Persuasion is everything in design

Persuasion has become a routine part of our daily lives – whether your friends or children are persuading you to do something, or a politician is persuading you to vote – persuasion is all around. Aside from family, friends and politicians, did you ever think that you’re being persuaded by brands, too?

Richard Perloff’s The Dynamics of Persuasion lists the following five ways to understanding persuasion, particularly how good web design is used to enhance a brand:

  • Persuasion is communication. At its core, persuasion needs a strong, clear message sent from one party to another.
  • Persuasion is an attempt to influence. Understanding your audience and what makes them tick makes your attempt more likely to succeed—though the outcome is never guaranteed.
  • Persuasion involves more than words. Aesthetics, interactions, ease of use, and other factors can make a website or application more persuasive to potential users.
  • Persuasion is not coercion. It is up to individuals to form or change their own attitudes. Utilizing dark patterns or purposely tricking a user into doing something they wouldn’t otherwise do is not persuasion. It’s being an asshole.
  • Persuasion can reinforce attitudes. Your audience has opinions that need to be strengthened from time to time. If you don’t preach to the choir, someone else will, and eventually your faithful followers will be led astray.

If you’re looking to enhance your brand and effectively persuade consumers through good web design, you need to account for the following elements:

  • Message: promotion of the site, what’s being said, marketing efforts, content, and copy
  • Design: attractive design, visual hierarchy, navigation, and layout
  • Delivery: ease of navigation, load time, user experience, rewards, and bells and whistles

With these points, are there any websites you think succeed in persuading consumers through design?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Diversity is the New Normal

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to volunteer with Headcount, a non-partisan organization that works with musicians to promote participation in democracy. The gig was that I was roam around the venue before the show, meeting and talking to people, registering them to vote and reminding them to vote in the coming election and in return I got to enjoy the show. Not a bad gig, if you ask me.


The team this weekend before the show

This was a Dave Matthews Band concert, so as you can imagine, the crowd primarily consisted of middle-aged men and college students. Although the crowd was pretty average, I started to think of other concerts I’ve attended and concerts Headcount registers voters at. Just two weeks ago I volunteered with Headcount at Jay-Z & Beyoncé’s On the Run tour in San Francisco, which attracted a much more diverse crowd than Dave Matthews did. While Headcount is constantly innovating to reach thousands of fans at concerts across many genres, it dawned on me that marketers could learn a thing or two from Headcount. Start marketing to wider audiences and minority groups and start NOW!

According to the US Census Bureau, the U.S. ethnic population is booming and is the biggest segment in Hispanics, surging 43% and rising to 50.5 million in 2010 from 35.3 million in 2000. Hispanics, among other minorities will lead the way in years to come and brands should not underestimate the power these groups hold.

One prime example to leave you to think about is the 2012 presidential election, in which the Hispanic electorate was critical to the President Obama’s reelection. The graph below raises the question, is multiethnic and multicultural the new normal?


A New Movement of Media

Emerging Media. What does it mean?

When I contemplate on the term, initially I am reminded of social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to name a few. For me, these are channels I use on a daily basis to stay connected with family and friends. On the other hand, brands are also using these channels to target, engage and build relationships with consumers and people like me. Although I only use a handful of channels in my daily life, brands are using much more. Do you recognize any of the media icons below that are being used by brands?


By definition, emerging media is something that is constantly changing. The American Journal of Business describes emerging media as it will a) alter the influence of distance, b) increase the volume and speed of communications, c) enable interactive communications and d) permit the merging of media forms. Gone are the days when companies are using traditional media to communicate their brand message. Instead, and as media continues to shift and new technologies evolve, brands must now communicate their message by building relationships and integrating across the different media channels.

Through the diversity of emerging media channels, brands and consumers alike are influencing our world and the products and services we use. While brands speak to their message, consumers are listening, however they’re just as involved in the process as they share their experiences, too. Brian Solis notes that businesses are no longer the sole creator of a brand; it is co-created by consumers through shared experience and defined by the results of online searches and conversations. More than ever, consumers have the opportunity to share their feelings with brands. They have a voice and are influencing the way brands interact with consumers, as well as how brands communicate their brand message.

As I continue blogging in the coming weeks, I’m eager to continue my exploration in emerging media and how it’s influencing the world around us.