"The result means creating conversion"

Ola Nilsson

Vitaly Friedman from Smashing Magazine is into – among many other things – e-commerce. How to become successful. 
– It’s all about clarity, and going from one step to another without being interrupted, says Vitaly Friedman.

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We get in touch with Vitaly Friedman via Skype, he's in Lithuania for the moment.

– Excuse me for being in a loud environment, I'm in a café, he says.

And it took some effort to establish a meeting. Because he doesn't like them.

–  I hate meetings, they are often wasting people’s time, but I like meeting people. 

Yes, he likes meeting people – and he's also passionate about all things digital. You immediately feel comfortable in his company, the video link feels like a living room. You could say that he has perfect attributes for traveling, maybe it's therefore Vitaly Friedman really likes that part of his job as well.

– I find I'm very efficient when I travel. I can really focus. I'm writing articles, editing, reviewing or thinking of the next thing. That is my best time.

Tell me about your thoughts on e-commerce!

– Often I have seen things which are not clear enough. Or transparent enough. I want to add more clarity. And put things up front.

– Like hidden costs. Often when you add something to a cart you have to go through all the steps, filling in forms, all the way to the last step to see the final price. Instead you can, for example, use shipping estimates

Vitaly Friedman has a lot of examples when he starts to talk about it. 

– Or very often you have to create an account, people hate to create accounts. 

– Or if you look at how people do when they should type and verify an email address. They copy from where they wrote it the first time, so if there's is a mistake it will be carried over to the next field. 

– These are little things to keep in mind when working on e-commerce, to streamline the process. I have a checklist. The result means creating conversion, meaning people buy more, and companies end up with more income.

They emphasize user experience above everything else

Most people know about Vitaly Friedman as the man behind Smashing Magazine. Smashing Mag writes great articles, they arrange famous conferences, they really put UX on the agenda. And UX has become even more a topic, a wider topic, during the last few years. 

– It is interesting to see that the focus has changed. The reason for that is that many companies are succeeding today because they are design driven. Companies like Über and Airbnb. They stand out from the crowd. They benefit of being one of the first to emphasize user experience above everything else.

– And many companies think that this is the way to move if they want to survive. 


He has a lot to say about things, Friedman. Interesting ideas. Concrete things that are helpful to many issues. Even how to be creative and how to be efficient he has ideas about, and strategies. The positive with traveling he comes back to.

–  The most productive time is when I am in a plane. I think it’s because I’m off line. Actually, I have introduced off line hours for myself. 

And a special off line period he wants to enjoy in Sweden, in a very special place.

– Sometimes you just want to stay in Abisko for a week, socialize with wolves instead of people.

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