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Pattern Group B. Creating a Navigation F... > Intention and Impulse Drive Customer...

Intention and Impulse Drive Customers to Act

Before you design a navigation framework, it helps to understand what drives customers to take action online. Customers come to a site with a goal: to accomplish a specific task—for example, “to find George's phone number”; to do something more general, such as “to buy the best ski jacket”; or just to look around, perhaps because someone else recommended the site. Once on a site, however, customers also navigate on the basis of things that grab their attention, whether it is a targeted promotion or they simply see a related item of interest.

From these observations we have identified two things that drive customers to action: intention and impulse (these can also be thought of as goal and trigger, or need and desire). Neither intentional or impulsive behavior is inherently good or bad, but a site that omits intention-based navigation might feel shallow and quirky, while one that omits impulse-based navigation might feel boring. You can take advantage of both intention- and impulse-based behavior to help your customers have a satisfying experience. Figure B1.2 diagrams the feedback loop among customer attitudes, intentions, impulses, and behavior.


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