Customers don’t want to do what we want them to do. Why should they?


Why out-of-the-box UX techniques is just cajoling visitors into take our journey. If you want them to be willing participants, you need to win over their heart as well.

When it comes to creative work, and this includes UX, we have to start by thinking customers don’t want to do what we want them to do, it’s safest to assume customers won’t even do what they say they want to do.

They may come to a website looking to buy – they’ll find every reason not to buy today. They may have set their heart on a new gizmo – but when it comes to actually paying, they’ll find reasons to be distracted. They may say they’ve narrowed down their search, but when push comes to shove, they’ll just go check again. It’s human nature.

So if we want them to do what we want them to do, when we want them to do it and how we want them to do it, then we should be making the who, what, why and when theirs, not ours. So it’s not just about making customer journeys as frictionless as possible, it’s about demonstrating empathy. The UX isn’t there just to point the way, it’s there to close the deal. Think of it like a skilled salesperson who can read the customer and knows what they are about and how to talk to them. The creative is there to counteract the apathy filter, negate the prevarication demons and guide them, reassure them, support them all the way. UX is there to understand their doubts, and the very human desire to do nothing, just yet.