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Why most roster pages are real turnoffs

Remember when as a kid you discovered the paradise of the ice cream parlour? Once you were in front of the panoply of colours and flavours, you were simply overwhelmed. Do you remember why? Or did you forget about the ice cream conundrum: which flavour to pick? Chances are it took you so long to decide that your dad or mum 'guided' you a little bit.


What? Compare your roster with the flavours in an ice cream parlour? Sacrilege!

I admit, it's almost a blasphemy. Nevertheless the ice cream parlour conundrum is exactly what a lot of web visitors experience when they discover most roster pages.

Do you really expect they will click all the names one by one to discover an artist of their choice?


A little bit of psychology, please

Are you familiar with the concept of 'paralysis by analysis'?

When you confront people with a vast number of options, they paralyse. Or better, we all get paralyzed. We feel forced to choose, but at the same time we fear we waste our time. Especially on the web. And certainly when all options are presented without distinction.


Convention imposes that galleries should not favor one of their artists

So you simply publish all your artists in a list. Clean, distant, bureaucratic. The only favor towards your visitor seems to present them alphabetically. Like the names chiseled in stone on a war memorial.


The ice cream man does not push any flavour either

In an ice cream parlour all flavours are treated equally too. All containers look alike, all name tags are similar, there's no distinction on this level. The ice cream man couldn't care less which flavour is your favorite. The only thing he wants is for you to have at least a few scoops.


The ice cream man knows perfectly how to achieve this

If someone hesitates, he explains. If this is not enough he gladly even offers a tiny taste. He knows by experience that this is the best way to persuade his audience. I know, presenting your artists on the web is a lot more complex and subtle. (Maybe you're right to call it a blasphemy.) Still...


As a gallery owner it's your role to persuade too

Your roster page is the focal point of your gallery's site. This is where you want to seduce, incite, convert your visitors to have a closer look. They already jumped the first hurdle by coming to your site. A second one by looking up your roster page. Instead of confronting them with a third hurdle it is time to reward them.


Give them a tiny taste to start with

Show your visitors what to expect before they click on an artist's name. Nothing more evident than to link the name and work with a simple roll-over. Or link a work of art with the artist's name. This one simple step already makes it a lot easier for your visitors.


Make it a wholesome experience

For an ice cream man it's a lot easier to make a visit an experience. Once you taste one spoonful, you know 'this is creamiest, freshest ice I've ever had, perfect texture, nothing but fresh ingredients. I want more.'

Give your vistors an identical experience. Give them a taste of your artists instead of forcing them to jump a third hurdle. Otherwise you risk they will not only be paralyzed by the 'ice cream' conundrum but abandon all together.



Next step: enjoy more articles and optimize your gallery's site using these easy-to-implement tactics to reach out to new audiences.


If you haven't done so already:



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Article written by Luuk Christiaens