Too Many Clicks on the Dancefloor
In homage to the great band/comedy duo, the Flight of the Choncords, I say that a click is not a contract. Instead it’s one of a number of various event-driven possibilities that can lead an audience, or group of users, down a path of discovery or one of disinterest.
Like it or not, the quality of our paths of discovery are largely a function of our imaginations and creative efforts. Provide an attractive and meaningful experience and enjoy the harvest of your creative labors. Design half-hearted contrivances and yield little more than the disappointing spoils akin to click bait.
So then why not pay more attention to the time in between clicks rather than the clicks themselves? Answer, because novelty ain’t easy. Given our current state of digital affairs, most of us are all-too familiar with bounce rates, SEO, CPM, and all sorts of other cyber-linguistics and marketing-obsessed concerns. At the same time, and more importantly, we are all naturally more aware of truly engaging experiences; online or off. With this being said, it’s easier to appreciate that it’s not the clicks that we’re after but the attention. Attention is, after all, a fundamental human-centric imperative. In our efforts to inspire greater attention or value to whatever we have to offer the world—via our “interconnectedness”—it would help to view our content-creation efforts as mini adventures in the making. This is clearly different from an experience riddled with conversion “potholes.” Memorable experiences is what gets us coming back for more, not obligatory registration forms that invite the nag-factor…yuck!
If it’s attention we want, then let’s be more deliberate with our approaches to inspiring some more instead of relying on the methods of yesteryear. Let’s be honest, most banner ads suck, and so do the under-supported platforms that they promote. We can tell when a good amount of effort has gone into anything, so let’s check our priorities, and get even closer to what we really want, which is a more attentive and conversant audience instead of more superficial—and even accidental—button mashing.
None of these efforts matter much if our intention is anything less than sincere. If our product or service is lacking, then we’re only fooling ourselves by slapping more icing on the burnt cake; the web is a very sticky place. As content and experience designers, we can choose to nurture and inspire memorable experiences of discovery or take the easy way out; choosing the shake down method, like your friendly, local stick-up man, will leave an impression. Going all-in and rolling up one’s sleeves in earnest pursuit of crafting inspiring experiences will also leave an impression; one that will most-likely be valued by all.
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P.S. There is no newsletter, at least not yet…I’m too busy practicing my sweet dance moves ;P