Pause for a Cause

During a recent trip to Disney World I noted a few things that translated to an article on church websites. This article is about how to help your audience pause at the right spot to notice something on your website. This pause will help them focus on something important, and hopefully cause them to take action.

My Inspiration

Disney Vacation Club floor
Padded floor at Disney Vacation Club kiosk

Disney may not have the most amazing rides, but they craft an experience like nobody else. Everything you see in their parks has been carefully planned and thought out. One observation I made during the trip was near a kiosk advertising for the Disney Vacation Club. After talking with the attendant, I gained even further insight to how the kiosk was designed and how it was strategically placed to get extra contact with the general public.

What was special?

Function

The floor of the kiosk itself was special. Instead of the normal concrete walkway, it featured rubber padding. This has multiple uses: The attendant was able to endure a full shift on their feet with less fatigue. Also, this keeps people talking to the attendant; since after a long day of walking around the park, their feet welcome the cushioned break. Lastly, the rubber extends out from the tent, so people passing by notice the difference in footing and pause for a second.

Disruption

The attendant clued me into its strategic position, as it was located on a corner between a sign for a restroom, and the restroom itself. This leads to lots of people stopping to ask if they are headed in the correct direction. By eliminating a second sign at the corner, they greatly increase their contact with the public. The combination of these two decisions leads to steady interaction with the salesperson and their customers.

What You Can Do

You also have a piece of real estate you can craft to suit your specific needs, your website. Several elements in websites can direct your users’ attention, including white space, photographs, color choices.

White Space

By putting more space around an element, you can make something stand out on a page. The button or link that leads your user to a crucial next step (i.e. volunteer form)

Photographs

Our eyes are naturally drawn to photos of human faces. It is best to use a portrait of a church member, but a stock photograph will do in a pinch.

Color

A complimentary color will make a call to action pop off the page. For example, on a page with mostly blue tones, orange will jump out and demand some attention.

Action Item

Use these techniques to cause your visitor’s eyes to linger on the page elements that are of greatest importance. It may be the main point in a sermon, the dates & times for a big event, or a button to subscribe for a newsletter. Then take it another step and read up on print marketing tips to see what else you can do to improve your sites.

Note: In case you are wondering, yes I did talk with the cast member at the kiosk; and did end up taking some time to get more information on the Disney Vacation Club.

Photo courtesy of Dennis Blank

Author: Stephen Morrissey

I have been making websites since 1996, and using social media since 2006. My current profession is designing user experiences for corporate software, websites, and mobile applications. I started sharing my knowledge with the world in 2011, about a year after a revival in my faith.

Leave a Reply