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Avoid Boring Content

Tuesday, 5 February, 2013

“Dull content is the kiss of death if your goal is to keep teens on your site. However, not everything needs to be interactive and fancy. Although teens have a strong appreciation for aesthetics, they detest sites that appear cluttered and contain pointless multimedia.” So writes Jakob Nielsen in his latest Alert Box column, “Teenage Usability: Designing Teen-Targeted Websites.” The advice Nielsen tenders should be read as well by those designing adult-targeted websites because it is sound and sensible. When it comes to “interactive features” that let users express themselves, Nielsen’s on the money:

  • Online quizzes
  • Forms for providing feedback or asking questions
  • Online voting
  • Games
  • Features for sharing pictures or stories
  • Message boards
  • Forums for offering and receiving advice
  • Features for creating a website or otherwise adding content

And because teens don’t like to read a lot on the web, Nielsen urges content creators to write “for impatient users.” Guess we can’t expect lots of teens to start reading Rainy Day, then. Ah, well.

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