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Get to the point god damn it!
Did you have a hard time getting here? Or did you just skip the intro since it was too long or didn’t concern you?
The point is that the point itself doesn’t have to be short. The point is why your visitor is here. Don’t let them struggle to get to the point by hiding it with instructions, explanations or excuses. There is a saying that visitors can not be bothered to read a lot of text online. I believe that is only partially true. For the past 2 years now, I have been conducting user tests for a health care web site filled with extensive medical articles as well as online services and contact information to different health centers. When asking people who has been recently diagnosed with asthma if the asthma article is too long, the answer is “No, I would like to read all I can about asthma”. When testing another part of the website, for example an online service being deeply explained at the top, the same person might say: “There is too much information here. I don’t have time to read all this”.
When the content itself is the point, the user will notice it and engage in it even if it is long. When the content is there merely to describe factors around the point or as an informative transit page describing which content you will find if you click on a link, the user will either ignore it or get hindered by it on their way to the real content. Don’t let them get lost in the “mumbo jumbo” desert.
Cut the crap, not the core.
PS. You don’t need to explain everything in advance. By placing the meta content below your core content it is not in the way for the “happy flow” and is still present for those in need of instructions of how to manage the task they are about to complete.
“Some words may hide others”
William Shakespeare, 16th century.