UX Best Practices

Capture and Keep a Human Goldfish’s Attention

Did you know, the average human has a shorter attention span than a goldfish? Within the last 15 years the average person’s attention span has dropped from 12 to 8 seconds. Just 1 second below your average pet store goldfish.

So what can you do in those precious seconds to grab your customer’s attention? Do you go big and flashy with animated banner or video takeovers? Do you throw in the towel and hope for the best?

Actually, the answers are much simpler and based upon years of user behavior studies.

I have complied a list of best practices, with the help of Chance Bliss (our UX Director), to grab and hold attention.

  • It’s all about page load. Don’t waste those value seconds by making visitors wait for your page to load.
  • Less content is more content. Users don’t read. They scan for keywords or pictures that give them a sense of whether they should ignore or pay attention to.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words. Photography and illustrations are the work horses of your website. Not only do they tell a story better than text, they also draw attention.
  • White space is NOT dead space. The practice has often been to cram as much information as possible within a single screen in the fear that a user might miss something important. In reality, this results in a user ignoring much of what you have to say.
  • Everyone scrolls. The evidence shows that scrolling is just as natural as clicking. Should important information be at the top? Yes. Should all the information be at the top? No.
  • A clear and simple call to action. We often think that choice is a good thing for customers. Yet behavioral studies show that more choice leads to less action. A single, simplified call-to-action not only spurs more action but grabs more attention.

Stay tuned for our upcoming six week blog series where we will go into further detail.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Please share your experiences and opinions with us on Facebook or Twitter.