I’m a big advocate for authentic, personable communication, so a recent report from Nielsen Norman Group about the “Liking Principle” in user interface design really caught my attention.The summary has a message that every communicator must hear:
People prefer to say “yes” to individuals and organizations they know and like. Same goes for websites and other user interfaces.
So, how do you bring this principle to your website? Here are some places to start:
- Faces, faces, faces. Include pictures from your team on your website. Help people to connect with the people behind your work. Always use your own photos over stock photography when that is an option; even if the professional photos look more slick, yours are always more authentic.
- Identify your authors. Include the names of the people behind your content. This can be done as a byline or as an “about the author” note at the end or in a sidebar. Help your visitors associate real people with the content that is of interest to them.
- Make some motherhood and apple pie statements. Don’t overlook the power of stating the obvious at your website. Make sure you include statements that address the primary alignments you have with your key audiences.
- Offer options. Every form should have an open text box in case someone wants to say something to you that isn’t a fit for the other fields. Every page should invite a comment or phone call. Remember that your visitors may have something to say that your content doesn’t address – make sure they can share.