SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF: HOW SEMANTIC NUDGES CAN HUMANIZE YOUR WEBSITE 
JONATHAN RICK 
THE JONATHAN RICK GROUP
Error 404s Turn an Error Into an Opportunity
Secretly
E-newsletter Sign-ups Lob Them a Rhetorical Softball
The New Republic
The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation
Mic.com
Upworthy
Unsubscribe Requests Exercise Passive Aggression
Cat Facts
Tip Jars Flatter, Don’t Beg
Wonkette
Pedometer++
Donation Forms Trigger an Emotion
Optimizely
Comments Reframe Fear As Fame
Sears
Facebook
Related Content Make the Rabbit Hole Manageable
Upworthy
Click Here to Continue Reading Whet Their Appetite
The Jonathan Rick Group
Social Sharing (1) Make the Next Step Frictionless
SlideShare
Social Sharing (2) Play on Their Insecurities
Eventbrite
Social Sharing (3) When All Else Fails, Shame Them
Shareaholic
@jrick
Sweat the Small Stuff: How Semantic Nudges Can Humanize Your Website
Sweat the Small Stuff: How Semantic Nudges Can Humanize Your Website
Sweat the Small Stuff: How Semantic Nudges Can Humanize Your Website
Sweat the Small Stuff: How Semantic Nudges Can Humanize Your Website
Sweat the Small Stuff: How Semantic Nudges Can Humanize Your Website
Sweat the Small Stuff: How Semantic Nudges Can Humanize Your Website
Sweat the Small Stuff: How Semantic Nudges Can Humanize Your Website
Sweat the Small Stuff: How Semantic Nudges Can Humanize Your Website
Sweat the Small Stuff: How Semantic Nudges Can Humanize Your Website
Sweat the Small Stuff: How Semantic Nudges Can Humanize Your Website
Sweat the Small Stuff: How Semantic Nudges Can Humanize Your Website
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Sweat the Small Stuff: How Semantic Nudges Can Humanize Your Website

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This is what happens when you let an engineer write your website copy:

“Sorry, this page isn't available. The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed.”

Gee, thanks, Facebook. Couldn’t you at least have displayed a list of similar pages? Maybe linked to some frequently asked questions? At the least, you could have expressed a witty apology or summoned a brand-appropriate quote. And, if all else fails, bring forth a kitten pic!

Sadly, Google is no better than its neighbor to the north. Here’s what the minds of Mountain View deign to tell the poor soul who gets lost on google.com:

“404. That’s an error. The requested URL was not found on this server. That’s all we know.”

Really—that’s all? That’s the best message a company known for its NSA-like amount of data, along with its whimsical and beloved doodles, can conjure up?

Surely, you jest.

Hundreds of millions of people use Facebook and Google every day. If even a quarter of one percent of them slip into this no-man’s-land, that’s an awful lot of frustrated folk.

These junctures are reason #639 why every website needs a wordsmith: to convert errors and necessary evils and other common, often-overlooked functions into opportunities. To turn frowns upside down.

Check out this presentation for more examples, including tip jars, donation forms, and e-newsletter sign-ups and unsubscribe requests.

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Transcript of "Sweat the Small Stuff: How Semantic Nudges Can Humanize Your Website"

  1. 1. SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF: HOW SEMANTIC NUDGES CAN HUMANIZE YOUR WEBSITE JONATHAN RICK THE JONATHAN RICK GROUP
  2. 2. Error 404s Turn an Error Into an Opportunity
  3. 3. Secretly
  4. 4. E-newsletter Sign-ups Lob Them a Rhetorical Softball
  5. 5. The New Republic
  6. 6. The Heritage Foundation
  7. 7. The Heritage Foundation
  8. 8. Mic.com
  9. 9. Upworthy
  10. 10. Unsubscribe Requests Exercise Passive Aggression
  11. 11. Cat Facts
  12. 12. Tip Jars Flatter, Don’t Beg
  13. 13. Wonkette
  14. 14. Pedometer++
  15. 15. Donation Forms Trigger an Emotion
  16. 16. Optimizely
  17. 17. Comments Reframe Fear As Fame
  18. 18. Sears
  19. 19. Facebook
  20. 20. Related Content Make the Rabbit Hole Manageable
  21. 21. Upworthy
  22. 22. Click Here to Continue Reading Whet Their Appetite
  23. 23. The Jonathan Rick Group
  24. 24. Social Sharing (1) Make the Next Step Frictionless
  25. 25. SlideShare
  26. 26. Social Sharing (2) Play on Their Insecurities
  27. 27. Eventbrite
  28. 28. Social Sharing (3) When All Else Fails, Shame Them
  29. 29. Shareaholic
  30. 30. @jrick
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