BILLY AND ME | The user experience as told by Family Circus

(Part 1 of Until We Run Out of Things to Say mini-series)

Well, Billy’s at at it again — leaving his dotted trail for all to see and trace his steps. This begs to be compared to today’s all-important, ever buzzword-worthy, mind-mapping, heat-mapping, persona-creating, user-experience process.

It’s the first day of Summer, a highly anticipated event in the world of young Billy: much like finally committing to purchasing that new whatchamacallit online, or researching that opportunity that at last has become available on the company site. Whatever the situation, let’s assume the individual is stoked to be visiting you.

At a glance, Billy is having the time of his life, engaging in every activity the experience affords him. Yet somehow, he walks away unfulfilled at the end declaring, “There’s nothin’ to do.”

At OBEN, we don’t typically distinguish between the print, digital, and real-world experience. Good communication is good communication. The tools may change, but the goal remains the same: results.

If we were comparing this to a visitor on your site, or even brick-and-mortar establishment, there were 14 separate opportunities for someone to get Billy's attention and get a desired reaction.

That’s 14 calls-to-action, 14 buy-nows, 14 sign-up today’s, 14 “Do something, Billy!” events.

So with that in mind, here are just a couple of simple and easily implemented suggestions on how to make your CTAs give Billy an “I did something” kind of day:


Make sure your CTA copy is clear, concise, and states exactly what Billy can expect if he clicks on it.


Add action and ownership by using words such as “GET”, “DOWNLOAD”, “WATCH”, “YOUR”, “MY”, and “GO”.

Supply and Demand

Exclusivity and finite opportunity both go a long way in creating urgency. When appropriate, don’t be bashful about using terms such as “LIMITED”, “NOW”, or “ONLY # LEFT”.

In Yo’ Face

If you have done everything above, and have the CTA of your dreams — own it. Place it proudly where it can be seen. Position it at the exact moment in your story where the next step is natural. Large and in charge. Free of obstruction, clutter, and confusion. Set it free to be the best damned CTA it can be.

Try it. Sit back, pour yourself a whiskey, and watch that click count climb.

As always, thank you, Billy. And thank you, Mr. Keane, for your timeless wisdom.

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