How Conversion Centered Design Is Different From User Centered Design?

1st February 2016 1
Divya Pandey E-commerce Evangelist
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Conversion rate optimization has become the buzzword these days. For every person, whose business is based online, conversion rate optimization has become the need of the hour.

What is conversion rate optimization?

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of optimizing the landing pages, sponsored search ads, and overall website design to boost the conversion rate. The goal is to synchronize conversion-centric design, conversion focused development, conversion marketing, and conversion analytics in such a way that a good number of relevant visitors come to the website/landing page and get converted into leads or sales.

Importance of conversion centered design in CRO

Conversion centered design plays a key role in the whole process. If the design is conversion focused, half the battle for achieving higher conversions is already won. However, there are two very important things which are being confused as one and they are: conversion focused web design and user-centered design. Both of these are focused upon the user experience & usability and are designed only after analyzing the online behavior pattern of the target group. But, what’s the difference then? The difference is nothing but the purpose or the goal which you want to achieve via the user. The goal of user-centered design is to provide the user a good experience when he is on the website whereas the goal of the conversion centered design is to get the user do what you want by using persuasive design and psychological triggers.

Everybody wants to boost their profits. If you are reading this article here, you are certainly interested in optimizing the conversion rate of your website. Time and speed are two very important factors for the success of the website. Now, these two conversion factors work both the ways:

  1. If the website loading time is too much i.e. the website is slow, then, in that case, the user experience won’t be good which will ultimately decrease or finish the chances of conversion.
  2. Let’s assume a situation where the website loading speed is good (fastest ever) and user usability Is good as well. But if you have given too many options to your user, then certainly you may be a victim of ‘Analysis paralysis’ of the user. When you give too many options to your user, you show him a way for jumping to multiple numbers of options and pages. That is definitely going to increase the ‘average time spent by the user’ on the website but that will not suffice what you want- Conversion.

The more options you give to your user, the slower he gets or the more time he takes in taking the decision is actually going to impact the conversion rate negatively.

Showing too many call to action buttons on the same page can lead to distractions.

  conversion centered design vs user centered design

“When too many options are presented, visitors typically will just click on one of the first few links available, hoping it’s what they need. If not, guess what? They split.” – Stoney deGeyter

Thus it is advisable that for any specific action to be taken, one must focus on a specific landing page which is not connected to the whole website but provides a solution for what the user is looking for.

“Less is more. The fewer choices you have on your landing page the more likely people are to convert.”

Also, it is suggested to have separate landing pages for different sources of traffic. Quality of the landing page and the information conveyed on the landing page should go in sync with the message the users saw before they reached the website.

Having specific landing pages increases the conversion rate to a much higher extent. Thus the key takeaway is to focus on the conversion centered design to increase the conversions.

How to go about conversion centered design?

  • Divide your user group into various segments.
  • Analyze their online behavior pattern.
  • Decide the one specific goal you want to achieve or which is the most important for your business’s growth.
  • Instead of a one-size-fits-all philosophy, create multiple landing pages for the same call to action to suit the user’s preferences.
  • Optimize them and promote them organically as well as via paid advertisement mediums, for example- Google AdWords, Facebook Adverts, etc.

There are two goals which must be kept in mind before designing: User goals and Business Goals. Click To Tweet

Important Elements for Conversion centered design

As the conversion centered design is more focused towards making the user take the action (one which we want), it is mainly to do with the design elements and psychological elements.

conversion centered design elements

Design Elements

Design is a mix of craft, science, storytelling, propaganda, and philosophy. Its a way of representing the things in the most beautiful and functional way that when somebody sees it, they take the decision/action effortlessly.

  • Encapsulation

Encapsulation is the technique where you highlight a certain piece of information to provide it the attention it deserves. Encapsulation is done using images, graphics or just simple frames around the element you want to highlight.

  • Contrast and Colour

Colour does not add a pleasant quality to design – it reinforces it. It’s about using color contrast to nudge and persuade viewers into taking a desired action.

  • Directional Cues

Directional cues are the visual indicators which draw the user’s attention to the focal point.

  • White spaces

The truly elegant design incorporates top-notch functionality into a simple, uncluttered form. For example, Google’s home page wants to do just one thing – to help people search the internet.

Psychology Elements 

Good designs come from the heart, not from the brain. Psychology is an important aspect. Emotions should be triggered in the right way. Design can make a person excited or send him into deep thought. It can make him enter the details or just simply skip. It’s a world full of emotions, you need to trigger what you need for your conversion.

 Remember, the only important thing about design is how it relates to people.

  • Urgency and Scarcity

Decision Theory shows people are more averse to losing something or missing out on it, as compared to acquiring something. Fear of failure is dominant in humans, so is the fear of losing. If you show them that they will miss out on something soon, if they do not take quick action, it leads to conversions.

  •  Try Before You Buy

‘Try Before You Buy’ is the trick which brings the end user into confidence. He might think thrice before filling in the details for actually making a purchase, but for a free trial, nobody really cares.

  • Social Proof

Social proofing is an important thing you just cannot miss. People are the main actors for online businesses and they like to belong. They like to be part of a group and will often conform to group decisions and choices, even if there is an element of doubt.

Great design is a mix of User, Market & Company view. If you miss anyone, you get a bad UX. Click To Tweet


Undoubtedly, conversion centered design is what we all need today for the businesses to succeed. Keeping in mind all the aspects of the conversion rate and considering how higher conversion rate can result in optimum profits, it is suggested to focus on the conversion centered design. Its not rocket science, you just need to play with the right elements at the right place.


Divya Pandey – E-commerce Evangelist

As an e-commerce evangelist at Conversion Bug, Divya keeps on experimenting new methods to increase the conversion rates of the e-commerce stores. Increasing the profits of the stores is her primary goal. She writes on topics related to Conversion rate optimization, conversion marketing, and e-commerce CRO.

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