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January 15, 2017

Make it Easy for your Customers to Take Action

This seems like a super simple concept—make it easy for your customers to give you money. It’s surprisingly hard to pull off. 

There are lots of things we talk about in user experience (UX) design. Making interactions delightful with micro animations and well-timed text. Figuring out the magic of how you present elements so that it’s easy to get started, but the more advanced features are discoverable when you are ready. Graceful failovers, error messages, and edge-case paths. 

That stuff is the nuanced finesse that makes user interfaces go from good to great. 

Before you are ready for good to great, you need to get from crappy to good. The best place to start is to follow the money. How do you make money? How do you make it easier to get money? Get the money, then make a better UI. Let’s look at a really basic, and really easy fail:

Apparently My Credit Card is Going to Expire

I got this message on my phone early one morning. Subject line says a credit card is expiring. Ok, cool, need to go fix that.

Too bad I can’t actually read the email on my phone…

Alright, whatever, I’ll check it on my laptop

Ok, cool. I’ll just open it on my laptop. Now it’s legible. 

But, wait, what? Where is the link? Where is the big damn button that says ‘update card’? 

Did you…did you just give me directions to follow to update my card? 

Let me get this straight: According to your email the very most important thing (largest in hierarchy) is your footer that proclaims a ©2013 date?

Let’s fix this. If the point of your email is to get a customer to take action—especially tied to money and especially for a current customer (keep that cost-per-acquisition low)—make it easy for them.

User Experience Audit

If you haven’t done a user flow audit recently, take this opportunity to do so. Let’s boil this down to something you can do in an hour. 

  1. Where does your money from new customers come from? It’s probably multiple places, so for now, choose the very top one. Probably your pricing page through sign up. 
  2. Walk through the entire thing, make a note of anything that was weird or off or anywhere you got confused. 
  3. Be sure to check any emails it sent you and also double check the post-signup page confirmation.

What happened?

Did it work right? Cool, you are ready for a more advanced testing or call it good for the day. 

Were there problems? If there was more than a single, easily reported and fixed problem, it’s time to do more testing and reporting. There are two ways I like to do this:

  • Get your team on a video call and walk through it together and talk through it, noting action items. I like Zoom for this. 
  • Start up a screen capture and talk through it as you go. I usually use Quicktime for this. I have a client that likes Screenflow and another that likes Camtasia. If I am only capturing a few seconds I like Giphy Capture.

Interested in learning more about user testing?

User testing feels like this big inaccessible process. Like you hire a firm and they go off and find a bunch of people and lock them in a room with a two way mirror and focus group the hell out of things. 

It doesn’t have to be like that. There are lots of easy ways to get user feedback and improve your product or service without a big time or money commitment.

Want some help? Talk to us ›

About the author

Amber Sawaya

Amber Sawaya is a creative director, best-selling author and business owner. She designs and oversees UI, UX, app, and website projects.