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The Psychology of Actions: Your Secret Weapon for Conversion Rate Optimisation

Vlad Niculescu
Vlad Niculescu

CEO @ Flowpoint

02 June 2023

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The Psychology of Actions: Your Secret Weapon for Conversion Rate Optimisation

In today's digital era, where businesses thrive or perish by their online presence, understanding how to make your website as user-friendly as possible is paramount. One of the pivotal guides in designing user-friendly systems is Donald Norman's book, "The Design of Everyday Things." Here, we delve into one of the essential chapters, "The Psychology of Everyday Actions," which offers profound insights into how users interact with designs.

Breaking Down Actions into Goals and Intentions When a user interacts with your website, they usually have a goal in mind. This goal transforms into an intention and finally into an action. For example, a user may intend to find information about your products (goal), which manifests as navigating to the products page (action).

Bridging the Gulfs of Execution and Evaluation Two crucial gulfs often challenge users - the Gulf of Execution and the Gulf of Evaluation. The former is the difference between a user's goal and how to execute it, while the latter is the gap between the system's output and the user's understanding of it. A website that narrows these gulfs offers a smoother user experience.

Seven Stages of Action Norman outlines seven stages users go through to achieve their tasks - from forming a goal to evaluating the outcome. Understanding these stages helps in creating an intuitive website that aligns with the user's thought process.

Visibility, Mapping, and Feedback Good design principles include making essential features visible and creating a natural mapping between actions and results. Coupled with continuous feedback, this helps users understand the effects of their actions on your website, enhancing their experience.

Affordances, Signifiers, and Constraints Norman introduces the concepts of affordances (what an object can do), signifiers (how to do it), and constraints (limiting actions to guide users). A button on your website (affordance) should clearly indicate it's clickable (signifier) and lead to the correct page when clicked (constraint).

Conceptual Models and Error Management Users create mental models of how systems work based on their interactions. Good design aligns with these models and anticipates common mistakes, offering easy recovery options, ensuring users don't feel lost or frustrated.

User-Centered Design Ultimately, successful design involves understanding your user's needs and abilities and ensuring the design communicates effectively with the user.

Now, you might be wondering, "How do I apply all these principles to my website?" Or, "How do I even know if my current website is user-friendly?" This is where Flowpoint comes in.

Flowpoint: Your Companion in Improving User Experience Flowpoint is an innovative tool designed to help you test the usability and user experience (UX) of your website. Even if you're not a tech guru, Flowpoint is built for ease of use. You can quickly determine how user-friendly your website is and what improvements can be made.

One of the standout features of Flowpoint is its AI-generated audit. This function provides a thorough analysis of your website, identifying potential areas of improvement.

By integrating the principles of "The Psychology of Everyday Actions" with Flowpoint, you can take actionable steps to boost your website's user experience, thereby increasing customer satisfaction, engagement, and conversion rates.

Remember, a user-friendly website isn't a luxury; it's a necessity in our digital age. By enhancing your understanding of everyday actions and using tools like Flowpoint, you'll be well on your way to crafting a website that not only attracts users but keeps them coming back for more.


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