Hey everybody. It’s Todd Walker from Entropic Studio. So today I thought I would talk about a game that I like to play with all my clients, especially when they’re new to me or when we’re trying to accomplish something new, a big push, a campaign or something like that. I call it the 7 second game.
So a study recently came out and found that the attention span of your user on the website is around seven or eight seconds. The bad news is that Nelson did a study and found out that the attention span of your users decreasing by 88% each year. Wow, that’s crazy. So why am I telling you this and why does it matter?
Well, think about it. If we have seven or eight seconds to grab your clients attention, your potential wow client, people that are coming to your site. If we have seven or eight seconds to grab their attention and get them to do what you want them to do, that’s not a lot of time. And so the game that I play with my clients is, and I encourage you whether you’re a web designer or a web developer, doing this for clients, or whether you have your own website and you’re a DIY person.
Someone else built your website and you’re wondering why it’s not getting the ROI, the return on investment that you expected. So you ready to play the game? Okay, so you’re gonna set the timer for, let’s say 10 seconds. You know what? You can double it. So let’s give them 20 seconds, and you’re going to pull up the website.
Okay? They’re not allowed to scroll. They’re not allowed to move any anything. The mouse can’t move. The cursor can’t scroll down or up. They just boom, they land on the website. As soon as they land on that website, we’re going to start the timer.
The client or the consumer or you, whoever’s playing the game now has till the end of the timer to figure out what is the website asking them to do. Okay… is it asking you to sign up for a newsletter? Is it asking you to purchase this widget? Is it asking you to look at the new inventory? Is it asking you to download this free white paper?
So really what we’re trying to get is within those few seconds, is it obvious what to do on the page. Now, I told you that you couldn’t scroll. So that means that the most pertinent information has to be above the fold. We use this a lot in digital speak, but it comes from print and newspapers. They call it above the fold so when you open up the newspaper, the most important stuff is above that fold in web talk. It’s without scrolling. So everything that I see on my screen is above the fold. Okay? So now the game has started, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. I love this game because it really gets the person, whether it’s you, the web developer, or the client, it gets them to understand that we can’t just put a bunch of texts on the screen. We can’t ask the reader to read through all of that stuff. Especially when you understand that the attention spans are getting less and less and less. I also need you to understand that you’re in competition with adorable kitten videos on YouTube. So…we really don’t have a lot of time to waste.
We need to get to the point and we need to tell them or suggest to them what to do. Okay, so once we figure out that this is the call to action, is it the right call to action? Right. So let’s say that the answer at the end of the game was to sign up for the newsletter. Is that the most important thing on your site right now? Is that literally what you want the most important person to do on your website? Or would you rather have them sign up for your new class that is next week or next month? Right? So are you pushing the correct thing is the most important thing that they found? Should it be the most important thing? So those are questions that you get asked yourself as the web developer designer.
Or ask the client, is this really what you want the majority of people to do on your website? Now this gets us into a lot of other conversations that we could be having the user experience and then of course the user interface is the button clear that says, “sign up today”, or “buy now” or “sign up”, you know, buy this, buy that, the different CTAs that are possible.
But let’s just keep it at the basics, right? So people say it’s the kiss method. Keep it simple, stupid. But really, you know, we have sites that people have spent, you know, 50, 60, 70, $80,000. And then we have sites where people spend a few hundred, or they make it themselves on Wix or Weebly or Square Space. And it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how much money you spent and how much time was designing it. But if the fundamentals of the site aren’t working and they’re not present, and you can’t figure out within seven, 10, 15, 20 seconds what the user is supposed to do, then it failed. It failed. So again, it doesn’t matter if you have a team of 20 people working on it, or if someone’s doing it themselves or their high school student is helping them build it in WordPress. It doesn’t matter.
So again, I’m trying to bring it back to the fundamentals so that you could do this yourself. You can evaluate sites yourself. You can evaluate your own site, the sites that you’re working on for clients and really understand the basics.
So understanding that we have very little time to grab their attention and it’s only gonna get worse. They’re only going to be more distracted and their attention span, like I said, is going down, right? So we don’t have a lot of time. It’s really important to get those calls to action above the fold, okay.
Up near the top of the screen, and then again, make it obvious what those calls to actions are. Okay. Now I know some of you are designers and are really stuck with, Oh, the button needs to look pretty and it looks more clean if it’s transparent and matches the background is just so nice and elegant. Um, no. If I can’t see it and it’s not drawing attention to it, then what are we doing? Why is it there? Okay, so again, everybody, let’s try and bring it back to the basics so that we understand why that website is there. What is it for? What are we trying to do? How are we trying to convert this into purchases or signups or sales for our workshop.
I hope this made sense. Again, it’s, it’s my favorite game that I love to play with clients. It’s the first thing I do when I sit down with them and we’re evaluating the website because from this conversation comes a bunch of other conversations. Like I said, the whole customer journey, the user interface, what does it look like?
The copy that people have been writing for the website. Is it clear? All of these kinds of things stem from this initial game. So I hope you have fun playing your seven second games with your clients and let me know in the comments how that works out and if you thought it was a valuable game to play.
All right. Thanks everybody.