How The Illusion of Completeness Ruins Your Marketing


The Illusion of Completeness Is A Marketing Illusion. Research Shows How The Illusion of Completeness Can Fool Us Into Thinking Our Marketing Is Perfect When It’s Actually Very Poor & Losing Us Money

The illusion of Completeness
Don’t Be Fooled by the Illusion of Completeness

I’ve previously said that getting web traffic is only part of the story, but isn’t much use on its own. It’s relatively easy to get web traffic via SEO, PPC or social media posts. But traffic is just a vanity metric if it doesn’t convert.

The problem is, in the drive to build great looking websites, we often confuse visitors to the extent they leave the site without responding to our call to action. Take the webpage in the attached image. It features a recipe with an enticing image and some compelling words. Lots of people are likely to want to Discover More and follow the recipe.


Actually NO.

It’s a failure.

Because if you click on Discover More nothing happens. It’s not a clickable link. It refers to the buttons below. But a lot of people think it’s an instruction. An instruction reinforced by the related recipes below. A group of images that act as a barrier to scrolling down the page.

So, with no clickable buttons, a lot of people leave, disappointed. What they don’t realise is that the recipe is actually further down the page if they kept scrolling.

The Illusion of Completeness Defined

The Illusion of Completeness problem was first described by Tognazzini in 1998. He called it The Illusion of Completeness. If you realised you had to keep scrolling, excellent. Some people get it. But far too many people don’t. And that sort of problem can cost a business a significant number of sales.

There are some simple design devices that can be used to show that scrolling is needed. Design devices that take seconds to implement. They can increase sales by several hundred percent. But some web designers don’t understand the problem (we do), haven’t read the research and think a nice looking site is all that is needed.


Design Faults That Create The Illusion of Completeness

Several design elements create the illusion that the reader has reached the end of the page.

The illusion of Completeness

Do You Need Marketing or Design Advice?

If you want advice on the simple techniques that could increase your website calls to action …or anything else that centres on marketing or design … contact me. It costs nothing to chat. And a few hours consultancy could multiply your sales several-fold.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Please follow and like us:

You may also like...