“We were never born to read.”- Maryanne Wolf, Proust and Squid. People don’t read online unless it is a user’s definite goal. And even if it is our definite goal, we encounter ‘proven’ difficulties as our brain shows intense activity interpreting the enormous amount of buttons, banners, and links while we read. “In research at the New York Times labs, we found that on average, each Web page in the top 100 most-visited news and information sites and blogs online has about 370 links.”- Nick Bilton, I live in the future and here’s how it works.
Browsing the internet has become a study for a new generation of consumers of digital content. Just as we have to learn to identify letters and signs as human beings, we must now learn to quickly recognize and interact with digital messages by getting familiar with common functionalities, visual elements, icons, symbols, and various types of content. It enables the new generation users to quickly assess a webpage’s assets and decide whether or not it is relevant to his or her abrupt needs.
Learning how to read the digital landscape allows us to absorb an increasing amount of information; however, overkill is luring.
Clever User Experience design, selection of information, and copywriting for the internet are imperative. They allow a user to feel comfortable, discern an overview, and quickly understand the contents of your website.
The Sushi Method
The Sushi Method aims to tackle the issue of information overkill and meet users’ expectations by providing an immediate sense of relevancy. It is a User Experience practice based on shared encounters and literature.
The method aims to structure content in bites in order for users to eat it with chopsticks and quickly digest. Even though it is obvious brands have a grand story to tell considering history and heritage, vision and new directions, and actualities, the challenge remains to deliver the story in satisfactory doses.
The increasing use of the internet through smartphones and tablets demands a different approach to deliver the story. Research indicates that people have more trouble absorbing text reading on the internet than in print. Research also indicates that people experience even more trouble reading from small screens.
The power to digest your content and therefore truly understand your story is the basis of powerful communication, and thus, we need to revolutionize the way in which we deliver that content.
A movement that embraces this next step in content delivery is infographics. These pictures are powerful visuals that display data in an easy-to-absorb way.
Another trend we spot online is the use of bold and custom typography to deliver important messages that have the ability to provide users with a quick sense of relevancy.
Stickability of the Sushi Method goes two ways. By delivering a sequence of snippets of information we drag users into our story, thus allowing them to discover more every time they click. This sense of discovery results in users sticking longer to your website.
In the early days we designed websites to create a structure that got users to information with the fewest clicks possible. Today we recognize that the most important goal is to give users the feeling that they are going down the right path.
The level to which content sticks in the mind of the user defines the power of your message. By delivering small bites of content, users can easily absorb the information and store it somewhere in their minds.
Shareability is an essential part of a website’s success. With social networks in place and evolving, it becomes easier for users to share information by the day. But what do we share? And what is the shareability of your content?
Let’s consider a video covering four sections of a story. We could either publish a single video of, let’s say, four minutes, or four videos of a minute in length. Besides the fact that the latter makes it easier for users to watch certain sections again, it also increases shareability. For instance, users might be inspired by merely a single section that they would love to share with their social networks, but wouldn’t share the full four sections of the video. Moreover, users could share another section if they wanted to, resulting in more posts about your brand across the web.
Loyalty online is a tough nut to crack. The online landscape is such that users jump and skip from one digital location to another in the blink of an eye in order to quickly find and understand the things they are seeking.
It is our duty deliver content and functionalities in clear, structured, visually appealing bites for users to easily digest, remember, and share the story that you are trying to convey in a fresh (modern) and raw (authentic) fashion.
douzo, tabete kudasai
Photo credits: Christopher Stevenson