Learning to Dance with the Hippo

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending VKI Studios 1st training session, in a series of 4, which focus on essential aspects of Internet Marketing. The training session I attended was “The Art and Science of Persuasive Web Design”, which takes a look at different persuasive methods, content techniques and examples of how they can be used online.

The session was taught by Michael “STUCK BY LIGHTENING TWICE” Straker, a very upbeat and knowledgeable  Usability Analyst at VKI Studios. I have to say I was very impressed by Michael’s knowledge both inside and outside of the topic.  In one instance while fielding a question he jumped directly into B2B concepts and provided a clear and concise response.

During the morning Micheal led us through a powerpoint presentation outlining the various persuasion methods, including:

  • Trust
  • Persuasion
  • Logic vs Emotion
  • The Contrast Principle
  • Decide-o-Phobia
  • Social Proof
  • Scarcity
  • Diffusion of Responsibility
  • Rule of Reciprocation
  • Obedience of Authority
  • Disrupt then Reframe
  • The Power of People we Like

After reviewing the concepts we spent the afternoon looking at everyone’s website and brainstormed ways we could use our new arsenal of persuasion to improve conversion/usability.

Session Highlights:

  • #1 for me was the quality of the presentation. A concept was presented, references for the concept were then provided from trusted academic and professional sources, then examples were given and finally an engaging question to really make you think how you can use the concept.  Excellent.
  • The printed packages were a nice touch – I didn’t have to waste my time taking notes on the slides instead I could just jot thoughts I had on how I could implement them on my website.
  • Overall the atmosphere was relaxed and inviting –thanks to smiling guys at the front for throwing out my Timmy’s Garbage for me.
  • The small size of the group really gave us the opportunity to talk in length about examples specific to us and remain engaged the entire time.
  • I had the pleasure to meet some interesting people in the industry: @ShermanHu.
  • Overall VKI Studios really focused on quality in every aspect of the training session, and it showed.

Session Letdowns:

  • Wish there was more info on VKI Studios website about this event and other upcoming events (update: I found the page via a Google search: Internet Marketing Training).
  • I couldn’t get the Contact Us Map to work on my iPhone when I was trying to find the place (this might have been just me).
  • I didn’t really understand if the workshop started exactly at 9 or if we were to just show up at 9. For future reference just show up at 9.

As mentioned above VKI studios is doing 3 other sessions that if are anything like the first, will be well worth the cash. Topics include: Search Engine Optimization, Google Analytics & Google Website Optimizer Bootcamp & Pay Per Click Marketing

More information on VKI’s Internet Markeing Training Sessions

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