OK, granted, you’re probably not writing for fans of Fergie or will.i.am. Work with me anyway, because I see a connection between the digital freneticism of the Black Eyed Peas and your visitors’ non-linear distractability.
If your goal is to get read (much less, remembered), keep your content short. Probably under 250 words for anything you might consider a page — such as a bio, practice group description, About Us…or, this blog post.
The Nielsen Effect is why. As in Jakob Nielsen, a Danish software engineer considered to be one of the foremost user experience gurus.
Nielsen and others have found, for starters, that we read online content 25 percent slower than we read the same content in hard copy. As Nielsen characterizes this and other Web visitor behaviors,
“[U]sers are selfish, lazy and ruthless.”
Here’s a still-timely 2008 Michael Agger post that explains this and more…including the average user’s unwillingness to scroll.
We’re addicted to Anything But This. I check Facebook, listen to BEP on YouTube, look out the window, tweet something…etc., blah. You? It’s not in the DSM (yet), but some psychologists label it Fear of Missing Out.
And, my sense is that it’s in our DNA. That we survived on the ocean or in the jungle or on the savannah or prairie by being hyper-alert and hyper-vigilant.
In other words, we didn’t have the luxury of The Long. So, Keep It Short.