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All the small things – what do we pick up when browsing?

Occasionally you’ll come across a person who has an ability to build a rapport with, and be liked by, almost everyone.

What makes these people likable? What makes peoples’ personalities infectious?

The easy answer is charisma and charm. But there is also a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ about some people.

According to William Condon, humans communicate on a subconscious level with ‘microrhythms’. His studies showed that if you slow down footage of people who are familiar with one another talking amongst themselves, you start to see a rhythmic interaction between the participants of the conversation.

On the speaker you can detect tiny movements of eyebrows, lips, fingers and eyebrows that all emphasize her words. At the same time, the listeners are moving to the same rhythm, starting and stopping their movements in perfect harmony.

When two people get comfortable with one another they also equalize the length of silence between each other’s input. The differences between their volumes and pitches balance out.

This conversational rhythm is not a conscious decision by the participants, just a natural harmony we fall into.

Some people can match your rhythm instantly, sealing a subconscious rapport. It is thought that this rapport goes a long way in helping a persons ‘charisma’ or assisting in one person’s decision over whether they like another person not.

It’s interesting just what we pick up that we are not aware of, and how it affects our decisions.

Relevance to search

What makes a search result a good result? What makes us trust a website?

Consciously, many obvious things. A decent logo and a professional layout of relevant information spring to mind.

But how about subconsciously? The ratio of ads to content? The font? Presence of an obvious ‘template’ design? A majority of these will be drawn on past interactions of previous websites and your experiences with them. The rest will be made from your intuition. Both will overlap.

A large internet retailer recently ran a split test on the wording of their shopping basket. They changed a button’s wording from ‘create your account’ to ‘continue’. The result was a 50% decrease in abandonment.

If you had asked buyers why they didn’t buy, I doubt many would have said “because it said ‘create account’ not ‘continue’”. But subconsciously, they objected to going through the registering process (even though they’d have to register either way).

That’s quite an advanced thought process to be having without even knowing it. Imagine the complexity of the process going on when you’re evaluating a whole website, whether to interact with or extract information from it.

Text Results

Trying to come to a conclusion about how useful a site is based on 20 words is like trying to build a rapport with someone blindfolded, in silence, with a 20 word description about the person.

That’s why, with our visual search engine, we let you evaluate a site before you visit it. This way, you won’t waste your time clicking ‘back’.

We display results as the page title, URL and an image of the website.

Take your blindfold off and start browsing.

 

Jon

Oolone

 

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