Where's your Banana?

Several years ago my friend and marketing guru, Seth Godin wrote a book about web design entitled The Big Red Fez.* In it, he makes a strong case for clear calls to action on website landing pages.

He described the design challenge in this manner: if you were going to train a circus monkey wearing a big red fez to climb a tall ladder and jump into a vat of green jello, you'd have to bribe him with a banana. First you'd place a banana on the first step of the ladder, then the next step, then the next step until he'd have to jump into the vat for the final banana. The key is to make it clear to the monkey where the bananas are. Makes sense, right?

Unfortunately, many career portal designers hide the banana. They jam pack the career recruitment page with dense information about the company or present a dizzying number of outbound links that veer away from the talent site's main goal: capture the information of new job candidates. As an employer, you do yourself (and the prospective employee) a disservice by not helping to create a DIRECTED experience.

Rackspace does a good job of putting the "call to action" front and center on their career page. Within 10 nanoseconds it's clear that you, the visitor, should click on the big honkin', red button that says "JOIN NOW." I'll bet they have a pretty high click through rate because the banana is so well placed.

How well does your career page stack up against Rackspace's? Are you hiding the banana?

*if you look closely, you'll note that the book is dedicated to me. I've been helping Seth out with his online branding since the 90s.

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