One of my favorite commercial series on TV today features a man sitting with a group of children, asking questions. In one of the segments, he asks which is better, fast or slow. The youngster, who answers, tells a long and involved story about werewolves. When she is finished, the man is obviously confused and says “What?”
As a writer, I research topics for blogs and articles for my clients. I couldn’t help thinking about how many times I open a website and have the same initial reaction: “What?”
Some of the reasons for my reaction are:
1) The text on the home page is so filled with keywords that the content makes little sense.
2) The website seems to be written for others in the same field. Since I am not in that field (and probably none of their customers are) I don’t understand the jargon and have no idea what they are talking about.
3) The home page contains large images or Flash movies (which will not open on some tablets) and no descriptive content.
4) The site is poorly designed with images overlapping words, misspellings, bad grammar or incoherent content.
5) The navigation structure is so obscure that I’m not sure where to click to get to another page.
6) The site is jumbled and ugly, and hurts the eyes.
If a website doesn’t answer the question I was asking, and answer it in plain, correctly spelled English – I’ll move on. If the website is poorly designed or the structure is confusing – I’ll believe the company is not credible, and I’ll move on.
As for the little girl, all she had to say was, “Fast is better because if we are fast we can outrun werewolves.” While that may have made for a good website, it would have been a terrible commercial.