I have heard of the 6-second rule, the 3-second rule and even a 2 second rule. No matter how long it takes someone to abandon a web design an go elsewhere — it’s pretty quick. Below are some points to remember when designing and writing for web designs:
- Use headings to communicate the essential messages on the page.
- Segment content to make the page “scan-able”.
- Offer obvious and enticing links to your site or promotional page.
- Restrict paragraphs to three lines or less.
- Break key points into bullets rather than paragraphs.
- Include title, byline, and call-to-action in each paragraph and bulleted list area.
- If you have multiple objectives, chunk each one into bite size nuggets.
Remember, there is beauty in simplicity – especially in web design. People will need to consume the information quickly and cut to the chase. Or you may chase them right off your site.
I say crystallize a single idea, per module or page and use lists when writing, however some literary people will raise their nose at lists, but they are a good form of communication. Just don’t use lists not too much, because your web page also needs a mix and balance of substance. Don’t overwhelm readers with too many or unrelated messages. One objective is best per page and if you have multiple objectives, break it up into manageable sections.
Speaking about “section-izing” content or “chunk-ing” content
Success requires shapely, succinct, structured, engaging and easy-to-follow content. Once you master the form of these design strategies, over time your web design’s effectiveness will rise to the occasion.
For starters, a carefully chunked page–that is, a page broken into bite-sized pieces served under clear, informative headings–creates a palatable design tempting to even the pickiest reader. Content chunking is cousin to several essential design tactics. For example, avoid the formidable “wall of text;” present brief, quick-read paragraphs that prompt a “click” rather than teach a lesson; and buffer sections with plenty of white space and complimentary, appropriate imagery.
Keep the words to a minimum
Web design is a speed game, word economy is a must. Don’t take time getting to the point: say it now, fast, and clearly. Communicate enough benefit, briefly coined, so readers will want learn more.
In the end of it all, success favors preparation — acombination of knowing your goals, drafting a plan and executing with precision.
Like any message, a web design page saturated by multiple themes and intentions loses steam fast. Spare your readers the burden of too many links, options, and themes. If you don’t, they’ll likely abandon the search and leave. If your goal is to sell more, try saying less. Be precise!