the ROI of not including a link

7 Aug 2007 - 3:33pm
7 years ago
5 replies
496 reads
mtumi
2004

Hi -

I have just been looking at my cell phone and realizing that a very
high percentage of the clickable items on the phone are selling
something, and not necessarily of great use to the end-user. (one
can forgive a single link to download wallpapers, but when they
appear in various places, it's a hard sell to convince me that this
is much more useful from a functional standpoint than a "Buy Now!" in
a red circle.)

Good design is often about paring things down, whereas various sales
and marketing departments I have been involved with often seem to be
about putting things in. Once someone puts a "buy now" or equivalent
link on something, it is very easy afterwards to point at the
resultant number generated by clicks, and say "good thing we put that
in". My question is, is there anything that we can point to, in the
event we win these arguments, to say "good thing we didn't put that
in"? Also, given that revenue generation is a necessity in some
parts, and one may need some links that make money, are there any
methodologies that can help determine the point at which you "jump
the shark" adding revenue-generating factors that don't contribute to
the design?

I guess the short question is "How do you argue for leaving things
out when putting things in will definitely make you money?"

MT

Comments

7 Aug 2007 - 3:45pm
Mark Schraad
2006

I guess the short question is "How do you argue for leaving things
>out when putting things in will definitely make you money?"

It will deserve a much longer answer than this, but...

Careful analysis of the consumer's habits, need and desires should reveal where your target customer is most willing to put up with that. That monetization elasticity, if you will, is key. You also have to look at the short and long term potential for margin. Market, marketing and user analysis come in to play here. If you look at hotornot.com, they recently dumped their primary source of revenue in favor of growing the user base. They looked at a long term strategy that promises greater potential revenue gain by giving away now, what they had been selling. Google, obviously did the same thing. They gave up the short term gain of display ads for the long term gain of adwords.

Very good but very complex question.

Mark

On Tuesday, August 07, 2007, at 04:35PM, "Michael Tuminello" <mt at motiontek.com> wrote:
>Hi -
>
>I have just been looking at my cell phone and realizing that a very
>high percentage of the clickable items on the phone are selling
>something, and not necessarily of great use to the end-user. (one
>can forgive a single link to download wallpapers, but when they
>appear in various places, it's a hard sell to convince me that this
>is much more useful from a functional standpoint than a "Buy Now!" in
>a red circle.)
>
>Good design is often about paring things down, whereas various sales
>and marketing departments I have been involved with often seem to be
>about putting things in. Once someone puts a "buy now" or equivalent
>link on something, it is very easy afterwards to point at the
>resultant number generated by clicks, and say "good thing we put that
>in". My question is, is there anything that we can point to, in the
>event we win these arguments, to say "good thing we didn't put that
>in"? Also, given that revenue generation is a necessity in some
>parts, and one may need some links that make money, are there any
>methodologies that can help determine the point at which you "jump
>the shark" adding revenue-generating factors that don't contribute to
>the design?
>
>I guess the short question is "How do you argue for leaving things
>out when putting things in will definitely make you money?"
>
>MT

7 Aug 2007 - 8:36pm
Esteban Barahona
2006

My cellphone doesn't have ads, with such small screen I think it will make
the UI look cluttered and using it can be more uncomfortable.

Ads in computing can be effective (google's contextual text ads), but they
should be optional; like iTunes "search in store" links and ministore
de-activation (they doesn't even make sense on countries without an iTunes
Store). The users that disable ads aren't lost revenue, they won't click on
one and use plug-ins for not seeing them (Firefox's adblock). Also there's
the perception that ads should make products or services cheaper (ie: TVs,
radio, most PC hardware vendors that load their products with ad-ware).

7 Aug 2007 - 10:30pm
Dante Murphy
2006

Michael-

The answer to this lies in the original objectives of the project in question. It is very important to clearly define measurable objectives as close ot the beginning of your project as possible. One obvious advantage to doing so is that all of your design decisions are then informed by your goals.

But the other advantage is that it's simply good science...you'll tend not to bend your goals to fit the likely outcome if you haven't yet written a line of code or spent hours developing a wireframe set. You'll also get more "good thinking" from your strategy team when you give them a blank slate and whatever customer insights you've gathered; the desire to achieve is the root of innovation.

So, if your goals are to make money now, then the successful design will be the one that achieves that goal, even if it violates apparent guidelines of whitespace, cognitive rest, and (for lack of a better term) good taste.

Even though I think the answer is quite obvious, this is a compelling question because of how often we work without clear or objective goals. I'm very curious what others on the list think.

Dante

________________________________

From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com on behalf of Michael Tuminello
Sent: Tue 8/7/2007 4:33 PM
To: IXDA list
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] the ROI of not including a link

Hi -

I have just been looking at my cell phone and realizing that a very
high percentage of the clickable items on the phone are selling
something, and not necessarily of great use to the end-user. (one
can forgive a single link to download wallpapers, but when they
appear in various places, it's a hard sell to convince me that this
is much more useful from a functional standpoint than a "Buy Now!" in
a red circle.)

Good design is often about paring things down, whereas various sales
and marketing departments I have been involved with often seem to be
about putting things in. Once someone puts a "buy now" or equivalent
link on something, it is very easy afterwards to point at the
resultant number generated by clicks, and say "good thing we put that
in". My question is, is there anything that we can point to, in the
event we win these arguments, to say "good thing we didn't put that
in"? Also, given that revenue generation is a necessity in some
parts, and one may need some links that make money, are there any
methodologies that can help determine the point at which you "jump
the shark" adding revenue-generating factors that don't contribute to
the design?

I guess the short question is "How do you argue for leaving things
out when putting things in will definitely make you money?"

MT
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7 Aug 2007 - 10:39pm
Alex Weishaupl
2007

Michael -

It is also worth considering that, depending on the software on the
phone, items such as SMS are converted into clickable items
immediately. For example, when I receive a message with a telephone
number in it, my current phone automatically makes that a clickable
item. My last phone did not, though - so when I would receive SMS Spam,
the URLs contained in those messages were not actionable.

-alex

Dante Murphy wrote:
> Michael-
>
> The answer to this lies in the original objectives of the project in question. It is very important to clearly define measurable objectives as close ot the beginning of your project as possible. One obvious advantage to doing so is that all of your design decisions are then informed by your goals.
>
> But the other advantage is that it's simply good science...you'll tend not to bend your goals to fit the likely outcome if you haven't yet written a line of code or spent hours developing a wireframe set. You'll also get more "good thinking" from your strategy team when you give them a blank slate and whatever customer insights you've gathered; the desire to achieve is the root of innovation.
>
> So, if your goals are to make money now, then the successful design will be the one that achieves that goal, even if it violates apparent guidelines of whitespace, cognitive rest, and (for lack of a better term) good taste.
>
> Even though I think the answer is quite obvious, this is a compelling question because of how often we work without clear or objective goals. I'm very curious what others on the list think.
>
> Dante
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com on behalf of Michael Tuminello
> Sent: Tue 8/7/2007 4:33 PM
> To: IXDA list
> Subject: [IxDA Discuss] the ROI of not including a link
>
>
>
> Hi -
>
> I have just been looking at my cell phone and realizing that a very
> high percentage of the clickable items on the phone are selling
> something, and not necessarily of great use to the end-user. (one
> can forgive a single link to download wallpapers, but when they
> appear in various places, it's a hard sell to convince me that this
> is much more useful from a functional standpoint than a "Buy Now!" in
> a red circle.)
>
> Good design is often about paring things down, whereas various sales
> and marketing departments I have been involved with often seem to be
> about putting things in. Once someone puts a "buy now" or equivalent
> link on something, it is very easy afterwards to point at the
> resultant number generated by clicks, and say "good thing we put that
> in". My question is, is there anything that we can point to, in the
> event we win these arguments, to say "good thing we didn't put that
> in"? Also, given that revenue generation is a necessity in some
> parts, and one may need some links that make money, are there any
> methodologies that can help determine the point at which you "jump
> the shark" adding revenue-generating factors that don't contribute to
> the design?
>
> I guess the short question is "How do you argue for leaving things
> out when putting things in will definitely make you money?"
>
> MT
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org <http://beta.ixda.org/>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>

10 Aug 2007 - 11:55am
Sarah Dawson
2007

This is am interesting discussion. It seems that the majority of ads I
see on the web and also elsewhere have that annoying factor. In my
opinion, the best ads are more integrated, they offer the 'user'
something mainly humor.
I guess it depends how much leeway you are given to add you own
input.

I for one, tune out most buy now and spam and sometimes lose normal
emails in the process but I do worry about less web savvy people.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=19036

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