Hawaii False Alarm: The story that keeps on giving

Right after the Hawaii false nuclear alarm, I posted about how the user interface seemed to contribute to the error. At the time, sources were reporting it as a “dropdown” menu. Well, that wasn’t exactly true, but in the last few weeks it’s become clear that truth is stranger than fiction. Here is a run-down … Continue reading Hawaii False Alarm: The story that keeps on giving

Right after the Hawaii false nuclear alarm, I posted about how the user interface seemed to contribute to the error. At the time, sources were reporting it as a “dropdown” menu. Well, that wasn’t exactly true, but in the last few weeks it’s become clear that truth is stranger than fiction. Here is a run-down of the news on the story (spoiler, every step is a human factors-related issue):

  • Hawaii nuclear attack alarms are sounded, also sending alerts to cell phones across the state
  • Alarm is noted as false and the state struggles to get that message out to the panicked public
  • Error is blamed on a confusing drop-down interface: “From a drop-down menu on a computer program, he saw two options: “Test missile alert” and “Missile alert.”
  • The actual interface is found and shown – rather than a drop-down menu it’s just closely clustered links on a 1990s-era website-looking interface that say “DRILL-PACOM(CDW)-STATE ONLY” and “PACOM(CDW)-STATE ONLY”
  • It comes to light that part of the reason the wrong alert stood for 38 minutes was because the Governor didn’t remember his twitter login and password
  • Latest news: the employee who sounded the alarm says it wasn’t an error, he heard this was “not a drill” and acted accordingly to trigger the real alarm

The now-fired employee has spoken up, saying he was sure of his actions and “did what I was trained to do.” When asked what he’d do differently, he said “nothing,” because everything he saw and heard at the time made him think this was not a drill. His firing is clearly an attempt by Hawaii to get rid of a ‘bad apple.’ Problem solved?

It seems like a good time for my favorite reminder from Sidney Dekker’s book, “The Field Guide to Human Error Investigations” (abridged):

To protect safe systems from the vagaries of human behavior, recommendations typically propose to:

    • Tighten procedures and close regulatory gaps. This reduces the bandwidth in which people operate. It leaves less room for error.
    • Introduce more technology to monitor or replace human work. If machines do the work, then humans can no longer make errors doing it. And if machines monitor human work, they ca
    snuff out any erratic human behavior.
    • Make sure that defective practitioners (the bad apples) do not contribute to system breakdown again. Put them on “administrative leave”; demote them to a lower status; educate or pressure them to behave better next time; instill some fear in them and their peers by taking them to court or reprimanding them.

In this view of human error, investigations can safely conclude with the label “human error”—by whatever name (for example: ignoring a warning light, violating a procedure). Such a conclusion and its implications supposedly get to the causes of system failure.

AN ILLUSION OF PROGRESS ON SAFETY
The shortcomings of the bad apple theory are severe and deep. Progress on safety based on this view is often a short-lived illusion. For example, focusing on individual failures does not take away the underlying problem. Removing “defective” practitioners (throwing out the bad apples) fails to remove the potential for the errors they made.

…[T]rying to change your people by setting examples, or changing the make-up of your operational workforce by removing bad apples, has little long-term effect if the basic conditions that people work under are left unamended.

A ‘bad apple’ is often just a scapegoat that makes people feel better by giving a focus for blame. Real improvements and safety happen by improving the system, not by getting rid of employees who were forced to work within a problematic system.

‘Mom, are we going to die today? Why won’t you answer me?’ – False Nuclear Alarm in Hawaii Due to User Interface

Image from the New York Times The morning of January 13th, people in Hawaii received a false alarm that the island was under nuclear attack. One of the messages people received was via cell phones and it said:“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” Today, the Washington Post … Continue reading ‘Mom, are we going to die today? Why won’t you answer me?’ – False Nuclear Alarm in Hawaii Due to User Interface


Image from the New York Times

The morning of January 13th, people in Hawaii received a false alarm that the island was under nuclear attack. One of the messages people received was via cell phones and it said:“BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” Today, the Washington Post reported that the alarm was due to an employee pushing the “wrong button” when trying to test the nuclear alarm system.

The quote in the title of this post is from another Washington Post article where people experiencing the alarm were interviewed.

To sum up the issue, the alarm is triggered by choosing an option in a drop down menu, which had options for “Test missile alert” and “Missile alert.” The employee chose the wrong dropdown and, once chosen, the system had no way to reverse the alarm.

A nuclear alarm system should be subjected to particularly high usability requirements, but this system didn’t even conform to Nielson’s 10 heuristics. It violates:

  • User control and freedom: Users often choose system functions by mistake and will need a clearly marked “emergency exit” to leave the unwanted state without having to go through an extended dialogue. Support undo and redo.
  • Visibility of system status: The system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within reasonable time.
  • Error prevention: Even better than good error messages is a careful design which prevents a problem from occurring in the first place. Either eliminate error-prone conditions or check for them and present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action.
  • Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors: Error messages should be expressed in plain language (no codes), precisely indicate the problem, and constructively suggest a solution.
  • And those are just the ones I could identify from reading the Washington Post article! Perhaps a human factors analysis will become regulated for these systems as it has been for the FDA and medical devices.

    [humanautonomy.com] Dr. Mica Endsley: Current Challenges and Future Opportunities In Human-Autonomy Research

    We had a chance to interview Dr. Mica Endsley about her thoughts on autonomy. The social science research that we cover in this blog is carried out by a multitude of talented scientists across the world; each studying a different facet of the problem. In our second post in a new series, we interview one … Continue reading [humanautonomy.com] Dr. Mica Endsley: Current Challenges and Future Opportunities In Human-Autonomy Research

    We had a chance to interview Dr. Mica Endsley about her thoughts on autonomy.

    The social science research that we cover in this blog is carried out by a multitude of talented scientists across the world; each studying a different facet of the problem. In our second post in a new series, we interview one the leaders in the study of the human factors of autonomy, Dr. Mica Endsley.

    Down on the farm: Human factors psychologist Margaux Ascherl optimizes technology to make farming more efficient

    Complimenting the previous post about applied psychology, this new article dives into how one human factors PhD, Margaux Ascherl, is working to make farming more efficient with technology (she also happens to be my former student!): The world’s population of 7.3 billion is predicted to grow to 9.7 billion by 2050, according to the Global … Continue reading Down on the farm: Human factors psychologist Margaux Ascherl optimizes technology to make farming more efficient

    Complimenting the previous post about applied psychology, this new article dives into how one human factors PhD, Margaux Ascherl, is working to make farming more efficient with technology (she also happens to be my former student!):

    The world’s population of 7.3 billion is predicted to grow to 9.7 billion by 2050, according to the Global Harvest Initiative. To feed all those people, global agricultural productivity must increase by 1.75 percent annually.

    One person working to drive this increase is Margaux Ascherl, PhD, user experience leader at John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group in Urbandale, Iowa. John Deere recruited Ascherl in late 2012 while she was finishing her PhD in human factors psychology at Clemson University. Five years later, she now leads a team responsible for the design and testing of precision agriculture technology used in John Deere equipment.

    Ascherl spoke to the Monitor about what it’s like to apply psychology in an agricultural context and how her team is helping farmers embrace new technology to feed the world.

    Human-Robot/AI Relationships: Interview with Dr. Julie Carpenter

    Over at https://HumanAutonomy.com, we had a chance to interview Dr. Julie Carpenter about her research on human-robot/AI relationships. As the first post in a series, we interview one the pioneers in the study of human-AI relationships, Dr. Julie Carpenter. She has over 15 years of experience in human-centered design and human-AI interaction research, teaching, and … Continue reading Human-Robot/AI Relationships: Interview with Dr. Julie Carpenter

    Over at https://HumanAutonomy.com, we had a chance to interview Dr. Julie Carpenter about her research on human-robot/AI relationships.

    As the first post in a series, we interview one the pioneers in the study of human-AI relationships, Dr. Julie Carpenter. She has over 15 years of experience in human-centered design and human-AI interaction research, teaching, and writing. Her principal research is about how culture influences human perception of AI and robotic systems and the associated human factors such as user trust and decision-making in human-robot cooperative interactions in natural use-case environments.

    Throwback Thursday: A model for types and levels of automation [humanautonomy.com]

    This week’s Throwback Thursday post (next door, at humanautonomy.com) covers another seminal paper in the study of autonomy: This is our second post on our “throwback” series. In this paper, I will take you through an article written by the best in the human factors and ergonomics field, the late Raja Parasuraman, Tom Sheridan, and … Continue reading Throwback Thursday: A model for types and levels of automation [humanautonomy.com]

    This week’s Throwback Thursday post (next door, at humanautonomy.com) covers another seminal paper in the study of autonomy:

    This is our second post on our “throwback” series. In this paper, I will take you through an article written by the best in the human factors and ergonomics field, the late Raja Parasuraman, Tom Sheridan, and Chris Wickens. Though several authors have introduced the concept of automation being implemented at various levels, for me this article nailed it.

    Get Inspired – Blow Your Mind Website Examples!

    Looking for some design inspiration? Venturing into the world of UX design? Investigating new website trends? In our feature article, we’re going to help you get inspired with some blow your mind website examples. We picked these examples because they are dynamic, user-friendly, interactive websites, and they grab the website visitor and compel them to […]

    The post Get Inspired – Blow Your Mind Website Examples! appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.

    Get Inspired - Blow Your Mind Website Examples!

    Looking for some design inspiration? Venturing into the world of UX design? Investigating new website trends?

    In our feature article, we’re going to help you get inspired with some blow your mind website examples.

    We picked these examples because they are dynamic, user-friendly, interactive websites, and they grab the website visitor and compel them to dig deeper.

    You’ll find that these blow your mind website examples take web design to a new level, fully engaging the website visitor on an often wild and unconventional path.

    magic-in-new-york

    Magic in New York

    We lead off with Magic in New York, a fantastical Google experience that was made for the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

    Website visitors can explore a map filled with multiple locations in 1920s New York City. They explore as a wizard would such locations as a speakeasy and the Magical Congress of the United States.

    With nearly 360 scenes with sound and motion-picture quality effects, this site truly stands out.

    Visit Website

    fantastic beasts

    Fantastic Beasts

    We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the main website for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

    While some sites with this amount of video and audio fall quite short in the speed category, this website thrills with incredible graphics, high-quality video and imagery, and there is virtually no waiting at all.

    Not only is the website quick, but it’s very easy to navigate. It’s intriguing and provides a top-notch user experience. While writing this article, we had a hard time pulling ourselves away!

    Visit Website

    Become a Kingsman Knight

    Become a Kingsman Knight

    While not a new website, we loved the enthralling content and the scenes pulled right from the movie.

    Using the imagery and content, the website creators designed an interactive website that involves the visitor at every step and guides them on the path to becoming a Kingsman knight.

    The site uses movie clips, action, sound and music in a sophisticated way that makes website visitors want to play their “game.”

    Visit Website

    4 Rivers Smokehouse

    4 Rivers Smokehouse

    Hungry? If not, you sure will be when you visit this blow your mind website.

    This site lands on our list for its outstanding photography and its creative use of typography.

    We also like the parallax scrolling – this website is fun and easy to navigate.

    The super-charged accordion menu for their menu options is dynamite. Easy to use, it allows the visitor to only look at the portion they are interested in.

    This is one top of the line foodie site.

    Visit Website

    Braastad

    Braastad

    Another interactive website that keeps visitors engaged is Braastad Cognac.

    Huge images, a grid structure and plenty of video make an orderly presentation for visitors.

    We love the classy typography, and the images styled to look old-fashioned are a bonus. Take a closer look, and you’ll notice a sparkly sheen to some of their photos and video.

    The user experience on the Braastad website is terrific, gently guiding website visitors from one page to the next.

    Visit Website

    Subaru Zero Landfill

    Subaru Zero Landfill

    If you’re ready to explore the mountains and Subaru’s environmental initiative, this site takes you along for a beautiful ride.

    Gorgeous photography is complemented by simple typography – we’re sure this is so the words don’t take away from the incredible imagery.

    Another interactive website, this one is also easy to navigate and lets website visitors find their path on their own.

    After you spend some time on this site, the spectacular photography and videos will have you lining up to buy a Subaru even though there is no hard sell.

    Visit Website

    void

    Void

    Wow. This site is mind blowing because we bet you’ve never seen anything like it. At both times eerie and fascinating, it’s an incredible walk through unparalleled creative advances.

    Simply holding your space bar brings the cutting animation right towards you. Release it, and it backs off.

    Featured imagery, animation and text is mostly in a black and white theme, but that in no way means the site is devoid of interest. Quite frankly, it’s one of the most interesting websites we’ve seen in a while.

    Void makes the website visitor think while exploring and asking the question, “How did they do that?”

    Worth noting though is that this site can only be viewed on Chrome or Safari.

    Visit Website

    legwork studio

    Legwork Studio

    To complete our genius list of mind blowing website examples, we introduce you to Legwork Studio.

    They bill themselves as a company building world class work off-the-grid, and once you take a look at the site, you’ll see why.

    This company specializes in animation and interactivity. Don’t be fooled by the avant-garde look of their own website. Check out their portfolio, and you’ll be mesmerized by their work.

    What we especially like about their website is their complete abandon of traditional website norms. With no photo in site, their graphics are visual, off beat and incredibly interesting.

    The navigation is intuitive, and their graphics so compelling that you can’t help but click through the pages to see what they’ve come up with next.

    Visit Website

    Final Thoughts

    You’ve seen our top website examples in this feature article. Now, it’s your turn to incorporate a blow your mind website example.

    Wondering about some specifics to keep in mind as you design your new website? Look no further:

    • A fast website – load times should be under three seconds, or you’ll lose customers. If you’re adding interactivity like we’ve seen here, be sure you consult an expert.
    • Give users the who, what, when, where and why – tell your story.
    • Use calls to action on as many pages as possible. You don’t want to risk losing your customers. Give them a reason to stick around and a task to complete.
    • Incorporate a strong site architecture including good onsite SEO and a sitemap.
    • Utilize an easy to use layout with intuitive navigation. Don’t use multiple layers of menus.
    • It’s vital that your site adapts to different browser sizes with ease, so mobile responsiveness is key. Your site should look equally good on desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile phone.
    • Make sure that the content you provide is relevant, interesting, shareable, original and compelling.
    • Ensure a simple, user friendly experience. Don’t make content hard to find.

    Look for more blow your mind website examples next month!

    Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

    With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

    We can help you improve your content to increase the likelihood your customers will make a purchase. Contact us today.

    We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

    Image: Jens Kreuter

    The post Get Inspired – Blow Your Mind Website Examples! appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.

    How You Can Master And Benefit From Automating Your Email Marketing

    Email marketing automation is one of the top marketing buzzwords of the year. You’ll find that email marketers everywhere are abandoning mass-emails for a more personalized, strategic approach. In this article, we look at how you master and benefit from automating your email marketing. First, we’ll tell why you’ll benefit from it, and then we’ll […]

    The post How You Can Master And Benefit From Automating Your Email Marketing appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.

    How You Can Master And Benefit From Automating Your Email Marketing

    Email marketing automation is one of the top marketing buzzwords of the year.

    You’ll find that email marketers everywhere are abandoning mass-emails for a more personalized, strategic approach.

    In this article, we look at how you master and benefit from automating your email marketing.

    First, we’ll tell why you’ll benefit from it, and then we’ll give you some advanced tips for using automated email workflows.

    Let’s get started with your automated email marketing information.

    Why Automated Email?

    According to Email Monday, marketing automation is growing at an unbelievable rate. They go on to say that, “Best-in-Class companies are 67% more likely to use a marketing automation platform.”

    If top companies the world over are leveraging automation, there must be something fantastic about it, right?

    The answer is yes. Automated emails allow you to reach directly into your customers’ inboxes with a personalized message tailored to their needs.

    For example, if a customer downloaded one of your eBooks, you can then send them targeted emails on topics similar to your eBook. You’ve shown them you care, and with automated email, you can continue to nurture them.

    Your business also benefits in many ways from automating email marketing. Let’s look at a few of the ways.

    Lead Nurturing

    First, with automated emails, you have the ability to nurture your leads from their first point of contact all the way to the ultimate sale or desired action.

    The whole point of email marketing is to gently guide your subscribers through your sales funnel without them even realizing it. For example:

    • You welcome them in the first email, with no sales pressure.
    • In the second email, you give them a tip that pertains to what you already know about their needs and desires, with no sales pressure.
    • In the third email, you give them another resource, perhaps in the form of a video. Again, so sales pressure.
    • In the fourth email, now that they have come to appreciate you, trust you and value your advice, you can offer them something. They are more likely to bite because now that they trust you, they’re willing to pay for what you’re offering.

    With automation, you can tailor funnels for particular customers. For example, you might send subscribers you met in your brick-and-mortar store down a different funnel than you’d send a first-time email subscriber on your website.

    Smarter Emails

    Next, you benefit because you can send smarter emails. You are no longer throwing emails out and hoping you catch someone.

    You are building personal, valuable relationships with customers so you can send the right message at just the right time.

    Save Time

    Lastly, one of the biggest bonuses of automated email marketing is that you save precious time.

    Email Monday again tells us that nearly 75% of marketers say saving time is the biggest benefit to automating emails.

    You can take a few hours to create several automated series of emails, and then set it and let them run on their own.

    You don’t have to set subscribers up or decide what to send them. You create the emails, set the triggers, and your system does the heavy lifting for you.

    This then frees you up to focus on additional ways to reach your customers with a personalized message.

    How to Master Automation

    Now let’s look at how to master automation by looking at the different types of workflows you can create.

    1. Welcome Workflow

    When someone signs up for your email list, you want to send them through a welcome workflow of automated emails.

    Your first email might welcome them, the second and third ones might direct them to some interesting content, the fourth email might introduce them to your social media platforms, and the final one would prompt them to take an action.

    2. Educational Series or On-boarding Workflow

    Let’s say a subscriber downloads an eBook, whitepaper or free buying guide. You would then send them through an automated workflow tailored to their interests.

    For example, if they downloaded a hot tub buying guide from you, you’d send them through a hot tub topic workflow whereas if someone downloaded a swimming pool buying guide from you, you’d send through a pool topic workflow.

    The bonus for the customer is that they continue to receive information that interests them. The bonus for you is you can keep nurturing them for the final sale.

    3. Abandoned Shopping Cart Workflow

    Ecommerce shopping carts are abandoned at huge rates. But, the good news is you have an avenue for getting them back.

    These automated emails are re-engagement emails. If someone fills a cart on your website, you can then send them a special offer to entice them to return.

    Discounts and free shipping offers work well.

    One study even says that initial emails sent three hours after a consumer abandons a cart, average a 40% open rate and a 20% click-through rate. Those are great statistics!

    4. Review Product After Purchase Workflow

    Another valuable automated email is the one that you send after someone makes a purchase.

    Your business thrives when you have multiple online reviews as these matter to buyers.

    Once your customer makes a purchase from you, send them a survey or a request to leave a review on your website or Google. Then, reward them with a coupon for their trouble.

    5. Miscellaneous Workflows

    Finally, you can also set automation up for service reminders, birthdays and holidays.

    Use additional workflows to reach specific customers at specific times.

    Final Thoughts

    A California-based study found that more than 215 billion emails are sent each day. That amounts to an average of 126 emails received per person every day.

    That’s a huge number of emails landing in inboxes all over the world, and it’s up to you to figure out how to stand out in an imposing crowd.

    The best way to do that is to concentrate on providing the highest quality personalized content to your subscribers at just the right time.

    You already know your subscribers want to hear from you. After all, they did give you their email address. Now it’s up to you to leverage automated email marketing to gently nurture them through your sales funnel with valuable content.

    Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

    With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

    If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

    We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

    Image: Matteo Paganelli

     

    The post How You Can Master And Benefit From Automating Your Email Marketing appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.

    Merry Christmas Versus Happy Holidays in Your Headlines – Does it matter?

    We live in a politically correct society today. So, does that ever have you wondering about your copy and your headlines?  Do you ever wonder if your text is off-putting to people or just what the fuss is all about? In this article, let’s look at Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays in your headlines and […]

    The post Merry Christmas Versus Happy Holidays in Your Headlines – Does it matter? appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.

    Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays in your headlines - Does it matter

    We live in a politically correct society today. So, does that ever have you wondering about your copy and your headlines?  Do you ever wonder if your text is off-putting to people or just what the fuss is all about?

    In this article, let’s look at Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays in your headlines and ask, “Does it matter?”

    First, we’re going to tell you upfront that this is ultimately your decision. You know your target audience best, and if you don’t, you should.

    What we are going to do is present a case for both sides, and then you can decide where you fall. So, let’s get to it.

    The Starbucks Decision

    Here’s a bit of background as to why your headline decision is so important.

    You might remember that Starbucks started its very own controversy last Christmas when it debuted its red holiday cup.

    Since the iconic Christmas cup debuted in 1997, it’s had several winter-themed designs. Coffee drinkers would have seen snowflakes, reindeer, snowmen and ornaments at one time or another.

    Yet, in 2015, Starbucks launched a dark cranberry cup with a very minimalist design. While some users liked it, others called it the “War on Christmas.”

    The cup was described as a “two-toned ombré design with a bright poppy color on top that shades into a darker cranberry below.” And, there wasn’t a Santa or a reindeer in sight.

    Many Starbucks users were infuriated, while Starbucks simply said they wanted users to add their own doodles to the cup. One unhappy customer went so far as to tell the barista his name was Merry Christmas so it would end up on the cup.

    So, what’s all the fuss? It turns out we live in an era of increasing attention to political correctness.

    You just might be wondering if you’ll set off a firestorm like Starbucks did by writing a headline, or even an email subject line that says Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. You’re sure to offend someone, right?

    The Case for Merry Christmas in Your Headlines

    According to a Pew Research poll, nine out of ten Americans celebrate Christmas. So, you might wonder why so many people care about the terminology.

    It appears that in this day and age, someone is bound to take offense if you use Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas in your headlines.

    The war on Christmas seems to arrive earlier and earlier each year. The question is though, “Who is at war?”

    After all, Christmas is a very public holiday, and not everyone ties it to religion.

    Websites all over the Internet feature trees, Santa, reindeer and gifts. Basically, everyone you meet wants to tell you something, whether it be Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas.

    If you decide to use Merry Christmas in your headlines, you just might be all right because to many people Christmas isn’t Jesus, it’s holiday parties, presents and ugly sweaters.

    Before you decide to forgo the words Merry Christmas in your headlines ask yourself if you’re being overly cautious. Are you trying so hard not to offend a few that you’ll end up offending many?

    Several retail giants throughout the last few years like Lowe’s, Home Depot, Sears, WalMart, Target, Best Buy and the Gap have tried to abandon the word Christmas for more mundane terms, and the backlash has been swift and vocal.

    If your business can’t afford the customer push back, and you aren’t concerned with political correctness, and the words, Merry Christmas, mean a lot to you and your business, by all means use them in your headlines.

    Finally, while no one is suggesting your brand get religious, you do have to be careful of marginalizing the world’s faithful by throwing them into a land of political correctness with your headlines.

    Can your online business afford the negativity if you don’t use Merry Christmas?

    The Case for Happy Holidays in Your Headlines

    On the flip side, there are many today who would say banish Merry Christmas and only use Happy Holidays. They see no gray area and are quite adamant about their decision.

    To many people, Happy Holidays is simply the acceptable term. Yet, with it affecting so few, why even bother deleting Merry Christmas?

    You’ll find the answer to that question is, “It’s the right thing to do.”

    People today want to be inclusive of all cultures, all religions and all belief systems. They believe Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings encompasses this for the world at large.

    You might find some people telling you to use Happy Holidays in your headlines because you should want every customer to feel welcome when shopping or visiting your website.

    Using Merry Christmas as a headline will exclude about 25% of your audience, unless it’s a “Merry Christmas” group.

    Happy holidays lets you cater to all of your paying customers.

    Final Thoughts

    Do you know why your headline text matters? The father of advertising believed it to be the most important thing on your page.

    David Ogilvy, ad expert, said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

    That being said, we’ve presented you with both sides – Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays in your headlines.

    A Public Religion Research Institute survey asked a group of Americans if retailers should use Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings instead of Merry Christmas. Surprisingly, the yes and no answers were very nearly split in half.

    Yet, it also turns out that people’s preference depends on what part of the country they live in.

    What do you think? Are you going to go out on a limb and use Merry Christmas as your landing page headline, or are you going to play it safe with Happy Holidays in your headline text?

    Or, are you going to do what we recommend over and over again – test your landing pages – one headline says Merry Christmas, and the other says Happy Holidays.

    But, wait, what about all of those people who celebrate nothing at all during the months of November and December? In a world gone wild for political correctness, one has to ask, “Aren’t you leaving them out by using either term?”

    Perhaps that’s another topic for another time…

    Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

    With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

    If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

    We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

    Image: Jez Timms

    The post Merry Christmas Versus Happy Holidays in Your Headlines – Does it matter? appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.

    Get Inspired – Blow Your Mind Website Examples!

    Are you in the market for a new website? Wondering what’s going on in the web design world? In our feature article, we’re going to help you get inspired with some blow your mind website examples. We picked these examples because not only are they attractive, interactive websites, but they are user-friendly and intuitive for […]

    The post Get Inspired – Blow Your Mind Website Examples! appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.

    Get Inspired - Blow Your Mind Website Examples

    Are you in the market for a new website? Wondering what’s going on in the web design world?

    In our feature article, we’re going to help you get inspired with some blow your mind website examples.

    We picked these examples because not only are they attractive, interactive websites, but they are user-friendly and intuitive for their customers.

    america-first-credit-union

    America First Credit Union

    This not-for-profit, member-owned financial institution in Utah and Nevada won the Best Credit Union Website award from the 2016 Web Marketing Association’s WebAward competition.

    Not only did they win because of their innovative design and content, but they were awarded for their site’s ease of use, interactivity, use of technology and understandable content.

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    pell-mell

    Pell Mell Agency

    Pell Mell might mean something in a state of confusion, or something that’s recklessly hasty or disorganized, but you won’t find any of that on this award-winning website.

    This site lands on our list because of its fantastic photography and its interactivity.

    Simple, yet effective, the Pell Mell Agency website works to get their message across and drive business.

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    minimums

    Minimums

    This website’s goal is to highlight interesting people, and it does so in style with a bold and colorful design.

    They utilize color and a grid-based web design to set off each person. Combined with big font sizes and quality images, the usability is terrific.

    It’s easy to see where you’re going and where you came from due to the site’s organized grid and visual hierarchy.

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    acme

    Acme

    A best in class winner from CSS Design Awards, Acme, combines beautiful photographs, interactivity and even music for a pleasurable browsing experience.

    While sound is often frowned upon, Acme incorporates it into their site with class.

    Bold typography and a movie-like feel make this site uber interesting even though their business is storage solutions for a wide variety of industries.

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    killing-kennedy

    Killing Kennedy

    Another website using sound to its advantage, this website is a glorious preview of the movie.

    With beautiful era-appropriate piano music, moving images and gorgeous photographs all with a 1950s vibe, users to this site really get a feel for the movie.

    National Geographic stands out with this website due to its use of parallax scrolling, video and intriguing historical facts.

    It’s easy to get lost in this website while experiencing the dual nature of Lee Harvey Oswald and John F. Kennedy’s lives.

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    savetherainforest

    Save the Rainforest

    We added this site to our list for its personal touches, and its incredible design.

    Save the Rainforest invites website visitors into the rainforest. It introduces people to the creatures worth saving and makes it easy to donate right on the page.

    With the vivid photography and interactivity, visitors to this website get to experience the rainforest in a deeply personal, almost live-action way.

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    bronx

    Bronx Arts

    Parents looking to send their children to school will love the vivid, inside look this website provides.

    It hides nothing and welcomes users into the inner sanctum of their child-filled hallways.

    Using vivid, large, high-quality images, along with bold typography and plenty of white space, it gives off a healthy, inviting vide for this school.

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    divenamic

    Divenamic

    A simple, clean and modern design lands this site on our list.

    It uses bright colors to bring the website visitor in while creating a desire to read more.

    Often times, simple design and bright colors work nicely together for great design.

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    alpahpod

    AlphaPod

    A dynamic site, AlphaPod is a teaser for the AlphaPod app for kids. It helps them learn their ABCs with cool animated animals. These aren’t your run of the mill animals, though.

    They are mechanical animals that are as fun to look at as they are to interact with. Plus, they’re exciting for kids and even interesting for adults.

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    house-hunter

    The House Hunters Journey

    This house hunting website definitely stands on its own when it comes to real estate websites.

    Its premise is that house hunting starts in your mind, and you aren’t limited by your imagination.

    An interactive website, it takes you through many different levels on your house hunting search. It’s a fun site to peruse.

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    virgin

    Virgin America

    Travel websites are notoriously slow and hard to navigate. Not this one.

    Virgin America is a top notch airline website. Not only is the entire site mobile-friendly, its usability is amazing.

    Site visitors can book a flight with ease and see at a glance the prices of flights on different days of the week. If only all travel sites were this easy!

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    wrangler

    Wrangler Wild Way Home

    This is a great eCommerce website. Simple and easy to use, the product and content pages are easy to navigate and full of just the right amount of information.

    What’s more, when you click on their “Wild Way Home” tab, you’re taken to a page that invites you to explore your city and take the wild way home.

    This website gives the website visitor a real reason to wear their clothing by inviting them into their “wild” city. People can see real people wearing real clothes while exploring their city and getting out more.

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    Final Thoughts

    Now that we’ve tantalized you with some blow your mind website examples, you might be wondering how to set your website apart from the competition. Here’s a list to get you started!

    • Responsive design – this means your site adapts to different browser sizes with ease. Your site should look equally good on desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile phone.
    • Content – provide relevant, interesting, shareable, original and compelling content.
    • An easy to use layout with intuitive navigation. Don’t use multiple layers of menus.
    • A fast website – load times should be under three seconds, or you’ll lose customers.
    • Simple, user friendly experience. Don’t make content hard to find.
    • Calls to action on as many pages as possible. You don’t want to risk losing your customers.
    • Strong site architecture including good onsite SEO and a sitemap.

    Look for more blow your mind website examples next month!

    Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

    With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

    If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

    We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

    Image: Tran Mau Tri Tram

    The post Get Inspired – Blow Your Mind Website Examples! appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.