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#1NWebinar - Simplicity & Focus: Creating a Website that Offers Just Enough Choice


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Everyone likes choice, but presenting too many options can leave your clients feeling confused and overwhelmed. Worse yet, by providing your website visitors with too many options, they won’t know how to start, where to look or what to take away. Luckily, by developing a good strategy and content plan and using a little technology, you can offer your clients and prospects a user-friendly site, where they can easily find what they’re looking for – every time they visit.

Join One North Strategist, Josh Amer, as he shares tips and tricks to scale back on option overload and improve user experience. From site navigation and search to practice descriptions and publications, Josh provides examples of how law firms and other businesses are re-imagining how, how much and how often they deliver content on their websites.

To view a recording of the webinar, visit

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#1NWebinar - Simplicity & Focus: Creating a Website that Offers Just Enough Choice

  1. 1. 12 September 2013 Simplicity & Focus: Creating a Website that Offers Just Enough Choice Webinar
  2. 2. Agenda • Why choose choice? • Science! Oh no. • Decisions in the wild • Decisions on the web • Why this matters
  4. 4. Hot Topics! • Responsive design • The Readable Web • Single Page Design • Personalization • Flat Design • Social Media • SEO • Choice?
  5. 5. Choice: The foundation of the web
  6. 6. We’ve come a long way.
  7. 7. Why don’t you just tell me where you’d like to go?
  8. 8. Let’s meet in the middle.
  9. 9. The right options at the right time.
  10. 10. Don’t we like options?
  11. 11. SCIENCE
  12. 12. The Paradox of Choice • Choice is great… • Except when we have too many options, then… • We stress • We get confused • We overthink • We’re never happy with our final decision
  13. 13. The Grocery Store Experiment
  14. 14. The Grocery Store Experiment • Sample table at a grocery store offering exotic jams • Group A = 6 varieties • Group B = 24 varieties • More people were attracted to… • However… Group B 3% of participants made a purchase in group B 30% of participants made a purchase in group A
  15. 15. More bad news for options.
  16. 16. Hick’s Law
  17. 17. Hick’s Law…Less sciencey • The more options we have, the longer it takes to process all of the options • On the web, this means we slow people down when we give them too many options
  18. 18. In other words… decisions are hard…
  19. 19. but we do need choice.
  20. 20. Choice is Good for Many Reasons • Without choice we feel trapped. Choice gives us a sense of freedom. • Choice acts as signal. – Williams Sonoma - $279 Bread maker that wouldn’t sell… until they released a $429 model • Sometimes we just like options, but they have to presented properly.
  21. 21. Decisions in the wild DECISIONS IN THE WILD
  22. 22. Strategies for Presenting Options • We make 100s of decisions every day. • Many of us have decision fatigue. • Some smart companies have figured out ways to make our decisions a little easier and they’ve done pretty well. • Let’s look at some strategies…
  23. 23. Reduced Options
  24. 24. It’s time for a new phone.
  25. 25. Devices Running Android or iOS V
  26. 26. Satisfaction with Phone Purchase
  27. 27. Everyone’s favorite decision... What’s for dinner?
  28. 28. Raising Cane’s
  29. 29. Maybe We Don’t Like Options?
  30. 30. What if your business is built on options?
  31. 31. Concealed Options
  32. 32. Starbucks • 87,000+ espresso drink combinations – ~30 menu options • Fewer at the drive- through • Sometimes you can assume your customers will know you offer something
  33. 33. Progressive Decisions
  34. 34. Chipotle • 65,000+ combinations • Fewer small decisions • All options are presented, but presented in small chunks
  35. 35. Guidance
  36. 36. IKEA: 1000s of Products, One Way Out
  37. 37. Strategies for Making Decisions Easier • Reduction. Doing a few things really well. • Concealment. Options available, but not all are presented. • Progress. Breaking down decision into digestible pieces. • Guidance. Providing paths decision making.
  38. 38. Decisions on the web DECISIONS ON THE WEB
  39. 39. Types of Decisions on the Web • Which site should I visit? (Last webinar) • I’m here. Now where should I go? • How should I get there? • When I’m there, where should I focus? • When I’m done, where should I go next?
  40. 40. Which Site Should I Visit? • Before the site visit, a lot of decisions happens – Do I go with a firm I know, or search for someone new? – Do I search for the firm by name, lawyer name, something else? – Do I go directly to the site? – If I search, which result do I pick?
  41. 41. 53% of all clicks 15% 9% 6% 4%
  42. 42. I’m Here. Now What? • If your visitor lands on your homepage, or another landing page, they need to decide where to go.
  43. 43. Streamlined options
  44. 44. Personalized
  45. 45. What about legal?
  46. 46. A really bad, made up example
  47. 47. Caveats • I am not a designer. • None of these examples are taken directly from real law firms. • The solutions suggested work for my made up scenario, but there’s no one size fits all solution. If there was, I wouldn’t have a job.  • Even if your site does all of the things in my bad example, we can still be friends.
  48. 48. Navigation
  49. 49. Making It Better • Hick’s law. By providing too many options, the navigation slows the visitor down. • Reduce / Focus. Fewer options will actually make it easier to find the right option and make the visitor more confident in their decision. • Progressive decisions. Think like Chipotle. Combine navigation into a few smaller decisions – don’t list every possible combination.
  50. 50. Services
  51. 51. Making It Better • Paradox of choice. Most firms list all services because they don’t want someone to think they can’t handle something. But this can actually lead to confusion about what you can actually do. • Conceal. You don’t have to show everything at once, but show what you think might be important to me. • Conceal. If I already know something about the firm, which most visitors will, I probably already know you have the capability and can find it through search. • Progressive decisions. Think like Chipotle. Break this decision into smaller chunks.
  52. 52. How Should I Get There? • Sometimes having alternate navigation paths is okay, but sometimes this can feel like work for your visitors. • Occasionally, sites offer a handful of options for reaching the same goal – or a single tool that offers many different options.
  53. 53. Complex search forms
  54. 54. Search first, filter later
  55. 55. What about legal?
  56. 56. People Search
  57. 57. Everyone’s Doing It • The average AM Law 100 website has 9 ways to search for a person! • Some of these tools include more than 200 options in a single drop-down (particularly schools) • Some usability experts recommend not using a drop- down for lists that include any more than 15 options
  58. 58. More Bad News • We live in a multi-device world. Drop-down lists with large numbers of options are often difficult to use, and sometimes completely unusable, on mobile devices. • Including unnecessary options is directly counter to the mobile experience we generally want – fast load times and easy interactions.
  59. 59. Making It Better • Option overload. Too many options to easily decide which option is the correct option. • Hick’s law. Search feels clunky and unusable because it takes too long to use the filters. • Filtering the unseen. All of the drop-downs are really filters. Showing them before there’s anything to filter means we are almost always showing options that are completely irrelevant.
  60. 60. The Where to Look Decision • Once you find some content, you are often presented with too many distractions. Focus your user on the content you want them to see. Everything else will distract from your goals.
  61. 61. What about legal?
  62. 62. Publications
  63. 63. Making It Better • Conceal. In this scenario, visitors are distracted and often either ignore the content you want them to see, or completely skip over the related / ancillary content. – Conceal the related content until the main content has been digested.
  64. 64. Where Should I Go Next? • After a visitor reaches the end of a story, bio or other page, they are often left to their own devices to determine where to go next. • Some sites handle this better than others by providing clear guidance.
  65. 65. Remember IKEA?
  66. 66. What about legal?
  67. 67. Publications
  68. 68. Making It Better • Guidance. This design has a number of things that I could do next, but no clear guidance as to which is the next most logical step. Think like Ikea and adopt an “Exit through the gift shop” mentality for all of your content.
  69. 69. DOES IT MATTER?
  70. 70. Business Decisions
  71. 71. Business Decisions are Even Harder • No one ever got fired for going to lunch at Raising Cane’s • The greater the impact of the decision, the greater the need for research and evaluation • We pay more attention to the differences in details amongst our options • These decisions are just hard.
  72. 72. Where does your website fit into this?
  73. 73. Make Your Website the Easiest Part • One North’s 2012 General Counsel Survey reveals that many GCs review a firm’s website one or two times per month during the credentialing process (decision making) • The most important features of a website for respondents of the survey were clear and usable navigation (34%) and relevant and valuable content (31%) • Make your website the easiest part of the decision process • Set the standard for ease of working with your firm
  74. 74. Key Takeaways • Too many options slow down the decision process, which on the web means your site feels difficult to use. • To make your site feel faster and more user focused, provide the right options at the right time in the right place to the right person. • Remember: – Reduction. – Concealment. – Progress. – Guidance.
  75. 75. Where to Go Next • Read the Paradox of Choice • Review your website looking for option overload • Watch our last webinar: Transparency in SEO • Read the One North blog – Keeping Up with ‘The Times’ – Readability’s Future on the Web – Spring Cleaning: 6 Ways to Clean Up Your Site
  76. 76. Question & Answer