Is FutureNow Losing 5% of Its Conversions to Javascript Tabs?

Author: Gab Goldenberg

Problem: FutureNow requires Javascript to see the content in the some of its tabs (see “How it Works” and “Details” in the image below), which hides this content from 5% of its visitors. According to studies, 5% of web users browse with Javascript disabled. So anything coded in Javascript won’t work for 5% of the web.

This is a major usability problem – they’re turning away 1 in 20 visitors! Try making an offline retail location a success by turning away 1 in 20 visitors.

Here’s an analogy in plain English, for the non-techie readers.

Suppose FutureNow’s site is a brochure. The point of giving out the brochure (getting traffic) is to generate leads.

Well, FutureNow are gluing together the inside pages of their brochures. So people lacking a glue solvent (5% of those getting the brochures), can’t see the inside of their brochures!

Result: The inability to see crucial information and wondering what’s going on frustrates potential leads. This being the web, they’re short on patience and leave, rather than becoming leads.

Solution to Javascript tabs and Javascript-required functionality: By using something like the coda slider I linked to in my previous post, FutureNow could achieve the same tab functionality yet still make the content accessible to those with Javascript disabled.

(Kudos to this Missouri Web Design shop for the coda slider reference on SEOmoz.)

The same visual effect and user interface is created, for those with javascript enabled. For those without, there’s an alternative in place to display the tabbed content.

Solution in plain English: Make a display with all your brochure info and set it up on an easel. Then point those without glue solvent to it. That way, all your marketing copy is available to everyone!

Here’s what the coda slider content looks like with javascript disabled. You just scoll down to see the rest of the content or click on the jumplinks (Sites, Files, Editor etc.), which will have the same effect.

Today’s Key Takeaway On Conversion Optimization: If you use javascript for any essential functionality, make sure to provide an alternative for those with javascript disabled. If you must glue your brochures together, also create a big display that shows all the brochure info at a glance.

p.s. I realize that my own site is full of conversion problems and that FutureNow is eons ahead in its conversion optimization.

In my defence, I’ve bought the three books by the Eisenbergs (Call to Action, Waiting for Your Cat to Bark, and Always Be Testing), plus Tim Ash’s Landing Page Optimization, Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think, Paco Underhill’s Why We Buy, and a bunch of other stuff recommended by Lance Loveday and Sandra Niehaus, whose book Web Design 4 ROI was seminal for me. It introduced me to the practical field of conversion optimization in earnest. And I’m speaking to Sandra now about some consulting that I hope to get with her next week :D. That should help direct my priorities with my update/redesign efforts for conversion optimization…

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