The Best Customer Experience Ever

The Best Customer Experience Ever

[wide][/wide] What an experience! What a surprise! The book I just bought sent me an email… and “he” is talking to me! After buying a book from Better World Books, I got an email with this subject: “Your order has been shipped!” I was expecting a regular, cold, and traditional confirmation letter, but for my surprise, this is what I got: Hello Marcos,   (Your book(s) asked to write you a personal note – it seemed unusual, but who are we to say no?) Holy canasta! It’s me… it’s me! I can’t believe it is actually me! You could have picked any of over 2 million books but you picked me! I’ve got to get packed! How is the weather where you live? Will I need a dust jacket? I can’t believe I’m leaving Mishawaka, Indiana already – the friendly people, the Hummer plant, the Linebacker Lounge – so many memories. I don’t have much time to say goodbye to everyone, but it’s time to see the world! I can’t wait to meet you! You sound like such a well read person. Although, I have to say, it sure has taken you a while! I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but how would you like to spend five months sandwiched between Jane Eyre (drama queen) and Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (pyromaniac)? At least Jane was an upgrade from that stupid book on brewing beer. How many times did the ol’ brewmaster have one too many and topple off our shelf at 2am? I know the trip to meet you will be long and fraught with peril, but after the close...
Better World Books

Better World Books

Make the World Better…Just Buy Books! What Is It: Better World Books, a for-profit social enterprise bent on passing on the gift of literacy around the world, book by book by book. How They Do It: Partnering with 1,600 college campus and 950 libraries nationwide, Better World Books has collected and sold books to more than 2 million customers, raising money for literacy organizations worldwide and helping to care for the environment, while providing you a fair and affordable price for your books. Who They Work With: Books for Africa, Room to Read, Worldfund, the National Center for Family Literacy, and Invisible Children. What They’ve Got to Offer: Six million titles, from art and business books to romance and sci-fi novels waiting for you to browse through. What They Have Over Huge Sites: BWB doesn’t charge shipping and handling and they offer free shipping...
What’s a banner for, anyway?

What’s a banner for, anyway?

A few topics on the creation of an effective banner. The main job of a banner, oddly enough, is to take the users somewhere they probably weren’t planning on going. That is, to steer them from what they are actually looking for in the site. To that end, banners must be compelling. A successful banner explores the fact that people tend to focus on answers without really defining the questions. The main job of a banner is to take the users somewhere they weren’t planning on going That’s why some issues must be considered when creating banners. Three of them are essential. Appeal. First of all, banners must be visible. They have to stand out from their surroundings. Allure. After drawing the users’ attention, you also have to spark their interest. The message must be convincing, and the design must inspire that trust. Recognition. Building an image is vital in distinguishing oneself from the competition and in generating reliability. We must bring the message into the users’ cognitive model, so that they not only see the banner, but also take notice of it. Banners should be approached as a communicative tool, and not mere “little boxes” where we stack all the information we wish to convey to the users. It is of great help to mind a few basic aspects, such as choosing the appropriate site for the placement of the banner, thus enhancing its potential within the desired target audience. Identify beforehand the environment in which the banner will be placed and make sure it will be visible in the site’s general context. The message must be clear,...
Why do we sometimes ignore banners?

Why do we sometimes ignore banners?

Our brain, as a result of previous experiences, works out cognitive models and disregards irrelevant elements when searching for information. More…“Were it a case of agnosia, the patient would see now what he had always seen, that is, he would not have suffered any decrease in his visual acuity; the brain would have simply become unable to recognize a chair where there was one… it would have lost the ability to know it knew…” We tend to believe the visual world is brought to us by the mere information reaching our eyes. In his book “An Essay on Blindness“, José Saramago mentions the existence of that unusual visual condition which, despite being associated to the eyes, is in fact a neurological disorder. We tend to believe the visual world is brought to us by the mere information reaching our eyes. However, any knowledge of the world around us implies assigning meaning, or in other words, everything presented to us must be interpreted. Such assignment of meaning requires converting insignificant elements into objects packed with cultural substance. The fact that most of us, including design-related professionals, are oblivious in that respect is somewhat intriguing, basically because the world we live in is loaded with objects. We go through life identifying, classifying, utilizing and evaluating objects, creating meaning for everything around us. In the universe of electronic graphic interfaces, a variation of visual agnosia has been detected and is currently under study. It is called banner blindness and is described as a tendency the users have to simply ignore some shapes, colors, patterns and everything else in relative proximity. In those...