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« Don’t Pollute Your Web Site | Main | How Accurate Is Online Information? »

How to Quickly Orient Users

Are you quickly orienting users to the purpose of your web site?

There are a number of web sites that suffer from poor user orientation.  A user loads up the web site and has no idea what the site is about.  Regardless of all the text and pictures found on the page being loaded, users can quickly become lost.  Business sites need an effective way to quickly pass along their purpose and service or product benefits.  In many cases users can be oriented with a web site’s purpose through a tagline.  A short and well crafted tagline can orient users and draw them into your web site.

In Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think, he offers some tagline suggestions:

  • Taglines are located above the fold usually next to a company’s logo or identity.  Most users know to look near the logo for some hint regarding the purpose of the web site. Take a look online for tagline ideas, almost every major site has one.  Some companies don’t really need a tagline.  Amazon is a good example.  So many people are familiar with what Amazon does that their reputation alone orients users.
  • Taglines should be clear and concise. There is little benefit to being overly wordy. Try to keep your tagline less than ten words.
  • It is important that the tagline pass along a clear benefit regarding the company, service, or product.

Don’t confuse a tagline with a motto, like “We bring good things to life,” “You’re in good hands,” or “To protect and to serve.” A motto expresses a guiding principle, a goal , or an ideal, but a tagline conveys a value proposition.
Source: Krug, Don’t Make Me Think

If you don't already have one, spend a little time coming up with a good tagline.  Don’t assume you will be able to create something in a few minutes.  Some companies take weeks to create a compelling tagline.  When a good tagline is in place you will quickly convey a powerful message that connects with your target market.

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