Web Medium As Message paraphrase Marshall McLuhan’s famous quote. When designing a website the medium is a big part of the message. Website design, copy, and navigation send overt and covert messages. Messages most visitors will understand and process in seconds. Here are five Medium As Message web design tips:

  • Hero’s Eyes – Visitors look where people or animals look.
  • Copy – What’s Your Yoast?
  • Images – Arresting and TRUE or FALSE?

Hero Eyes

Eye movement studies show visitor’s eyes play follow the leader. A visitor’s eyes will look for clues about where to look, where to go and what to click.

Using visual cues to guide visitors to key areas of your site is nothing new, but just how effective is it? According to studies such as the aptly named Eye Gaze Cannot be Ignored, it is incredibly effective. Human beings have a natural tendency to follow the gaze of others, and we have been coached since birth to follow arrows directing us to where we should be looking/going.

From Eye Tracking Studies on Kissmetrics

Eye Tracking Baby example from Kissmetrics on Curagami

We’ve done test showing much the same effect with animal gazes too. That’s why this Shutterstock image needs a Call-To-Action where the kitten looks. When models or kittens look offscreen that’s where your visitors will look.

Shutterstock Kitten Gaze CTA Lesson Curagami image


Copy What’s Your Yoast?

Who writes anymore. Today, we text. Texting skills don’t translate to great online copy. Use the If you’re using WordPress we recommend the Yoast plugin. Yoast will perform a cursory check on search engine optimization (SEO) and copy readability. Yoast provides specific issues to resolve. Difficult to read and repeated words are common Yoast flags. The goal is to turn your copy’s Yoast rating from red to green. That’s why we write with an eye on the Yoast rating. Fixing errors is faster as you go.

Check Quick Web Writing Lesson for tips on writing for the web.


Images True or False

We all want ARRESTING images. Images with contrast, shock, and/or surprise cut through the noise. There’s a problem screaming, “Look at me,” over and over. There’s a problem using high contrast, shocking, and/or surprising images too. Use arresting images consistent with your branding. Don’t shoot for the cheap laugh, shock, or embarrassment. Examples of arresting image issues: