Heal Your Church WebSite


Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site Faster

If you’re not a subscriber to Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox then here’s what you missed today: Information Foraging: Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site Faster (Alertbox June 2003)

Basically the article confirms what I’ve been saying for the past year. Do not hide your content under a bushel. Instead, make it compelling and make it easy to get to with a minimal of effort.

As Vincent Flanders would say, “Don’t confuse web design with sex.” Or to quote Nielsen’s Alertbox for June 2003:


Humans are under less evolutionary pressure to improve their Web use, but basic laziness is a human characteristic that might be survival-related (don’t exert yourself unless you have to). In any case, people like to get maximum benefit for minimum effort. That’s what makes information foraging a useful tool for analyzing online media.

(note, the bold emphasis is Neilsen’s, not mine!)

So what does this mean to you the church web master? Lose stuff like the useless Flash intros to “get people in the mood.” In fact, get rid of splash pages altogether.

And those “movie like effects” such as page-transitions and/or swipes, or maquees? Stop it. Your purpose driven users don’t want to have to wait for their compelling content.

In other words, give your purpose-driven users what their looking for, and remove anything on your site that gets in their way.

One Comment

  1. This is especially important for dialup users. I hate having to wait around for a page to load.

    Phil Wolff talks about this with respect to company employment web sites. Check out the article at
    http://dijest.com/emblog/2003_06_26_archive.html#105667509965422003 or the equivalent TinyURL of
    http://tinyurl.com/fn8r