Yes, even checklist symbols impact your buying behavior.

Written by Guido Jansen in
July 2016

When creating an unordered list in a computer program, it usually looks something like this:

  • item 1
  • item 2
  • item 3

The dot could be replaced by ‘-’ but that’s usually where the variantions end.

To make it fit the designs better you’ll see different variations on websites, but simply “making it look better” is not always the (single) intention. We’ve done A/B tests that show that (green) ticks (compared to just a · or a - ) will actually increase the likelyhood of you buying whatever is being advertised. It’s actually one of the most consistent tests that will result in a small (but statistically significant) uplift.

The theory here is that we are trained to see ticks as ‘good’. Remember your homework and how your teacher marked it’s sections as being correct..?

The green doesn’t have a mayor effect, but it’s usually better than using a negative color like red (again from your homework).

Some examples:

Skype listing the benefits of using their desktop app.
Many comparison tables like this one on GitHub wil have checkmarks. Of you could “cross off” the items that are available, but crosses are seen as a more negative symbol.
Basecamp also uses an alternative for the · or — , but it’s not a checkmark but they use thumbs up emoticons instead.
On booking.com it’s not a list, but the effect of the checkmark is still powerful enough when it’s only a single checkmark marking an items as something good.
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