Has Adobe Ever Heard of Irony?

I got an e-mail inviting me to download an Adobe whitepaper about customer loyalty and the reasons why customers don’t complete purchases. Let’s call those reasons, “conversion barriers.” Despite my great interest in the topic, I have not done so yet.

Let’s run down the list of conversion barriers Adobe has placed in my way:

  1. That’s a lot of required fields. I know there is lots of valuable information in the whitepaper, but I’m not sure I want to take the time to fill in all the fields. I’d probably just make stuff up anyway.
  2. I hate having to opt-out of being contacted. It’s slimy, Adobe, and you should know that. Besides, I came to this page from an e-mail you sent me, so I’m pretty sure you’re going to be contacting me again.
  3. The page has no visual priority. The landing page is bland, boring, and when I first arrived, I wasn’t sure what to look at first (aside from all those form fields). Nothing is enticing and my eyes just swim all over the page.
  4. I doubt Adobe’s expertise. It’s unfortunate, but Adobe is synonymous with Flash in my mind. Flash is great when used well, but so often it is used gratuitously and user experience suffers. The best interfaces feel natural and Flash often feels forced and confining. This coupled with the ironically bad design of this landing page is enough to make me think the whitepaper isn’t worth the amount of time it would take to fill out the form.

It’s not just Adobe. Except for item 4, this could be a list of my pet peeves in landing page design. At least the form is actually on the landing page. The extra click to form pages is something I realize is often a system limitation (content and transactions not living together nicely in many CMS environments), but certainly a big barrier to conversion.

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