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A gradual approach for maximising user conversion without compromising experience with high visual intensity website elements

Jarosław Jankowski (Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin, Poland)
Juho Hamari (Gamification Group, Faculty of Information Technology and Communications, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland) (Gamification Group, Faculty of Humanities, University of Turku, Turku, Finland)
Jarosław Wątróbski (Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 11 December 2018

Issue publication date: 7 January 2019




The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a method that can gradually find a sweet spot between user experience and visual intensity of website elements to maximise user conversion with minimal adverse effect.


In the first phase of the study, the authors develop the method. In the second stage, the authors test and evaluate the method via an empirical study; also, an experiment was conducted within web interface with the gradual intensity of visual elements.


The findings reveal that the negative response grows faster than conversion when the visual intensity of the web interface is increased. However, a saturation point, where there is coexistence between maximum conversion and minimum negative response, can be found.

Practical implications

The findings imply that efforts to attract user attention should be pursued with increased caution and that a gradual approach presented in this study helps in finding a site-specific sweet spot for a level of visual intensity by incrementally adjusting the elements of the interface and tracking the changes in user behaviour.


Web marketing and advertising professionals often face the dilemma of determining the optimal level of visual intensity of interface element. Excessive use of marketing component and attention-grabbing visual elements can lead to an inferior user experience and consequent user churn due to growing intrusiveness. At the same time, too little visual intensity can fail to steer users. The present study provides a gradual approach which aids in finding a balance between user experience and visual intensity, maximising user conversion and, thus, providing a practical solution for the problem.



This research has been supported by the Polish National Science Centre, Grant No. 2017/27/B/HS4/01216, Business Finland (40111/14, 40107/14, 40009/16 and 5479/31/2017) and Project Partners, Satakunnan korkeakoulusäätiö and its collaborators, and Academy of Finland (Center of Excellence – GameCult).


Jankowski, J., Hamari, J. and Wątróbski, J. (2019), "A gradual approach for maximising user conversion without compromising experience with high visual intensity website elements", Internet Research, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 194-217.



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