12/01/2012

RESEARCH

Interesting piece in Smashing Magazine about understanding the personae of your visitors and producing the right tone/content for different types of visitor.

"Product pages for e-commerce websites are often rife with ambitions: recreate the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, provide users with every last drop of product information, build a brand persona, establish a seamless check-out process.

As the “strong link in any conversion,” product pages have so much potential. We can create user-centric descriptions and layouts that are downright appropriate in their effectiveness: as Erin Kissane says, “offering [users] precisely what they need, exactly when they need it, and in just the right form.”

  • Approaching product page description and layout from a user-centric perspective demands that we have a rich understanding of the target user.
  • Without specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and trackable user goals driving the copy on the product page, the information will sag.
  • For a product description to speak directly to a specific user or group, the “you’s” should flow freely.
  • Information hierarchy solves the content-overload challenge that can overshadow the process of constructing a product page, and it is an opportunity to bolster user-centric copy and layout. As mentioned, the key is to gauge the user’s context.

"While a user-centric consideration of product pages is not the only way to go, it does provide a focused approach that has appeared to be effective for some pretty successful e-commerce players. Consistency in product pages is key, especially when building a brand’s presence; a reliable guide can ease the writing process. The user-centric method does require some primary research, but this lays a sturdy foundation by which to gauge every bit of content on the page according to how it benefits the user.

Your goal should not be to sell products, but to sell benefits."

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