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The experience was originally written up here:

http://www.kalzumeus.com/2006/08/26/the-visual-impact-stock-...

But its so long ago that both the before and after photos were overwritten in the the intervening years. I had icons, though, in roughly the same positions as they are currently. You can see the old version here -- not the best photo but it suffices:

http://www.topdownloads.net/section_images/software/11552149...

They were from Sun's Java visual identity set, which was attractively priced when I started working on a Java project with a $60 budget. You can see them here:

http://java.sun.com/developer/techDocs/hi/repository/

The ones I was using were the open, save, print, and new document buttons. If you notice, they do not look like the sort of thing you would expect an elementary schoolteacher to have in her classroom. I knew the sort of look I wanted: big, bright, bold -- like a Fischer Price toy. Then one day, while browsing the Internet, I saw an icon set that gave exactly that for about the price of one copy of my software. So I snagged it, on the theory that if it resulted in one marginal sale it was worth it.

I've used those buttons continuously since August 2006, so you can see them on the front page of my website (http://www.bingocardcreator.com). Note that they're big, bold, and colorful. That increased my visitor to download conversion rate and download to purchase conversion rate, instantly. Take a gander at the difference between the 08/06 and 09/06 bars here:

http://www.bingocardcreator.com/stats/sales-by-month

As you can see, it was worth rather substantially more than 1 marginal sale.

(Wow, thats a blast from the past, reminiscing about when the difference between $300 and $500 was a huge improvement to me...)




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