Eliminate happy talk

Duncan Stephen
Wednesday 12 February 2014

On the web, context kills, speed saves

Here is an article from Gerry McGovern about one of my pet peeves, happy talk. Web users are highly task driven, and they are not interested in our content attempting to set a context.

You need to find the nearest government children’s center. “Welcome to our page which we are no longer updating. The government is committed to the welfare and education of children. Our team has been established based on certain legislation, which we are about to tell you about in great detail. We are a high quality, well trained workforce and we would also like to tell you about how we work…

…on the Web, people just want to do stuff as quickly and easily as possible. Engaging with most organizational websites is only slightly more interesting than interacting with your dentist.

The words people search with set the context. Once they’re at your website, the context has already been established as far as they’re concerned.

Too often, the general is the enemy of the specific.

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