Hey Web Site Visitor, I Love to Turn You On

A commercial in the USA may be aimed at the woman inside the woman. A woman with magic, spark and a no regrets sense of who she is and where she’s going. For starters, in the TV spot, she’s in the driver’s seat.

I can’t remember the make or model of the automobile. I don’t care who the woman is behind the wheel. What I remember and giggle to myself about is that she asks if your car turns you on.

Well, hell yes.

Thanks for noticing!

I have a friend whose car was in my driveway recently. He left at night and my kids and I cooed at how the interior dashboard lit up in blue light. I wanted to make out by that dashboard light. So there.

Marketing to women is usually off the mark. For sassy women like me, however, when you get past how I’m supposed to be according to what tradition and society says I should be, you’ve probably just sold me your product.

Why are men the only creatures who need to be turned on? Who made that rule?

Light and Sound

There’s another user experience rule I’ve discovered I love to debunk. It has to do with sound.

Still experimenting with my new MySpace account, (where I have one friend, who at this point likely thinks I’m completely nuts), I uploaded another new Moby song. I changed my profile picture to remove the bare breasted woman who wasn’t me, because…well. Just because.

(For a moment I thought of putting a photo of chicken breasts there. I still may do that.)

Anyway. I’ve been writing in the blog there. To nobody really, although one man whom I don’t know thinks I’m really far out and “interesting”. I love how I can use images and sound to express myself in MySpace.
blue energy
I can’t do that here. Usability Law states, “No piped in music.” Guess what? There is, indeed, a place for it. It doesn’t belong on a corporate web site but it can certainly be used in situations with friends where you’re networking and hanging out.

When I want to express light and sound here, I need to find words to turn you on with.

Incentive and Play

When you design your web site, have you put in light and sound? Have you created a mood? Is there something you can say that communicates in an instant why your service is the best? Did you remember to create a need?

Can you change? Yes. When Emoms At Home changed its brand to Sparkplugging, I’m sure there was great agony in choosing the right time, right design and right words to reflect the reasons for the change and not lose anyone in the process.

The new name turns me on. It’s vibrant. It describes exactly what goes into my bloodstream when I’m working on the web or helping clients with their web sites. The new design is surprisingly easy to navigate and more importantly, understand. I LOVE the extra content between the global navigation link labels that describe what’s inside each hub, without the need to click or negotiate a clumsy drop down menu.

Kudos to these folks for providing incentive for me to return, bookmark and write about you. All you did was turn me on by making me feel good and welcome once I arrived.

We need to feel wanted. We need to feel welcomed. We need to feel we’re getting the best bargain. We need to know companies care about our web site experience. We need to be turned on, inspired, catered to, informed, responded to in a timely manner, guided and nurtured.

Is thinking outside the box risky? Yes. Do you like to be entertained while shopping? Well, let’s see. I showed Hema to my daughter and her boyfriend. A minute into watching the homepage explode into something I’ve never seen done before, she asks, “What’s the point?”

Would you sit through while the center content FLASH loads and then watch how the products bang into each other and perform clever tricks? If after I was entertained, I was offered great prices, fast delivery and excellent customer service, I might. I think most people will be annoyed.

Social Disconnect. Yes, I Keep Harping on This.

Many of us seek one another because our butts are glued to our computers.

I’m bored with Twitter. Reading disjointed conversations by other people who don’t know or don’t care that I’m there isn’t doing it for me. I don’t like that feeling of being on the sidelines. Web sites often leave out visitors too. One of the very first words I look for on an e-commerce page is “Customer service”. You may be surprised to know it’s hardly ever there or buried far, far down in the footer as an afterthought.

Customers are not afterthoughts. They don’t want to be treated like one. The HEMA site, while breaking rules for sound and visual, makes me feel like they love what they do, are having fun doing it and want to include me (someone they may never meet) in their fun.

I liked that feeling.

So. I wonder. How come I feel so lonely, that after being in Twitter and Facebook and even owning Cre8asiteforums, that I’ve resorted to writing to nobody in MySpace?

Is it because I want to be un-edited, raw, bold, without barriers and don’t want anyone judging me?

Is it because car’s turn me on?

Or is it that the Internet was an experiment in intimacy with people that failed?

Could it be, that in the end, we need to hold hands and make eye contact with one another?

12 thoughts on “Hey Web Site Visitor, I Love to Turn You On”

  1. It’s a gigantic site and you face many issues because of that. However, I feel COMPELLED to keep clicking around. People forget that part. It’s not just the words or link labels. It’s creating confidence in where the page wants to take me. It’s inspiring me to want to stay there. Your site does that.

    Sure, it can be a wild ride on inside pages. However, I still feel wanted on the site. The writing is lively. The UI is exciting. Visitors are tolerant when needs are met.

    These are the things I like to see. Web pages are still evolving from print brochure-like birth stages. The medium is alive and so the design can emit energy, life and vibes as well. In ways print can’t.

    You did an amazing job with your new roll out. :)

  2. Great message, Kim. To express the same thought in more ‘staid’ terms, it’s the old customer service approach again. “Thanks for coming. We’re here to serve you. How may we help you?”

  3. sigh

    Some days it’s like talking to a wall. Am testing a site right now that offers business services. It has offices scattered all over the place and a big staff.

    No phone number on the homepage, or invitation to call.

    No call to action prompt to make contact by form or email.

    How can companies forget these things?

  4. I just fired a client who wanted only to show where he was and how to pay him. OK, there was to be a paragraph describing his business, but it really wasn’t enough. It wasn’t about the user.

    I made my decision based on if I thought the site he wanted could succeed… but after reading your post I’d like to re-define. To me, success includes a readiness to rock, and you just don’t get that with a brochure. If the user feels comforted, romanced, intrigued, ready to dance, they have also probably found their keyphrase heartland and a clickpath to whatever feels like lights and sound for their needs.

    If web content is a car, usability is “baby you can drive my car,” and engagement is a lights-and-sound feeling.

    Vroom. :-)

  5. The comment box is now fixed and can be viewed in tiny windows and with sidebars on.

    Thanks to Cre8asiteforum moderators for their guidance and trouble shooting.

  6. Hey Kim

    That’s why I like Facebook – it’s where my personal and business personas kinda merge. People get the bigger picture if they can see your entire personality rather than the different masks.

  7. @Kal, I like Facebook too, esp. when compared to MySpace. I do like piping in music on my MySpace acct though. I can change with my mood, or whatever.

    I was experimenting with it because I wanted a place where I didn’t have to be professional and always editing myself. But, I’m writing to myself there. Would never let anyone SEE the stuff, LOL. Would scare everyone away for sure! heh

    Twitter…to each their own. It has good uses but I focus on my work so much that I can’t handle the distraction.

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