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A Call-to-Action Cautionary Tale

Making it hard for customers to purchase.

Every year for the past couple of years I’ve given a presentation on how online store owners can improve their conversions by paying attention to the design of their site. There’s a section of that session where I talk at length about call-to-action (CTA) buttons, showing examples of how some sites still get it wrong. But you’d think that with the web being 25 years old, and the call-to-action button being the most important button on any site that I’d have a harder and harder time finding these examples.

Well you’d be wrong.

The below screenshot shows what awaited me after trying to book a flight a few weeks ago. What was so confusing about this was the combination of radio button, and verbiage on the CTA button closest to my line of sight.



The “purchase ticket now” selection would have made sense if the button immediately below explained that I was about to do just that. But instead it said I was going to start a new search. After a few seconds, however, I noticed the relevant button over to the right and further up the page.



Needless to say that’s a few seconds of unnecessary friction. Most sites can’t afford it and it seems that they couldn’t either as they’ve now moved the “continue” button down to where you’d expect it be. Nothing else has changed as far as the page design is concerned, but I’d bet this simple adjustment has improved their conversions (and probably customer service calls) a significant amount.



Andrew Davies

Drew's degrees in Illustration, 2D animation and Broadcast Design, and his volleyball skillz mean he can get your design done and play well with others at the same time. He’s the Creative Director at Paragon and will call you out if you start hanging out with shady-looking fonts and messing around with whacked-out color palettes.