· 4 min read

"The user is drunk" and how it applies to every area of life

“It’s so weird Marcel, nobody is signing up.”
“Where did you put the link?”
“In small letters at the bottom of the email”
“Well there you go: nobody saw it.”

There is literally a guy you can pay to get drunk and review your website.

Yeah it’s funny—but it’s also very serious.

You see, people aren’t visiting your website after their 2-hour meditation. Instead, they’re probably…

  • on the couch waiting for their food to arrive,
  • on the escalator in the shopping mall, or
  • pooping 💩

(Take note: this is one of the reasons I wrote that in bullet points instead of one sentence.)

I’m fascinated by good design because it makes people do the right thing without having to think.

Let’s play a game.

You’re in an office building and it’s on fire. You run up to the fire exit door and it looks like this:

Picture of emergency exit door where you have no clue whether to pull or push it

You’ve got 0.5 seconds to open it. Push? Pull? Left side? Right side?
Chances are you’ll be wrong.

Now imagine the door looked like this:

Door without handles, obviously for pushing only

You didn’t even have to think about opening that door. You just…walk through.

Side with handle = pull.
Side without handle = push.
Even a drunk man can figure it out.

Everything you design, write or create should work this way.

Before you design your website, think about the journey you want to take your visitors on. What should they read, see, think, and do? Don’t even think about what it will look like right now—just write it down.

On a website you’ll probably have a few different options so write them all down and sort them from most-to-least important.

This is important: try to get one main path. That becomes the headline and the big blue button you align on the golden ratio.

Look: let’s say I completely blur out this website. Can you still figure out where to click?

Blurred out landing page on a laptop, but the CTA is still clear

Before you write that email, think about what you want your readers to do:

  1. They should know that X
  2. They should sign up for Y
  3. Maybe they can check out Z

Great—now make sure that’s obvious almost without looking.

Of course, there’s a lot of psychology, copywriting and design that comes into play here and it’s way too much for me to go into now—but just having the clarity will already make a huge difference.

Before you put away the clean dishes, think about where you’ll need them next time. Does it really make sense that the cups are on the other side of the kitchen than the water kettle and coffee machine?

Before you install the electrical system in your house, think about the most obvious place to put each light switch.

I’m on the road right now and look where they installed the bathroom light switch:

Picture of the bathroom door where the light switch is in the weirdest place

Seriously? Behind the door??? Now I have to close the door, so I can reach the switch, click it on, walk back and then open the door again before I can walk in.

Before you publish that ad, make sure the call to action is blatantly obvious. Doesn’t need to be there all the way at the start (if you want people to read), but it should be there. Literally—writing “click the button that says ‘click here’” can increase your click-through rate.

Maybe you think it’s stupid.
Maybe you want to be smart and fancy.
But what really makes the difference is clarity.

It’s a sign of respect when you take the time to make something clear and simple.

”I’m sorry—if I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.”

So the next time you design a landing page or an email…

don’t put the most important thing at the bottom in small letters.

Instead, make it so obvious that even a drunk guy understands.

Go crush it today, with love. 🚀❤️
Marcel

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