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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It works!
This is a great book to read if you're a designer, developer, or business looking to find evidence-based ways to boost online engagement. Practical, well-researched and useful - a must if you're serious about competing in an over-crowded market!
Published 21 months ago by James Layfield

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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to psychology principles. Weak on application and case studies
Short Review:

A broad and useful introduction to several areas of psychology. Lively, engaging writing style. An easy-read.

Weak at proving that the ideas offered (the book is full of 'Make This Work For You' suggestions) would made a difference i.e. a lack of evidence.

Recommendation:

If you don't know much about psychology,...
Published 18 months ago by Andrew Lloyd Gordon


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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to psychology principles. Weak on application and case studies, 7 Jan 2013
Short Review:

A broad and useful introduction to several areas of psychology. Lively, engaging writing style. An easy-read.

Weak at proving that the ideas offered (the book is full of 'Make This Work For You' suggestions) would made a difference i.e. a lack of evidence.

Recommendation:

If you don't know much about psychology, web marketing and web design principles, then it's a good intro. Unfortunately - in my humble opinion - I don't think it's as revolutionary as some of the other reviews imply.

Longer Review:

I love psychology. I have a degree in it, post-grad qualifications and more psychology books than I have items of clothing.

OK. The bit about my clothing is an exaggeration. But my love of psychology and all things, 'influence and persuasion' especially, isn't. I also work in digital marketing and have done so for about 100 years (or so it feels).

You can imagine my excitement - glee in fact - at reading the synopsis of 'Webs of Influence'. I couldn't think of a better combination of two of my fave subjects - psychology and the InterWeb. Ace!

As soon as I got the book, I read it eagerly from cover to cover. And I like it. Sort of. Ish.

The Good

It's got lots of solid, psychology information in it. There's stuff in there that I did know, knew a little about and stuff I'd not come across before. Believe me, I could read this type of material again and again. Any book that covers this ground is a winner with me :)

It's just when the book tries to tie the psychology into web design and online marketing that I feel it book doesn't quite work. Or, perhaps more accurately, the premise of the book doesn't work. Because I have to say that this is a lovely book to read. The writing is chatty, simple and without too much jargon. At 234 pages, it won't take you long to read it. There's also a useful Notes section with references to other follow-up material.

The Not So Good

For me, a lot of the ideas presented in the book are either flimsy, don't necessarily link to the psychology being described or are rather banal pieces of marketing advice that can be found elsewhere. For example (edited quote from the book):

"Stand out from the crowd...a smart solution is to add real value to your products and services (offer something your competitors don't) and reflect this in the price." Really? Never thought of that.

I know, I know. I shouldn't mock.

I'm not the one who's made the huge effort of writing a book (something I admire in anyone). It's just that I wanted this to be a niche book on the Psychology of Online Persuasion and not one with average marketing advice.

The other thing I wanted to see in the book - longed to see in fact - were 'Before and After' case studies.

My argument is, if these techniques are so powerful, it would be great to test them on a real website. It's not that I don't think that many, if not all, of the ideas in the book aren't decent. It's just that I've learned from painful experience that in digital marketing never to rely upon gut instinct alone. Especially when you've got some amazing testing tools available.

For example, I would have like to have seen case studies where A/B or MVT tests were run to determine whether, for example,

"...requiring customers to 'tweet this link' to unlock the product they're wishing to download' (p191)

...either improved sign-ups and conversions or increased the website visitor bounce rate? As anyone in digital marketing knows, this would be a pretty simple test to set up and would add weight to the arguments made.

OK - with so many ideas presented, not all of them could be tested. It's just that in digital you really can 'put your money where your mouth is'.

Final Thought and Recommendation:

Buy the book. It's a decent read. Just don't expect that without applying some serious and time consuming research you'll necessarily revolutionise your online marketing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars meh...., 4 Nov 2013
This review is from: Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion (Paperback)
not as great as everyone else says. As an avid studier of psychology as a science I found this book to be too vague and conversational. Lots of neat little examples but without really tapping into the underlying processes that really drive behaviour. There are some interesting things, for sure, but the amount of true knowledge imparted by the author is a bit thin on the ground really.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It works!, 28 Oct 2012
This review is from: Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion (Paperback)
This is a great book to read if you're a designer, developer, or business looking to find evidence-based ways to boost online engagement. Practical, well-researched and useful - a must if you're serious about competing in an over-crowded market!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Useful at work and applicable in life: A comprehensive and accessible account of psychology for designers and marketeers. . ., 3 July 2014
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An excellent compilation of psychology theory applied to digital design and marketing. This book gives strategic and tactical guidance to anyone interested in designing or simply understanding digital experiences. The theories have wider relevance to everyday life which makes it more of an interesting read than other business books....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great ammunition for business cases!, 26 May 2014
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C. Martin "Chazsays" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion (Paperback)
Super easy to read, engaging and thought provoking. Gives one great insight and ideas; also how to cultivate business cases for investment in research capabilities in the corporate world too. Not overly academic- I've added the book to my must-read list for new grads, it's that good.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, comprehensive and thoroughly readable, 18 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion (Paperback)
An attractive book, with colour throughout, it is full of fascinating insights that explore almost every facet of websites designed to influence and persuade us. This is essential reading for anyone with a website ... and should be compulsory reading for website designers!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Web Psychology, 28 May 2013
This review is from: Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion (Paperback)
Nathalie Nahai's goal in Webs of Influence is to provide insights into how we can improve our online presence. Her book takes you through all the necessary background to how psychology can be used to great effect to boost online success.

Whilst Web Psychology is a comparatively new field, the author has managed to use the latest available research and data to support her theories and provide hands-on advice in a very practical and engaging way. The book is a very easy (and thoroughly enjoyable!) read and should be kept close at hand for all web marketeers and online professionals to refer to, and draw inspiration from in their online ventures.
I particularly liked the last 2 sentences on the last page (p. 234):

"We will always exploit technology to meet our human desires. Whoever understands these desires and the drivers behind them will hold the key to online influence."
This is precisely what Nathalie Nahai delivers in her book: the key to achieve this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great book for all interested in UX, 8 April 2013
This review is from: Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion (Paperback)
This book is great as it's a good read whether you're a total novice to psychology or a seasoned expert. It's easy and light to read (just one of many instances of Nathalie practicing what she preaches) and yet it contains a number of useful studies and brand examples which are like gold dust for the more experienced behavioural economist.
What really set this book apart for me was it's use of psychological principles in its own execution - concreteness, fluency and emotion are all used to great effect.
I would have liked there to have been more coverage of empirical studies investigating the use of heuristics online (e.g. social proof makes people x% more likely to sign up to a newsletter), but having looked myself, it seems this research may not even exist yet. This is an exciting field which is only going to grow, and Nathalie has done a great job of spearheading it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars simple & powerful, 22 Mar 2013
This review is from: Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion (Paperback)
I discovered this book whilst in an airport and I don't regret picking it up. Nathalie Nahai's book is refreshingly easy to understand and should be read by anyone who has an interest in psychology and or/marketing as well as in the online world - in which we spend of course more and more time.

I particularly like how Nathalie Nahai highlights the psychological aspects of consumers' behaviours, offline as well as online. Many findings and conclusions are illustrated with case studies and illustrations, making this book even more practical and inspirational.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in how our brain works and how that in return affects our shopping behaviour, both in the digital and real world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A thorough and entertaining survey of web psychology, 18 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion (Paperback)
Anyone in the business of developing websites needs to read this. However, its insights into the psychology of influence are relevant to all aspects of marketing and sales. The text is thoroughly researched and referenced. The book is also beautifully designed, with nice clear graphics. If you want to know how to target your audience, develop messages that will appeal to them and convert them to your cause, then Natalie Nahai provides all the essential information you need. It's draws on the latest research and is full useful facts and insights. For example, viewing websites on tablets encourages far deeper levels of engagement. I would have given a more detailed review only my son (who works in marketing for a large consumer brand) has kindly pocketed my thoroughly marked up copy. It's going to be hell's own job to get it back.
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Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion
Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion by Nathalie Nahai (Paperback - 20 Sep 2012)
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