What are you looking for?

The 2 Second Test: Building a Better Web Experience

Posted by on September 24th, 2010
Posted in Blog, Nonprofit Communications, Nonprofit Copywriting, Nonprofit Design, Nonprofit Web    Tags: , , , ,

It’s time to stop writing web pages and think about your user’s experience instead. In fact it’s way past time.

Yet many nonprofits continue to create websites that resemble 5 paragraph high school essays instead of building an engaging experience.

Think about how you use the web. The only time you read content is when you truly want to learn more. Most of the time you skim: hunting for the information you need — not the extra information the writer is dying to share.

Does your site pass the 2 Second Test? Are you engaging your visitors or driving them away?

Answer the questions below to see if your site passes the 2 Second Test:

  1. Do my pictures tell a story?
  2. Do my headlines show the benefits of our work?
  3. Are any paragraphs 3 lines or shorter?
  4. Are my sentences 8 words or less?
  5. Am I using program names instead of acronyms?
  6. Are links easy to see?
  7. Have you bulleted text when possible?
  8. Are videos under a minute in length?
  9. Do you have a clear call to action?

If you answered “No” to more than 2 questions above, it’s time to rethink your web experience. Put yourself in your user’s shoes. Ask yourself what your users are looking for. How can you help them find it. After all, your site is for them, not for you.

Note: After publishing this post, I came recently came across an article from Jakob Nielsen’s useit.com that refers to this as a 10-second test. If you’re a data kind of person, his article is worth reviewing.


Zach Hochstadt is a Mission Minded Founding Partner and runs Mission Minded’s Denver office, leading the company’s creative teams in the areas of message development, writing, graphic design, and web design and development.

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