Today’s post on the 10-second rule is not a reference to the maximum amount of time food can stay on the floor before becoming inedible. Rather, it’s about your charity’s website and the critical need to engage users within the first 10 seconds of viewing.
 
Background
There was a really interesting study that quantified this rule by analyzing over 2 billion web page interactions. The results showed that first 10 seconds represents a harsh judgement period where users are highly likely to leave. The following 10-20 seconds still have high probability of losing visitors, but after that point you have a good chance of engaging users for an extended period of time. For those that are interested, this pattern of behaviour follows what is called a negative Weibull distribution.
 
Significance
In the first 10-30 seconds a visitor enters the site, it’s crucial for your charity to engage what can be potential volunteers, donors, or people in need of the help you offer. Content and visuals are two of the three main pillars we’ve previously discussed that can help engage users past that point. Content expresses your value proposition to users, and visuals make it appealing and attractive.
 
The third and final pillar is layout and navigation. It’s purpose is to ensure that visitors can easily find the information they are looking for, an essential part to engaging your user. In fact, research shows that if users can’t find what they are looking for within three clicks, they will leave the site. A nice bonus is that good navigation will actually improve your site for SEO purposes, and also provide Google Grants recipients with clear structure to run their online marketing campaigns.
 
For some tips on building good website navigation, check out these articles:
http://www.orphicpixel.com/the-importance-of-good-website-navigation/
http://www.onextrapixel.com/2009/07/03/10-principles-of-navigation-design-and-why-quality-navigation-is-so-critical/
http://www.seoconsult.com/on-page-search-engine-optimisation/the-importance-of-website-navigation-website-structure-and-seo.html

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