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Question:People come to my website, but they don't seem to be comprehending my information. Why?

Answer:You may need to take some steps to make your site easier to process.

Prominent things stand out relative to the environment because of their intensity. Prominence can be affected by the size or length of the stimulus. Larger or longer ads are more likely to be noticed than smaller or shorter ones. Making words prominent by the use of bold face text also enhances consumersí attention to the words (see, didnít this stand out for you?). Things that are moving also tend to be prominent. Attention to commercials tends to be enhanced when the ad uses dynamic, fast-paced action, and consumers tend to pay attention to those things on web pages that are moving. Finally, loud sounds can also enhance prominence. Television and radio stations sometimes turn up the volume for commercials so they will stand out relative to the program.

Another thing that facilitates ease of processing is contrast. Something contrasts with something else if it is different from what surrounds it. A color advertisement in a newspaper is more likely to capture attention because everything else around it is black and white. A black-and-white ad on color TV is likely to stand out for a similar reason.

Finally, stimuli are easier to process when few things surround them and compete for their attention. You are more likely to notice a billboard when traveling down a deserted rural highway than you are when you are in the middle of a congested, sign-filled city. You are also more likely to notice a brand name in a visually simple ad than one that is visually cluttered.

For more on making a website easier to process, read our tutorial on the subject.


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