Again another article too late, but if y’all are interested, here are three interesting observations about simplicity from Facebook - these seem to resonate with many of your design principles you blogged about last week.
So what’s all this got to do with Facebook and website content? Lots. About a month ago, Lab 42 put out an infographic showing that in a survey of 1,000 social media users, 50 percent preferred a Facebook Brand Page to the company’s own website. Naturally, I was curious why. What is it about Facebook as a content platform that makes it a top destination and how can you take these learnings and apply them back to your website? I think it comes down to this: Facebook is easy. It’s easy to consume, easy to use, and easy to get hooked. So let’s review the 3 lessons of simplicity and win big in the social web! Here’s how:
1. Provide quick bites of visual media. We know that consumers are feeling the squeeze as they grapple to consume content. Visual media reigns supreme. Much like the supermarket aisle, the packaging is what initially draws us in and the messaging aids our decision making. So, consider the packaging of your content across the social web. How can you integrate photos, videos, or data visualizations where text once dominated? ‘
2. Leverage a familiar user interface with simple calls to action. Some user experience professionals dislike Facebook’s usability, but what they can’t dispute is that 1 billion people have become intimately familiar with its interface. Facebook’s interface, and other social media channels for that matter, has a controlled experience that doesn’t deviate from one brand to the next, making content consumption easier, because the user doesn’t have to re-learn how to use the tool. Websites could learn a lot from this without infringing on intellectual property, of course. Take the most recent Facebook design update, where the original left-bar navigation shifted more prominently into a tab-like navigation. Brilliant! This has forced content marketers to pare down priorities, something that certainly can be applied back to web navigation. What are the critical content types and calls to action and how can a spiffy new navigation bar focus your audience’s attention? ‘
3. Serve dynamic, fresh content. Social media content is dynamic. It’s better be or your feeds will get left behind in the dust. But what if you don’t have enough valuable content to populate these feeds and break through the clutter? This is where integrated content strategy comes in. Inventory your existing web content. Where are there content areas that feel heavy and thick? Break them up. Multi-part storytelling allows you to curate through content that exists and repurpose it for the dynamic mediasphere. Curious minds will crave more when the content is served rapid fire style rather than in heavy blocks hidden behind labyrinth-style navigation. Bubble critical content to the surface and through creative display techniques draw users in for more!