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SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: SIGIA-L: impressions (long)

Re: SIGIA-L: impressions (long)

From: Tim Salam (
Date: Fri Jan 25 2002 - 17:32:35 EST

This email contains replies to the comments of two previous emails...

From: "Eric Reiss" <>
"Remember, most web users are accustomed to visiting bad sites, so it's
tough to shock them (and sometimes frighteningly easy to please them, too)."

I agree, at least until said web user sees the site of a competitor who did
a more concientious job with their online presentation...;) Enter the power
of impressions...

A site is yet another touchpoint in the spectrum of customer-brand
interaction. Regardless of a company's understanding of *brand promise*,
they are still conveying that promise to the user through all touchpoints,
site included.

<input name="personal opinion" action="soapbox">
If a site is shabby, I think most consumers would perceive this as,
well...shabby. Especially if a competitor looks and runs nice online.
Worried about looking expensive and thus out of reach for a lot of
conusmers? Post your prices (there are more ways than just a price chart to
do this). Worried about consumers not perceiving you as cheaper than your
competitors? Post your prices, and push the price - don't dress down.

My personal view notwithstanding, Eric's comment on users being
frighteningly easy to please is true in too many cases. I'm thinking it's
because they're used to a low standard. Enter AOL...

From: "molly wright steenson" <>
"...just like the microsoft impression and crappy user experience on many
microsoft products. they don't have to make a good impression -- they've
dominated enough of the market to demand that users curb to the microsoft
experience, rather than microsoft trying to figure out how to build an
outstanding customer experience."


From: "Eric Reiss" <>
"My impression is that most Americans see AOL as the only game in townin
terms of internet access (remember, I don't live in the U.S. so I may be
wrong about this.). At any rate, I suspect AOL gets away with a lot of stuff
that wouldn't fly in a more competitive market."

AOL is not popular in America because it's number one and has taken over the
market. It's popular because it provides an low barrier to entry for
Internet newcomers. AOL's central ad message is "It's so EASY!", so they
come in droves.

There is actually a lifecycle of AOL users I've observed, where they enter,
develop a sense of their computer and the Internet, then depart later on to
"wing it" with a local ISP and become a slightly more advanced user. To
this end, AOL is good, and the impression they deliver ("It's so EASY it's
silly!!") is right on the mark - for all the whining I do about AOL, they
know exactly what they're doing and are raking it in (how unusual...a tech
company raking it in and not burning out in a brilliant flash of light?)

tim salam (who can manage to say very little in a great deal of text...)
experience designer

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