Web sites need to shout

If you have a web site it needs to shout out loud to its visitors; it needs to say fairly quickly what the site is about and what people should do with it. The headlines on this page (hopefully…!) tell you quickly that this site is about online success. If that’s what your after then this is the page for you. But why do you need to be so obvious. Surely we shouldn’t “dumb down” what we are doing? The problem lies in the fact that more and more people are consuming multiple media simultaneously. For instance, around 70% of people surf the web AND watch TV at the same time, according to one recent report. This study also shows that around a third of the people who visit your web site will be reading a newspaper or magazine at the same time as looking at your web site. As the amount of media increases each year, we have to do something in order to consume it all. After all, we only have the same amount of time each year. So, the only way to deal with the excess information is to multitask – deal with two bits of media (or more) at the same time. What this means to online businesses is that you never have the full attention of your web site visitors. You are competing against a TV show, a magazine article and something on the radio – at the same time. That means, the only way your web site is truly going to succeed is if it is so obvious as to what’s available for the visitor. Your site needs clear headlines and navigation so that people know exactly what you offer. Otherwise their attention will wander away to the TV or that magazine on their lap.

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