3 SECRETS FOR FLUIDITY in your website!
Nowadays, we very often surf in a digital space that is full of confusing, excessive and redundant offers and calls-to-action. In this complex and homogenous space, there is only one way you can nail your web marketing: offering to the users a fluid and engaging navigation experience.
Fluidity is the new black for websites!
There is a physiological and spontaneous tendency for all individuals to choose and act something preferring elements or situations that are familiar and easy to understand. This is a subconscious process called “cognitive fluency” and it is related to our subjective experience of doing mental work and it depends from the perceived level of difficulty of successfully accomplish that mental task. To be direct and short: for each of us, it is easier to perform a cognitive task as more are the chances of completing it.
The first to talk about “cognitive fluidity” was Daniel Kahneman, an Israeli psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, who defined it like the psychological process that generates in people a feeling of familiarity and positivity and it plays an important role in everyday decisions, from the products we buy to judgments about the people we meet.
This is the reason one it could be extremely valuable to apply this concept to your web marketing, as cognitive fluidity could be a powerful lever of influence and persuasion to push and facilitate the user to act.
It is a fact that when we look for something online, we instantly prefer those sites that quickly and clearly inform us about what we are looking for, using simple words to explain difficult concepts and allowing us to easily perform even the most complex operations. It is not a surprise that the websites that convert the most are those that offer a fluid and engaging navigation experience.This happens because our brain perceives as more reliable and truthful a simple and well-designed content than a confused and complex one, with less and straightforward words. On the other hand, complexity and confusion create a sense of inadequacy and rejection, inhibiting action and delaying the decision-making process of the user. The reason behind it is that we tend to relocate the difficulty of reading on the task itself: it is not so much about the objective difficulty as the subjective perception on a mental level.
Make it smooth!
From a user point of view, “fluid” means smart, simple and intuitive. On the contrary, on strategy, design and development points of view, fluidity in website is very hard and complex to get. In fact, as everything in life, simplicity is surely not an easy thing to get: it requires considerable brainstorming, strategic thinking, research and design skills.
There is one general principle: to create a fluid web page, we need to optimise it at its best, getting rid of anything that you can do without, both in terms of content and design, fully blending practical navigation and great aesthetic. In this way, the users will experience a cognitive fluency state and they will be more inclined to judge positively what they are looking at. In fact, the cognitive fluidity serves as a real stress killer: it will avoid that state of tension and complexity, that will make users suspicious and eventually abandoning the page. The focus should be on the content in all its forms. The content is an integral part of user experience, not only merely looking at the content as an “art of selecting the right words” but also looking at how information is presented. Before digging into the reading, we will surely perceive the “form” of the text.
As professionals in dealing with web marketing issues, we know how to calibrate strategic decisions on both selection and use of words, and their aspect on a design level. Colour, typography, element incorporation – these are all strategic decision that solidly change the way users are engaged by a website. With a well-design website, you will transmit credibility, harmony and confidence, and these are the emotions that will trigger the action of the users, as what is linear, reasonable and easy to understand, generates attraction and promotes action.
Let’s think about an e-commerce or a “donate” button on an association webpage. It is more likely that the user will complete the purchase or donation if the process is clear and straightforward.
Plus, a content marketing strategy that considers cognitive fluency in web design, will have pleasant effects also on your SEO. Tendentially, whatever the user likes, Google likes.
Communicating effectively and fluidly decreases the abandon rate, increases the time spent on the site, and generate multiple inbound links in the long-term, as the website is perceived as relevant, authoritative and reliable.
Shhh, it’s a secret!
As always, the goal is not just “to talk”, sending a message, but “to offer information”, making the user experience as smooth and straightforward as possible. The users who visit your website must visually and immediately catch up the information they are interesting it, as soon as possible.
There are three main elements to increase the degree of fluidity of a website: clarity, perception, familiarity. Maximum clarity, right aesthetics, and familiarity of process will influence the users’ judgement on verity of content, authority and security.
But what does it trigger these elements? Where do you have to point your attention to? Let’s see if I can share with you some professional secrets that encourage people to read and smoothly accompanies them to the call for action!
TRIGGER PERCEPTIONS. Once you have your clear and clean content, you should look at your message and make it perceptible. Your message must be perceived immediately, with a clear structure in the information hierarchy and call-to-action. Contrast between figures, text and background, font type, font size, typography hierarchy, title, captions, highlight links, buttons, colours selection, these are only few aspects to measure and adjust, that help you to make a message more easily perceptible.
BE CLEAR. Firstly, you must be clear! Your message must be tailored in a way that is easy to read and understand. In fact, clarity is all about simple words and linear grammar. Avoid complex sentences and unknown words, be clear! Producing unnecessarily complicated messages will end up damaging not only the usability of that message, but the message itself, and eventually the brand.
BE FAMILIAR. Least but not last, your message and look should be familiar. Undoubtedly, this is the hardest step, as familiarity includes all elements such as colours, images, processes that we are familiar and comfortable. Familiarity is a one of the strongest motivational factor in online users’ behaviour. Open your eyes, because this is the most valuable information I am sharing with you today: familiarity is the attraction element in your website, as it requires less mental work, less time, less efforts for the user to process information. Remember, we always prefer websites in which we can navigate easily, and we instinctively find the things we are looking for (logo, menu, log in, call-to-action, contacts and so on).
So, more users, more buzz around your website and a better SEO – would you like to give it a try?
by Chiara Lamacchia