Part 3 - website content and clarity

The subconscious mind of a web surfer is an attention deficit mind. We don't read through websites, we skim them. We bounce our eyes around from top to bottom looking at the biggest and catchiest items and they try to sort out what makes sense. And if something sticks out... we click, or read more. *see Don't make me think for good info.

If our website is boring, unclear, and has no visible hierarchy, it will probably turn people away pretty fast. Here's a couple things that will allow our subconscious mind to surf gracefully:

Eye candy

Since most of us only read a small fraction of what's on a page, we need some sort of clarity to guide us, and some levels of distinction. There should be some level of contrast between the items on a page—between things like the navigation and the content, or between one piece of information and another. The web surfer enjoys whitespace, large letters, and bold bright colors.

Sum it up for me, I don't want to read

Five straight paragraphs on a page can be a daunting read for us. It sounds stupid but it's true. Most people just won't read it. Web surfers need the Spark Notes of Spark Notes. If you split content up into smaller chunks, sum up paragraphs in larger headings, or bold some information so people can see what it's all about... it may draw people in who would otherwise click away.

We do what's in front of us, and go where we can assume a destination. I started playing the guitar 9 years ago because I stumbled upon an grossly old guitar in my closet. I bought this book at the book store because it had a clear and interesting title that intrigued me, it had an interesting summary on the back, and satisfied me when I read it back at home. I found the carrots at the grocery store because I looked around to the walls for the typical veggies area—the wide open space with no tall shelves, but a few mid level containers with mounds of watermelon, lettuce and bags of potatoes. When things are clear, simple, and concise, we like it... especially on websites.

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