When you see a popular site, do you ever wonder how they get so many people to sign up for their products and services? It all has to do with providing an experience to the user that makes them feel comfortable turning over personal information like their e-mail address to the site. It also has to do with providing an environment that makes it easy for them to find what they are looking for without a lot of hassle or searching around.
In his video Designing The Moment, Robert Hoekman examines how it is vital that a user to a Web site is able to understand the purpose of the site, what they can gain from it, and if they can trust it enough to give out personal information. The author goes over the material in seven sections and the total runtime is 55:23 minutes.
Section 1, "Introduction" begins with the discussion on how is it that certain Web sites are able to get people to sign up for their services on line when there are so many competing sites available. In this short section the author sets up the tone for what will be the rest of the video.
Section 2, "Crafting the Elevator Pitch" examines how when a new user comes to a Web site for the first time they need to get oriented to a number of things like what is this site, what is it about, what can it do for them. What you will learn here is how to create a really clear "elevator pitch" for why they should join up here during what is essentially a really short elevator ride.
Section 3, "The Investment Breakdown" now takes you from showing what the application is, to about to how much investment the user is going to need to have give, to reap benefits from the site. This is all about keeping the user interested.
Section 4, "Calling Users to Action" looks at how you can ask your customers to leave their wallet at the door. In your Web application, this most often occurs as a "Register Now" or "Login" button that encourages your user to sign up for your service. Here the author examines some things to do and some not to do to have the maximum effect of getting users to buy-in.
Section 5, "Filling the Blank Slate" shows you how you can provide a user (who is willing to sign up) with a five-star hotel experience as opposed giving them the feeling of walking off a cliff. At this point you still don't have their information, and so you want to make the act of signing up a fulfilling experience. To do this you need to take your blank slate and turn it into a self-guided tour.
Section 6, "Registering Users" takes you through the pitfalls of registering new users. Because many things can go wrong, you don't want to frustrate your user and make them leave before you close the deal. One of the big keys is to not get in their way. First, you have to present the perfect registration form. You need a form that provides all the necessary direction to gain the information, without scaring the user away. The second part is how to handle registration errors. Again, the purpose here is to provide help to your user with out getting in their way.
Section 7, "Conclusion" summarizes the movement from first impression to conversion of registered user. It follows up by showing how the user goes through our applications one moment at a time. They can, in any of those moments, choose to convert to being a user or leave. It is the experience that you provide that can help make that determination.
Designing The Moment is a short but very focused video. The only goal is to show you the fundamental techniques for getting a user who comes to your site how to find enough value to sign up for your product or service.
The way that this is done is by providing the user an experience that encourages them to sign up and makes them glad that they did. Most of the video is done with the author in a one-on-one mode where he is talking directly to you. He also shows you best practices that exist on the Web as well as examining what not to do to avoid confusing the user. He also provides a lot of little insights on best practices. I very highly recommend this video.