What Training Your Web Designer Needs to Improve Conversion Rate – Sandra Niehaus
In this video interview, conversion and design expert Sandra Niehaus explains what kind of training will help a web designer develop the skills to increase the conversion rate on your website.
Most web designers are highly trained in design, says Niehaus, not in Internet marketing. This is true partly because of the newness of the field. Only in the last few years have there been books such as Lance Loveday and Sandra Niehaus, Web Design for ROI (New Riders, 2007) and Steve Krug, Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Que, 2000).
First, Niehaus recommends very solid training in design itself. But designers need to be prepared to unlearn a few things. For example, creative expression is not a big part of increasing conversions. Sometimes a decorative element will detract from the main purpose of the webpage and lower conversions.
She recommends that designers research four areas: (1) usability, (2) cognitive psychology, (3) information or data display, and (4) persuasion.
Usability helps you know how to make things easier for the user. Cognitive psychology heps you get into the mind of the visitor and see things from his or her perspective. For usability, Niehaus suggests beginning at usability.gov.
In the area of information display, she recommends the books of Edward Tufte. For conferences, she recommends the new Conversion Conference which is held on the west and east coasts and in Europe. Dr. Wilson suggested the web design conferences offered by Internet Retailer. The Nielsen Norman Group offers Usability conferences.
Sandra Niehaus is the Vice President of User Experience and Creative Director at Closed Loop Marketing, a firm that focuses on optimizing sites and improving conversion rates through A/B testing, multivariate testing, end-to-end optimization, and coaching and consulting on testing, as well as search engine marketing. This interview was recorded at Conversion Conference West Coast in San Jose, California, May 2010.