Anything that makes me stop and think is not necessarily a bad thing, but when it comes to your website call to action, it could be. We know what steps we want our customers to take, and we are conditioned to see certain colors, or a contrast in colors, as actionable. Keeping these two things top of mind when you’re creating your website structure and design can make a big impact.
I realized how powerful this is when I was in Staples earlier this week. I went in to do a little printing and get a few things for my 2018 organizing. As I’m checking out, I select credit or debit, sign my name, and just when my finger is poised to hit “confirm”, something catches my eye and makes me stop…and think. I’ve been working on websites all day and I’m a little tired, so I think maybe I read that wrong. Nope. The Staples “clear” button is a bright yellow color and the “confirm” button is gray. My natural instinct was to click that bright yellow button. Fortunately, the words “clear” and “confirm” caught my attention and confused me enough to make me stop. Let me say that again. The words on the colors confused me enough to make me stop.
Yes, this is a minor detail, and some of you might be thinking “are you serious right now?”, but the details are what makes your customer experience the best it can be. The button colors on your website could be the thing that makes someone stop taking action, or overlook the action altogether. You don’t want your potential customers to stop. I do not subscribe to the thought that buttons need to be red, or green, or orange, or yellow, or whatever color experts now say get the clicks. But the button (or text) needs to be clear and stand out as an actionable item…just like my mind wanted the yellow button at Staples to be the action step because it was the only real contrasting thing on the screen.
No matter what we’re creating, we need to keep the user in mind as we build out a process. There are probably thousands of articles that talk about a good call to action or give you 10 examples of the perfect words to use, but sometimes you only need to look at your every day to understand how subtle cues prompt us and how you can use those observations to make your website call to action the best it can be for your site and your clients.
Here are two super-simple things to consider when laying out your call to action:
- Be as clear as possible in your wording. Don’t be shy. Tell people what you want them to do.
- Make those buttons or text stand out. When I design for a client, I find one or two contrasting colors that I know I can use in buttons or highlighted text to really grab attention.
Sometimes it’s the smallest things that we overlook, but we definitely don’t want it to be our website call to action. And please tell me in the comments, if you shop at Staples, have you ever hit that yellow button?