for using the service.
  • Skeptical users. Show the proof that many users are satisfied using the service.

The well designed sign-up page can make a visitor to be an user of the service.

Must for well designed sign-up page:

  • Give clear description of the features of the service
  • Convince the users that this is an useful service
  • Provide answers to the obvious questions
  • Challenge the unreasonable criticism or provide the facts of the service
  • Let the users to try the service to finish a task
  • Let the users to contact the other users of the service
  • Give an idea what kind of relationship the users and the service provider can establish

The essential questions:

  • Who will use the service?
  • What will the service do?
  • Where will the service be used?
  • When will the service be used?
  • Why the service is important?
  • How to use the service?

Using the pictures or the icons, explain what the service does concisely.

Complicated interface means complicated service.

Show people how to use the service.

The technical people are interested in the efficiency of the service.

Adopting the social influence idea, people care about who uses the service. It’s hard for the general public to resist the general trend.

People find it easier to sign up when their friends are already using the service.

Show the recommendations from the respectful personnel, and even from the competitor.

Specify the target users. The specifically defined service is effective.

Provide the user stories about how the service is successfully being used.

If the number of the users or usages is significant, show it to be visible to bring more attention.

Utilize the authoritative figures, their presence in the service.

Let the visitors try or use the service for free without any limitation.

Reciprocity is powerful. Give something for free to make the receiver to react in some way to return the favor to get out of the sense of being indebted.

Unless it’s necessary, build the service without needing to create an account.

Ask only for the necessary information from the user.

Next Chapter 5: Keeping the users constantly satisfied >>


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