When writing or designing online material, there are some important factors we need to consider. I recently came across an excellent infographic at kissmetrics.com about online writing and designing. Understanding how humans react at websites can help us design and write in such a way that it will keep them interested. Here is that infographic:
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Source: What Makes Someone Leave A Website?
Just to explain a bit further, I have discovered that keeping text in short paragraphs keeps people reading. Long and drawn out paragraphs create boredom and people will leave quickly.
Headlines and headings
Readers will scan and in some cases the headlines and headings are what will make them stop to read. As a writer, this is an alien concept to me, but I have learned to adjust. I have been regularly writing articles at Part Time Commander.com and in meeting with the website owner, he explained to me all the reasons why short and many headers work. It is true.
Following the tips in the infographic can help you create a design that is user-friendly. Knowing how people react on websites is the basic statistic that can help us all write and design for them. Follow the tips and you should find people visiting more and staying longer, not to mention, sharing the content also.
As a writer, it is easy to get into a frame of mind that we write in our own style, and if they don’t like it….too bad.
That doesn’t sell, and we have to write for the audience.
If you want to write in another style, write a book, or find someone looking for the style you want.
Designers…keep in mind that there are a plethora of “bad” websites. You have the power to be a champion just by designing them in an eye appealing way. Too many ads will turn people away. Colors are important. Do yourself a favor and make slight changes, checking the statistics as you do. Use what works best.
All of this isn’t rocket science…but it is web science.