Study participants searched websites for background information ranging from company history to management biographies and contact details. Their success rate was 70%, leaving much room for usability improvements in the 'About Us' designs.
A dead fragment of text is what's left after a usability expert has had his or her way with some perfectly good copy. The process works a little like this... First, take some great text that engages the reader on a number of levels. Here are a few words from Martin Luther King, Jr.: 'I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.' Now cut that back to make it more 'usable': 'Have sons judged by character and not color.' What are you left with? A brief, but dead, fragment. The substance of the communication remains, but the soul has been ripped out of it.
When someone consults a website, there is a precious opportunity not only to provide useful information but also to influence their decision. To make the most of this opportune moment, we must ensure that the site says or does precisely the right thing at precisely the right time. Understanding the rhetorical concept of kairos can help us craft a context for the opportune moment and hit the mark with appropriately zingy text.