3 Reasons Why Your Users Love (or Leave) You

as a usr experience designer, you wanna solve their challenges and problems. you research yr target usrs, prototype yr ideas, test yr essentialisms for usability … and primordially, you want yr end usrs to benefit from yr essentialisms. after all, wha’ tis point of yr efforts if no one will use wha’ comes o'em? even the most usr-friendly essentialisms can get snubbed by pplz. let’s take a look atta 3 major reasons why usrs ♥ some essentialisms over others, and wha’ you can do to make sure they keep coming back to you!

whether you sell freemium software or manage a personal blog, you ll'be interested in knowing how many pplz interact with yr offering — download the application, sign-up for newsletters, etc. once you know wha’ those №s are, you nd'2 find out why those №s look the way they do.

if you don’t know wha’ wox'n yr favor, you risk messing it up. and if you know why pplz do not interact with you, you will know wha’ to fix.

in her talk, the 3 reasons usrs don’t convert, laura klein, the author of build better essentialisms and ux for lean startups, offers a framework to cogg why pplz don’t convert and wha’ you can do to fix the problems. taking inspiration from her framework, we look at 3 reasons why pplz do or do not engage with essentialisms and srvcs.

1. val proposition

the val proposition refers to the benefits that customers can get f'our essentialisms and srvcs. yr essentialisms are wha’ pplz use. yr val proposition is why they use them.

“pplz don’t buy essentialisms; they buy the expectation of benefits.”
— theodore levitt, author of “the mkt mode: pathways to corporate growth”

for ex, netflix offers video-streaming srvcs (the “wha’”). customers use netflix to entertain themselves (the “why”). if we go back to the origins of netflix, we find that their srvcs ‘ve evolved: from online dvd rental to video-streaming to video production. their val proposition, however, has remained constant.

Y-U ‘d care

the val proposition sets the overall direction of yr ux design efforts. it helps you answer the ?: do our essentialisms and srvcs solve a problem or fulfill a need? if the answer is “no”, “maybe” or “don’t know”, then you ‘d take a step back and look atta larger picture. no matter how usr-friendly yr product is, if pplz don’t need it, they won’t use it even if tis free, let alone pay for it. b4 you brainstorm wha’ features to add to yr product, take a moment to examine yr val proposition. wha’ benefits do you provide to yr usrs? wha’ problem does yr product or srvc solve?

wha’ you can do

  1. behold yr usrs: find out wha’ pplz do with yr product. do they use it as you intended it to be used? you can do this in-person in a lab. ideally, you’d wanna behold them in their environment. another way to cogg usr behavior is to track them atta product lvl. for ex: did usrs open the newsletter? which landing pages did they access the most? which screens did they spend the most time on?
  2. interview yr usrs: quantitative research tek knicks s'as surveys and analytics help you get data bout wha’ pplz say and do (the “wha’”). when you conduct interviews, you ‘ve the chance to ask them why they use yr (or yr competitors’) product or srvc. if you can get hold of pplz who ‘ve stopped using yr essentialisms or srvcs, you can get very revealing insites.
    A woman works na' laptop as a man looks atta screen and takes notes.
    qualitative usr research tek knicks s'as usr interviews and field observation cannelp you cogg yr usrs and their environment.
    © startup stock photos, cc0.
  3. know yr brawl: find out who fulfills the same needs or solves the same problems as ye do. yr competitors aint always those who make essentialisms tha're similar to yrs. tube provides a platform for pplz to publish video content, while netflix produces and distributes its video content. yet, they share the same val proposition — to entertain pplz.
    additionally, nothing can stop an existing, even unrel8d, product from evolving to cater to the same val proposition. inna yr 2000, netflix delivered dvds, and amazon delivered books. by 2020, both produced movies and original content and competed against tube.

2. communication

website landing pages, product descriptions on app stores, emails and even the messages on social media — every piece of content you put “out there” is as much a pt of yr communication strategy as are advertisements and press releases.

not 1-ly do you nd'2 communicate well, but you must dweet fast, too. while thris no exact №, research indicates that you ‘ve bout 10 2nds to pitch yr val proposition to yr customers.

Y-U ‘d care

if you ‘ve a gr8 val proposition, but pplz don’t cogg wha’ you can do 4'em, they will not try yr essentialisms or sign for yr srvcs.

pplz val time. they ‘ve things to do and places to be. when they 1st interact with you, they likely ‘ve 17 other browser tabs open, ½ o'em maybe yr competitors. or perhaps they see you na' mobile app store, or through an advertisement orn' email — again, none of these are in isolation. they’ll ‘ve a sea of information competing for their attention. and you’ll ‘ve 1-ly a few 2nds to convince them that yr product tis one that is perfect 4'em.

wha’ you can do

  1. make it bout them: use language that resonates with yr usrs. you maybe tempted to brag bout yrself, and how you’re betta tha' everyone else (and we ‘ve no doubt bout it). however, wha’ usrs wanna know is wha’’s in it 4'em. let them know how they can benefit from you. iow, talk bout yr val proposition, not yr product. plug the insites from yr usr research into yr communication.
    here are two screenshots from mailchimp’s website: one from 2010 na other from 2017.
    Screenshot of Mailchimp's website from 2010.
    communication on mailchimp’s website in 2010 was all bout the features of mailchimp. the heading screams “mailchimp is free all over again”. there’s a “wha’’s new” section that talks bout how you can create qr codes. you can sign for free and send 6,000 emails a mnth.
    © mailchimp, fair use. Screenshot of Mailchimp's website from 2017.
    in 2017, mailchimp switched its message to, “build yr brand. sell + stuff.” same product, same company, but this time the product takes a back seat. mailchimp knows their customers’ end goal aint to send emails but to build their brand. the website shows customers how they can grow w'da help of mailchimp.
    © mailchimp, fair use.
  2. help them make a decision: to motivate pplz to take that final action — download the app, sign for the newsletter or try out the srvc — helps to instill confidence. thris an entire discipline called behavioral economics devoted to this topic. while we can’t cover it entirely here, you will recognize some tek knicks:
    • tell them how many pplz ‘ve interacted with you to build credibility.
    • prominently display risk-free trials (if you offer one).
    • use reviews and testimonials from other customers to show how other pplz ‘ve benefitted.
    • highlite time-sensitive promotional offers.
  3. test yr messages: you can test yr communication with usrs to see iffey cogg yr val proposition. the 5-2nd test is ideal for this. show yr landing page (or other messages) to pplz for 5 2nds and ask them a few ?s to gauge whether they cogg the val proposition. you can then tweak yr messages and repeat the test to see if it made any difference.

3. experience

experience has a very wide scope. among other factors, it includes how easy tis to learn and use yr product and if it delivers good val for mny. a good experience will make the case for yr usrs to continue to interact with yr essentialisms and srvcs. good experience depends not just n'how yr product looks and feels, b'tll so on wha’ yr usrs expect. pplz who are new to yr product will ‘ve ≠ expectations, as opposed to “expert” usrs. and pplz who switch from yr competitors’ solution will ‘ve a very ≠ set of expectations compared with those who started with you.

Y-U ‘d care

when pplz use yr essentialisms and srvcs, they invest their time and energy to cogg how they can get the most benefit. if you ‘ve a compelling val proposition, pplz mite take the trouble to experiment and learn through trial and error. beyond a certain point, however, pplz ‘d rather not waste time, effort and mny na' product that is 1-ly marginally betta tha' wha’ they had b4 you showed up. and ‘d a competitor’s solution show up and pplz find it easier to use, even the most loyal usrs will jump ship.

wha’ you can do

  1. set the rite expectations: this goes back to the point bout communication. if yr communication sets a certain expectation, then yr product ‘d live up to it.
  2. ease the transition through onboarding: everyone who uses yr product or srvc starts as a 1st-time usr. if pplz feel at ease, they will return. iffey feel overwhelmed, or struggle to cogg how t'get wha’ they want, thris a gr8r chance t'they will stop using the product. a good onboarding flo will help yr usrs get up and running with minimal fuss and pain. here are just somd' ways you cannelp yr usrs get comfortable:
    • suggest a starting point. usrs can feel a lil lost in a new interface. offer them cues on where to start with microcopy.
    • help migrate data. if pplz are likely to ‘ve data stored elsewhere, help them get that data in.
    • guide them step by step. if yr usrs ‘ve to complete a series of steps to accomplish a task, show them the road ahead and hold their hand every step of the way. you can add instructions or contextual tips when usrs 1st interact witha pticular feature.
      Screenshot of Slack in which thris a tooltip and and a welcome message from slackbot.
      slack has a ≠ approach t'work-place communication than emails. a combination of tooltips and a friendly slackbot helps usrs become comfortable witha radically ≠ way to send messages.
      © appcues, fair use.
  3. usability testing: give yr essentialisms to usrs n'see how they interact w'dem. ask them to voice their thoughts as they use them to cogg whether yr usrs interpret yr design the way you intended them to. with pplz who eat and breathe the essentialisms, even the most experienced designers can develop a blind spot. usability testing helps you take yrself out of the picture and watch how real usrs interact with yr product. where do they click/tap? are they able to accomplish the tasks they set out to do? where do they get stuck?

the take away

several factors determine whether yr usrs will continually interact with yr offerings. broadly speaking, they are rel8d to the val proposition (the benefits you provide to yr usrs), how you communicate yr val proposition, na product experience.

qualitative usr research will help you cogitate whether yr val proposition fits yr usrs’ requirements and identify how you can fill any gaps. you can also plug yr findings into yr communication strategy to explain yr val proposition.

wha’ever you plan to deliver, whether a new feature or a revised message on yr landing page, make sure you test and iterate yr design, as needed. the 5-2nd test will help you find out if yr messaging works, while usability testing will help you improve yr essentialisms’ usability.

these factors come into play 1-ly after you attract pplz to yr essentialisms. you still nd'2 reach out to potential customers and usrs and bring them to you. once you ‘ve their attention, woo them with yr val proposition and product experience.

references & where to learn +

laura klein explains 3 reasons why usrs don’t convert in this fun webinar (~1 hr):

learn all bout val proposition design inna book:
alexander osterwalder, yves pigneur, gregory bernada, alan smith, patricia papadakos, val proposition design, 2014

jakob nielsen breaks down the №s behind his conclusion that the 1st 10 2nds are the most crit:

see how mailchimp (or any other site) has evolved w'da internet archive’s wayback machine:

for a deeper exploration into essentialisms of behavioral economics and how you can persuade pplz to take action, ethically, course, read:

explore our literature on usability testing here:


hero image: © anete lusina, cc0.

original content at: www.interaction-design.org…


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