Users’ attention spans are getting shorter. A recent Slate article points out that most people don’t finish reading complete articles anymore. Even though scrolling feels natural to people, many never make it below the fold. If they do, they only skim over the content to absorb the most important information. Information, in this context, is relative, because what’s important to one person may not be to the next.
Knowing that you have tall stakes, it’s imperative to keep content readable, legible, and clear. Content of this sort helps users stay on track and scan through the content to find the valuable information they’re looking for. This offers rewards to you, too, in the form of lowered bounce rates, more visitors, more time spent on the site, and improved conversion rates.
How exactly can you ensure that your content has these three ingredients? Below are a few practical tips to master readability, legibility, and clarity.
Use Storytelling. Storytelling is an effective way to present information because it interests readers from the start and allows them to connect with what you have to say. Plus, telling a story helps design content around a predictable framework of beginning, middle, and end.
Try Meme-Jacking. Sounds a bit odd, yes? We would agree. But meme-jacking is nothing to be scared of. Meme-jacking refers to when you take popular meme generators to create your own. People love memes because they are easy to spot and funny. They also do a great job of breaking up otherwise dull content. Try Meme Generator or Quick Meme.
Use Minimalism. Whether you’re writing to a busy mom of 4 or an aspiring engineer, your readers are going to skim through the article and pull out the most important parts. To help users find what they want, keep your content legible. Paragraphs should be 3-4 sentences long with one idea or concept in each.
Add Bullet Points. Bullet points are a reader’s best friend. Bullets break up content and help readers understand key information. They are also less intimidating than lengthy paragraphs, lowering bounce rates.
Add White Space. White space is a smart tool to use when you want users to focus on the foreground. Also called negative space, this design tool lets you highlight what you want visitors to see first, creating a visual hierarchy.
Use Good Architecture. Information architecture organizes content in a particular fashion. This way, users absorb content the way you intended, which is usually the most important information first.
When designing content, make sure that you take into account the way that it appears to your audience. Each paragraph should be short, to the point and meaningful. Incorporate memes and white space as necessary to keep readers on track with your story. While you may not be able to win them all, your hope is that you can keep more people on your site, decreasing bounce rates and improving conversions.