7 Reasons Your Website Should Cater to Lazy People

Lazy people get a pretty bad rap. But what if they could help you increase your website’s conversion rates and improve your overall user experience?

Think about your website from the perspective of a really lazy person. How many hoops do they have to jump through to find a specific page? How deep do they have to dig to reach the final checkout screen? No one wants to run a marathon to complete an action on your website, but lazy people want to least of all — and if something takes too much effort or time, they’re going to leave.

By designing your website to meet the needs of lazy people, you can actually create a site that is more usable for all of your visitors. After all, if a lazy visitor can make it through your website, a click-happy visitor should have no problem with it, right?

Here are seven reasons your website should cater to the laziest of the lazy, and how pandering to these users can boost your conversions and improve other crucial metrics.

1. Choices Kill Conversions

The more clickable options presented on a page, the greater the amount of work your lazy visitors have to do to locate the information or product they want. Not only that, but they also have to make more choices, which has the potential to reduce conversion rates.

Instead, make each Web page clean and easy for them to find and access. Try to limit the number of clickable options presented on each page. Lack of options means lack of distractions, which means you can more easily guide your visitors through your conversion funnel, ultimately making their experience on your site easier.

2. Patience is a Virtue (That Lazy People Don’t Have)

image by Will Lion

Even though waiting around doesn’t necessarily require effort, it is a test of patience, which most lazy people don’t have. If your website is leaving its visitors stranded with the spinning circle of doom for even just one second too long, you’re missing out on tons of conversion.

Just to prove my point, check out this article about how quickly lazy people will give up on something if it makes them wait too long. Even ecommerce giant Amazon found that if their site operates one second slower, it could cost them $1.6 billion in sales. So cut back on load times and consider upgrading your server to get those pages displaying faster.

3. Typing is a Bother

Lazy people don’t want to break the flow of their interweb browsing to enter a password or confirm a CAPTCHA, especially if they’re on a mobile device. Instances where visitors have to type on your website are best left to optional cases only, like blog comments, customer feedback forms, and so on. This is because it’s only your really engaged visitors who want to put the effort into typing anyway.

Keep required typing to a minimum on your site. If a user must sign up for an account to use your site, allow a social signup button alternative. That way, when visitors come to your site, they don’t actually have to pause and type. Instead, they can click “Sign in with Facebook” and be on their way.

4. No One Wants to Fill Out Forms

photo by mastrobiggo

This tip goes hand-in-hand with point number four above. Forms serve many useful purposes… and maybe that’s part of the problem. They’re great for providing feedback, contacting site owners, and logging into user accounts. But if you’re a form-o-phile, chances are you have more forms that you really need, which can be detrimental to your relationship with lazy visitors.

When visitors come to your site, they don’t want to be prompted to fill out a new form every 60 seconds, or to access the page or download they want. They want to smoothly sail to the information they’re seeking with as little typing as humanly possible.

It’s best to limit the number of form fields throughout your site and to be very strategic about where you place the ones you do allow. It’s also incredibly important to test out the effectiveness of your forms, as this User Interface Engineering case study entertainingly details.

5. Excessive Scrolling = High Bounce Rates

When I land on a page and see the scroll bar shrink to the size of a gnat, I pretty much want to give up immediately. Most users today expect to be able to view all of the content of a single Web page very, very quickly.

Requiring excessive (or even moderate) scrolling is enough to make many visitors bounce, meaning that your entire site’s potential is lost to something as simple as impatience. Many sites have seen increased conversions with the shortening of their Web pages, and there’s no reason why yours can’t too.

Fixing this problem means you’ll likely have to rearrange, rewrite and remove unnecessary content to create a more digestible site structure. However, these revisions can be exponentially beneficial in the long run when visitors are able to find what they want faster, more quickly and with less frustration.

6. Complicated Checkouts Lead to Cart Abandonment

Another thing lazy visitors dislike is a long checkout “line.” If your checkout process takes too many steps or additional pages to get through, or asks for too much information, it’s likely that your current conversion rate is suffering bigtime.

Take this ecommerce study by ElasticPath, for example. They strove to reduce their checkout process to a single page and found through A/B testing that their single page checkout outperformed their multi-page checkout by nearly 22%. And – true to the suggested form rules above – they only prompted customers to create an account after the order was completed.

Although the effectiveness of one-page checkouts vary by site, experiment with your options. Reduce unnecessary screens and ensure the most critical information like order total, shipping times, and shipping rates are presented up-front. And don’t ask customers to create an account right away, because that’s yet another barrier that can lead to abandonment.

We’ve covered limited clicks, a speedy site and short Web pages, among other reasons why embracing laziness on your website is beneficial. There’s one more reason why you should cater to lazy people:

7. Lazy People Are Driving the Mobile Trend

Why get off the couch and turn on your laptop when you can surf the entire Internet from the phone in your hand? To cater to lazy people, you need to have a solid mobile site or responsive design. But lucky for you, if you cater to lazy people in all of the ways mentioned above, you’ll be well on your way there!

A strong mobile site is clean and simple, requires few clicks (or taps on your phone) and requires very minimal scrolling. Basically, if you optimize your website for lazy visitors, you’ll be able to make both your standard website and mobile site more user friendly, cutting down on bounces and abandons while increasing conversions and goal completions.

photo by European Parliament

By pandering to users who are lazy, impatient, or just really busy, you’ll improve the overall effectiveness of your website. Regardless of the type of user visiting or shopping with you, pages that load quickly, are uncomplicated, and make the process clearer can prove a huge asset to your site as a whole. After all, now that the attention span of the average American is shorter than that of  a goldfish, you only have a few seconds to appeal to your visitors. Optimize your website design to please even the laziest visitors and you’ll be in great shape!

In what other ways do you think catering to lazy people could help your website? What examples of “lazy web design” have you seen that resulted in great success or a boost in conversion rates? Share with me in the comments below!

Photo credit: Frederic Poirot, Will Lion, mastrobiggo, European Parliament