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Saturday 10 March 2007

Does Your Copy Hold Up To A Quick Glance?

Digital Web Magazine.

Does Your Copy Hold Up To A Quick Glance?

By Jessica Neuman Beck

Published on February 20, 2007

Quick—what does your site’s copy say about you?

Make sure your graphics are proportionate to the rest of the body text. Huge images that take up most of the screen not only convey very little about the subject, they also keep readers from your content. Don’t assume that everyone will scroll below the fold.

Take a look at your stats, and you’ll see that a surprising number of the visits to your site last less than a minute. Sure, some of those may be bots or search engines, but real visitors are making decisions about your site in the time it takes to blink.

A Canadian study published in the journal Behaviour and Information Technology suggests that viewers form an opinion of your website in about a twentieth of a second.


Luanne Seymour from Adobe describes the average site scanner’s methodology in this way:

  1. Scan the headlines to see what the content is about.
  2. Look at the pictures to see what the content is about.
  3. If the pictures are compelling, read the captions.
  4. If the headlines, pictures, and captions are compelling, read the rest of the copy—if I have time.

What works?

  • Pull quotes
  • Blurbs
  • Icons
  • Linkage
  • Lists

What doesn’t work?

  • Ads
  • Animation.
  • Inconsistency

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