Ex-Vet saving up for a hooker. God bless. Anything helps!

Alex Bogusky - It hits almost every demographic in one (homeless) sign. The military man, but looking to party, and god fearing. So many signs say”anything helps”, which is interesting… because there’s a lot of testing going on day to day in this marketplace with these signs, they’re being refined, and you start to see themes over and over.“

How did Find out More” become our defacto choice for CTA buttons? How are telemarketer scripts created? How do Buzzfeed pick their headlines?

Anything that involves a buy-in, has been optimized for effectiveness.

We might see these language and design patterns as boring. They are. But what they share in common, the path of least resistance, is an important lesson for all of us out there trying to make new stuff.

Before you start arguing in favor of your original creation, stop. Understand, and learn about what’s come before you. Don’t mindlessly blast your way through granite cliffs, follow the river. Find out what has been proven to work, and why.

And then build on it.


October 8, 2014