Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Sticky Widget

Six Minutes.

Now if I told you that someone would spend six minutes on a single page within your web site you might think you were eBay and they were simply watching for the auction to end.

Think about it, six minutes would be a coup for spending time on your entire site, but a single page? What "sticky widget" is holding the audience captive for so long? (and no, it's not Facebook or Twitter)

A map.

That simple, it's that which allowed Columbus to sail through the flatness (yes, that is Columbus' map to the right), that has allowed generals in warfare understand where to place the bait for their enemy to attack, that allows a simple traveler the most basic of insight and context of what they are getting into.

Keep it Simple SideStreet (K.I.S.S. Theory). Simplicity lies in the map. It provides context such as landmarks, distance, relationships, terrain, probably includes major attractions and possibly key services a traveler can use.

So where is the map on your web site? Do a quick audit and find out how many clicks to determine "where" you are. Are you Portland, Maine, Portland, Oregon or Portland, Oklahoma?

No map? Lots of easy to implement, relatively budget-friendly solutions out there. Get one on your site and get any brochure-based maps at least available for download (don't "protect" this resource from consumer use!).

Think about how ubiquitous Google Maps has become as a utility. People like maps, they are visual and "touchy-feely." Just the way we humans like things.

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