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I am working on an auction website that will always have only 5 auctions at a time.

On the product list a business guy doesn't want to show the product name, only images. His reasoning is that it is a marketing thing; if there is no name the customer will be curious and click on that product.

Is this reason legit? Should we provide or not provide product name in this situation?

enter image description here

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Can you ask the business guy which investigation/research has led to the conclusion that hiding the product's name causes users to click the item? What happens when you click an item, do you get to see the product's name then? –  Bart Gijssens Jul 18 '12 at 8:26
    
Who is this 'business guy'. Does he work for the client or within your company? If it's an actual business requirement that no product names should be shown then it's different to if it's just some guy in your company / department. –  JonW Jul 18 '12 at 9:06
    
When clicking It will redirect to another product page. –  Sarawut Positwinyu Jul 18 '12 at 10:39
    
@JonW business guy is actually the owner of a company i am working in –  Sarawut Positwinyu Jul 19 '12 at 4:40
    
Is it an option in your case to add hover effect (for non-touch devices at least)? When desktop user hovers an image it half way to click - you could either give him text detail (ex title plus smth.) or enlarge this picture. So if user keeps interest - hi clicks –  shershen Jul 19 '12 at 15:55

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

To raise curiosity using just images requires exquisite photography or image manipulation. One general aspect of this is that showing a full picture is unlikely to elicit curiosity, where as partial images or macro shots are more likely to provoke a situation where the user thinks they recognise the image but feels compelled to confirm their guess by clicking through and viewing the full image.

It may be possible to lavish the time required to achieve this on every image of every auction that comes up given that it is limited to 5 at a time, but realistically some more consistent design element will be required to raise make users curious.

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If done well, your "business guy" might be right, but it is almost assuredly not for the reason he states

Withholding information doesn't arouse curiosity unless there's a strong hook compelling someone to move forward. For the same reason you might not show product specs over a promo photo, you need not necessarily show the product's name over the promo photo. However, as you decrease the amount of information you're displaying, you must increase the quality of what you do show.

Showing products without descriptions or titles can be effective provided that the quality of photos is consistently very high and your audience's expectations are set properly. Setting and matching expectations is actually a big part of what makes your particular situation so difficult. When you are showing watches next to jewelry next to bags next to glasses, you force the audience to decipher what the object is before assessing the objects merits.

A reasonable example of no-caption display done well is the mobile and web app Snapette. All photos, all the time. No labels. But the audience knows what to expect and the photos are clear and exciting.

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Not showing the product names is not equal to raising a curiosity.

There should be scent of a dissonance, something that is unknown (a riddle) and some clues.

Not showing the names is not enough. I clearly see items: a bag, a ring, a glasses, a watch. Those are common items. I know their names. Why should I be curious about names given by your website?

There is plenty of information to be found on the Internet in case you want to use curiosity as a main driving incentive, you can start (for example) with article.

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