Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Jakob Nielsen on fancy formatting and fancy words

Just received the latest Alertbox newsletter from Jakob Nielsen. The topic is "Fancy Formatting, Fancy Words = Ignored". I'd have put 2 equal signs in there, but anyway....The 'ignored' in question is your web site, if you're trying to draw attention to important facts/figures by using red bold letters and pompous language. Nielsen's case study in the article is the U.S. Census Bureau's homepage, which displayed the current population of the US in big red bold letters, and called it "Population clock". As a result, users were confused as to the meaning of that number, and what's more, they didn't bother to even read the full number, because they thought it's an ad of some sort. Interesting stuff.

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