I’ve been working on websites since 1995 and, eleven years later, we are still trying to understand how to build a good one. Nobody agrees on what works best. Nor do they agree on how to make some work better.

A gentle discussion has erupted into a serious inspection of persuasive web design, personas, usabilty and marketing in Persuasion Architecture and the Art of Agreement for Website Success. Not everybody is drinking the Eisenberg kool-aid. As we discuss Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? : Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing, you can see that some people place no or little value on personas. Perhaps there is no such thing as a business successfully selling online? It takes too much time and money to understand all the different types of people who come to your site, so don’t bother.

I’ve never been a good marketer. But, I do care deeply about customer satisfaction. Ignoring customers can take down a dot com and it will never come back. For me, it’s exciting to find studies on how people use and respond to web sites. This information matters a great deal to people who make their living online. It may have even saved the dot com I worked for, that built and sold web sites, and still crashed during the dot com bust.

We know that “ugly sites” and boring sites, and ho-hum sites survive for years and years. It’s easy to shake one’s head and complain to the web owner that their site sucks, but interesting to note that they remain in business. This is because they did something to convince, to persuade, to prove they could deliver on whatever they claim to offer.

What is it that they do, that makes them sucessful? Perhaps persuasion architecture, which Bryan and Jeff Eisenberg have trademarked, is something to explore and learn more about.

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Kim Krause Berg’s long background in web design, SEO and usability includes software application functional and user interface testing, accessibility, information architecture and persuasive design. She shared her passion for Usability and SEO through her site and private consulting at Cre8pc for 17 years. Kim founded Cre8asiteforums in 1998. In the fall of 2012 she sold her forums to Internet Marketing Ninjas and retired from private consulting to join their Executive Management team where she continues her work in usability testing, customer experience and conversions design.

My Online Course: Web Site Usability 101


American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

Information Architecture Institute

Usability Professionals Association (UPA)