Online visitors to your site are impatient and insist on instant gratification. It needs to meet their expectations within 3 – 5 seconds or they move on.
Design is key to instantly communicating your value. Who you are, what you do and why. A well-designed site makes time an ally as it creates interest and arouses curiosity. for the new visitor to your site. Keep the message simple. The site should act as a roadmap – once there – what do you want the visitor to know? Where do you want the visitor to go? What is your call to action? Make it clear and concise.
Users have control. Users want to be able to control their browser and rely on the consistent data presentation throughout the site. Users don’t want new windows popping up unexpectedly and they love to be able to go “back” to where they were once on a page. Make it easy.
As the web differs from print, it’s necessary to adjust the writing style to user’s preferences and browsing habits. Promotional writing won’t be read. Long text blocks without images and keywords marked in bold or italics will be skipped. Exaggerated language will be ignored. As a designer, having a conversation about this with a content writer can be an exercise in frustration as they want to use as many “keywords” in the content so as to attract a better SEO.
The online viewer knows when they’re being sold something so as a web designer, I’ve learned to take away the marketing spin and get to the point. I avoid marketing-induced names, company specific names, and unfamiliar technical names. If you describe a service and want users to create an account, “sign up” is better than “start now!” which is again better than “explore our services.” Viewers appreciate directness – being really clear about your offer and presenting it quickly.
An optimal solution for effective writing:
– use short and concise phrases – get to the point quickly
– use scannable layout (categorize the content, use multiple heading levels, use visual elements like bulleted lists and coloured block text boxes which break the flow of uniform text blocks)
– use plain and objective language to build trust (a promotion doesn’t need to sound like an ad; give your users some reasonable and objective reason why they should use your service or stay on your website)